Home Page

St Nicolas' Church of England Infant School

Living life in all its fullness

Home Page

St Nicolas' Church of England Infant School

Living life in all its fullness

Making a Difference in the World

At St Nics' we believe it is extremely important for our children to believe that they can make a difference in the world and understand how to help to make it a better place. Our school vision expresses this and guides our thinking, planning and decision-making.


Green Team, made up of four children per term and at least one member of staff, leads our work in bringing hope to our community and beyond. 

Green Team meets frequently and discusses issues they and the school community are concerned about or want to work on. They feed back on their work, explain new projects and ask the school for their views and suggestions when they lead collective worship.



Links we nurture in our community and beyond

One way in which we make a difference is by supporting carefully choosen charities, but we also make sure that our curriculum incorporates opportunities, events and actions which the children can engage with in practical, tangible ways, including challenging those in power to tackle the causes of issues such as poverty, racism and climate change. In this way, we ensure that they understand the difficulties that people in need face and how they can make a difference through their own actions.


For example, recently, our local MP visited our breakfast club and the children got the chance to meet her and hand her letters they had written expressing their concerns about poverty and hunger in the UK and Uganda. The letters, written by Year 1, asked for her support in making things more fair and to help us to raise money for our link school in Uganda to buy fruit trees to supplement the diet of families in their school. 


We have recently been awarded the Christian Aid Global Neighbours Bronze Award and the Unicef Rights Respecting Schools Bronze Award. We are currently working towards the Silver Awards for both, which will enable us to celebrate our work inthese areas so far and develop it further. 


These award schemes are very closely linked to each other and to the vision, values and ethos of St Nics' and fit beautifully with our current practice and will certainly not be 'add-ons' that we do to tick a box and get a certificate! For example, we will be using more references to the Rights of a Child when discussing safety and healthy relationships with the children, to give them more effective vocabulary and a clear understanding of why it is so important to learn about these issues from a young age.


We have gained the FairAware Fairtrade schools award, showing our commitment to engaging our children (and adults) with the issue of poverty around the world and with practical actions that we can all take to support those most in need. 


Each year, we take part in the Advent and Lent 'Acts of Kindness' challenges, which encourage us all to do at least one kind act for someone everyday, as a way of building good habits for life.


We have established close links with several charities, which we support throughout the year, enabling children to understand the work of the charities and feel empowered to make a real and tangible difference in the world themselves.


The Forgotten People Project Ltd works with a Church school in Uganda, providing education to children, who would otherwise not have access to school. Alex, who runs the charity regularly visits us to give us updates on the school and insights into the lives of the children in this part of Uganda. We were even inspired to make our own toys after seeing and learning about the children making toys from recycled materials.


Our School Council organises fundraising projects to support this work, including building a kitchen for the school so that meals can be prepared for the children even when it’s raining and buying a cow so that the children can have milk to drink.


When we got new classroom tables and chairs, Alex took many of the old ones to enhance the classroom environments for the children in Uganda.


We support the work of Christians Against Poverty (‘CAP’), which works with local people who are struggling financially and helps them to become free of debt and able to manage money effectively.


As part of our Harvest celebrations, we collect Harvest donations of food which are packed into hampers that the children have decorated and delivered to the Guildford CAP Centre to be given to local people in need to enable them to have a happier Harvest. Each hamper contains a card from the school and handmade cards from children.


At Christmas, we give CAP hampers full of donations from our families of Christmas treats, handmade cards, presents and decorations. We ask the children and families to choose donations which will help people to feel loved and have a happy Christmas. We send them with a prayer that the recipients would enjoy Christmas celebrations and know God’s love.


In the summer, we create 'Bags of Joy' to bring a smile to our neighbours who will be unable to afford to go away on holiday. These bags contain treats to enable CAP clients to have fun over the summer: new beach towels, ice lolly moulds, summer fruit squash, bubbles, shaped ice cube trays and joyful artwork created specially by the children.


We have a close relationship with CAP and have visits from the CAP Centre Manager, Jane Seals, to give children the opportunity to ask questions and hear how their actions have made a difference in clients' lives. On a recent visit, we heard that when Jae delivered one of our hampers, the client cried big happy tears because they knew we cared fro her, even though we'd never met.

These regular actions help the children to understand poverty as a real issue that affects local people and limits their options in life. By choosing and creating gifts for the CAP clients, children are able to engage with the issue and although they may not be able to help with clients' debts, they can show them love and enable them to celebrate the seasons with dignity and joy.


We have developed a partnership with Pilgrim Wood, a local residential care home for the elderly. Staff from Pilgrim Wood have visited us to help us understand their work and how the children can influence the lives of the residents.


A group of Year 2 children are penpals with residents of Pilgrim Wood. This provides a purposeful and inspiring reason for children to write and develops intergenerational understanding and connection.