Friday Feature: How schools are coming together to support their wider communities

Posted on: 15 May 2020

Schools across the country are continuing their work with local communities to fightback against coronavirus. Our Friday round-up aims to provide a little light relief, as we highlight some of the great work schools are engaged in...

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Rhys Miller, a music scholar at Millfield School, is performing for thousands online during his self-produced ‘Corona Sessions’ live stream music event on Facebook and Instagram.

The Year 10 student plays classic and contemporary rock, metal and blues covers on his social media channels, as well as featuring on numerous online open mic nights in London and Hereford.

As a result of his live streamed sessions, Rhys has now been offered a brand ambassador contract with Blackstar Amps and has started to collaborate with other musicians. Rhys was also interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset.

"I will continue to do the live streaming even after lockdown. It gives me the opportunity to play and ensures that I practice all week to play new songs and new techniques. Hopefully, the ‘Corona Sessions’ have helped to inspire more people to listen to more heavy metal and rock songs.”

Despite school being closed, Abingdon School in Partnership continues in the virtual world. As the first year of a cross town peer support lead program draws to a close, the group has been looking ahead to next year. Lower sixth students from St Helen and St Katharine School, John Mason School, Fitzharrys School, Larkmead School and Abingdon School have applied to be Peer Support Leads and work collaboratively with each other to offer support and mentoring to younger students within each school.

Interviews have taken place via Zoom and staff have been meeting virtually to set up online resources to help successful applicants familiarise themselves with the role, so they can hit the ground running when schools return.

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Find out more about the peer support scheme.

Pupils and staff members at St Albans High School for Girls have been working hard to assist frontline workers, volunteering in various roles alongside their study and work commitments to support the NHS. The school has also donated over 100kg of food to Open Door, a local homeless charity.

“None of us knows exactly what the coming weeks and months will bring, but we are all doing our best to adapt to a changing landscape. I am so proud of our community, and I know our collective efforts will ease the burden placed on those who continue to work hard so that we are all able to stay safe and well.”

--- Amber Waite, head of St Albans High School for Girls

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Staff at King's Ely in Cambridgeshire have joined forces to run two virtual quizzes since the lockdown started. The quizzes, organised by Patrick Green, housemaster of School House and PE teacher, and Nell Bond, head of KS2 mathematics and enrichment and extension coordinator at King's Ely Junior, have together raised more than £500 for NHS Charities Together.

“The quiz and fundraising went better than we ever imagined, so much so that we were even petitioned by members of staff to run another. So, in the second week of the new term, we ran a second instalment to give staff the opportunity to be sociable in the midst of isolation. On each occasion we had over 30 teams enter, some of which even had further members on a video call at home, and it was great to see staff being able to unwind with a drink or two and catching up in a more social setting. We are absolutely delighted with how the quizzes have been received and that we could play a small part in helping the NHS by raising some money.”

--- Mr Green on the success of the virtual quizzes

Pupils at the The New Beacon paid tribute to frontline NHS workers by creating rainbows with a variety of materials. Their work has been compiled into a moving video, which is accompanied by music from Adi and poetry by Liam, Sam and Oliver.

New Beacon Rainbows - #ThankYouNHS

About Good News Friday

The Good News Friday blogs aim to provide a little light relief, as we highlight some of the great works schools and their communities are engaged in.