Charity and Courageous Advocacy
“Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark12: 29-31 NCV)
Our pupils have an excellent grasp on the meaning of belonging to a local and global community and the sense of responsibility that comes with belonging. Thereby developing their ability to empathise and make a small sacrifice to benefit others. Together we consider the beauty and fragility of our environment, the actions we take, and the impact these actions may have on the well-being of everyone.
Our school community and curriculum actively embraces a responsibility for the world in which we live.
Here are some ways we show our connection with, and care for, the world in which we all live and care for the people who live in it.
Class 4 REEL Project: Renewable Energy Experimental Learning Project
In March, Class four participated in the REEL (Renewable Energy Experiential Learning) which was run in conjunction with Tresoc (Totnes Renewable Energy Society) so that children could learn more about how renewable energy works and why it is important. They took part in several workshops including: food miles (how far ingredients have to be transported across the globe) and buying food locally; how solar PV panels work and how much solar energy the school could generate; and, how important worms and microbes are for breaking down waste. This culminated in a busy visit to several local energy producing plants in our local area: the Marley wind turbine, Totnes Weir hydro plant, the Dartington Estate solar farm and woodchip boiler and Old Parsonage Farm which is a potential site for an anaerobic digester. Then, they created a presentation involving acting, dance and some whizzy facts for the rest of the school to spread the message that the world can’t continue burning fossil fuels and that, thankfully, there are people in our local area making their contribution to global energy production. Here are some pictures of the highlights of the project:
Fortnightly Visits to Redmount Nursing Home
Building intergenerational relationships with our Reception children, aged 4/5 yrs and the residents of the nursing home. These visits are much looked forward to by both the children and the residents, where they engage in a variety of activities together, including games, sharing stories, action rhymes and singing, craft making and fun with balloons!
Suzy Williamson, the lifestyle coordinator at Redmount said “its great to see how interested several of our residents with Dementia are in the children, they love to watch them doing activities and I can see how alert it makes them, even if they aren’t able to hold a conversation with the children. Residents who are concerned about their health and may be feeling low, come to life and cheer up during and after the children have been with us. The interaction between the children, residents and staff is amazing to watch and you can certainly see the difference the visits make”.
Lilian Matthews, one of the Redmount residents said “‘…. it’s good for us and I can see it’s good for them too”.
Rosa, aged 5 said “I like playing games with Lilian, I’m getting to know her now.” whilst Scarlett, also 5, said “I love everything about our visits!”.
Charity Coffee mornings
On 8th March Evie, Patrick, Henry and Gethin, members of our Ethos Committee/Team, put our value of compassion into action by supporting a coffee morning organised by Sue Townsend in Landscove village. They took brownies kindly baked by Jessica and Angus and spent a happy time chatting away! Sue said they were ‘delightful and entertained her guests’, she thought they were ‘chatty and self-assured’ as they spoke of their recent visit to Exeter mosque. Read what the children thought…
Evie – ‘I didn’t want to leave the coffee morning!’
Henry – ‘I liked talking to Nicholas!’ (Our lovely vicar from the past!)
Gethin – ‘I enjoyed having the biscuits and I talked with everyone!’
Patrick – ‘I liked talking about the visit to the mosque’
Not only did the children raise money for the above charities but a donation was made to school to enable the Ethos Committee and team to have special badges~ how kind!
The next coffee morning we will attend will be held in June.
Eco Committee ~ Projects this year
Since the launch of our Eco Com in September we have completed a number of projects which all have looking after the environment and the world around us at the heart of them. Firstly we have had an on-going project to tidy up and look after our school grounds, this included a grounds clean up day in October which saw staff, parents and children coming together to make such a difference, really taking care of our environment! Our second big project was ‘Switch Off Fortnight’ where the focus was on saving energy. This involved the KS2 Eco Com giving a presentation to the school and then being ‘switch off’ monitors for the fortnight! We managed to save energy and more importantly share the message of how important this is for the looking after the environment. In February we did the RSPB Big Bird Watch which helped us think about the importance of feeding and looking after the birds. This included many of the children making bird feeders. What is so fantastic about our Eco Committee is how the children come together to share ideas and the we spread the message across the school, getting everyone involved with the projects.
Nativities raise funds for St Matthew’s lych-gate
Wow! What a week! Whilst the temperatures outside might have been chilly the atmosphere in the school was red hot! I have been through quite a few of nativity seasons during my career and I never tire of our trips to Bethlehem!
All three performances were brilliant and the confidence and self-assuredness displayed by the children was remarkable. The KS1 event was simply delightful with a real sense of joy and innocence that made it memorable for all. What I call “Ahhh… factor 10”. And the KS2 shows? Well, I thought that every single child contributed to two very accomplished and entertaining evenings. The atmosphere in a candlelit St Matthew’s was perfect and encouraged all the children to do their best.
The retiring collections made a fabulous £225.25 to support the repair of the sadly vandalised lych-gate. Thank you to you all!
Harvest festival supports Buckfastleigh Foodbank
A fabulous harvest display greeted us as we entered church for our annual Harvest Festival. This year was a bit different though, with children sharing their art work, drama and reflections from their FAB (Faith and Beliefs) Harvest workshops. The vertical grouping was positively received by parents, who said ….
“it felt fresh and different”…..“uplifting”…..“heart warming”…..“traditional, plus new ideas, lovely!”…. “fantastic!”…. “loved the singing.”
Thank you again for all your generous gifts. Tom was able to take all the produce to the food bank on Friday evening after our service. He is very grateful to the support we offer to our local community. (112.4kg of food)
Other Charities we have supported this year:
- Children in need ~ £169.40 raised by our cake bake sale and games orgainsed by the School Council.
- Book Aid International ~ a mufti day was held to raise funds to support books and libraries in Africa. £42.80 was raised
- Sports Relief ~ a sponsored run, organised by the School Council and Mrs Field raised £81.41