At St Nics' we feel 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:
By carefully choosing charities, events and actions which the children can engage with in practical, tangible ways, we ensure that they understand the difficulties that people in need face and how they can make a difference through their own actions.
We have recently 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.
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.
We have developed a partnership with Pilgrim Wood, a local residential care home for the elderly. Staff from Pilgrim Wood visit us to help us understand their work and how the children can influence the lives of the residents, building intergenerational understanding.
Every year, our School Council visit Pilgrim Wood to decorate residents’ rooms with handmade decorations and to enjoy a special tea. We also write postcards to bring a smile to residents and to show love to them.