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

Posted on: 03 Jul 2020

During lockdown, schools have demonstrated their resilience and readiness to help others, playing a vital role in the fightback against coronavirus. This blog has aimed to shine a light on this important work, drawing attention to the many different ways schools have stepped up to help their wider communities.

In the lead-up to the end of term, the ISC will publish its final 'Friday Feature' next week. Keep tagging us on social media with your community stories - so we can include you in our final edition!

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Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, discussing the launch of 'Developing Digital', a vital resource designed to help schools navigate the world of edtech.

Fettes College has been working in partnership with Scran Academy to prepare over 20,000 meals for the most vulnerable in Edinburgh during lockdown. Alongside staff volunteers and alumni, James Wood, catering manager at the school, and executive chef Ally MacDonald have helped to make delicious and nutritious meals for those in need.

"Fettes is committed to doing all we can to support our local community and strengthening the community connections we already have especially during the COVID 19 pandemic. When approached by Scran Academy, who we already have ties with through Fetlor Youth Club, we wanted to assist in whatever way we could. By providing our kitchens and trained volunteer staff we aim to support the incredible ongoing work of Scran Academy and ensure that they can positively impact more people in Edinburgh in need of warm, nourishing, safely prepared food."

--- Helen Harrison, head of Fettes College

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Joining Emily and Jessica in the challenge were Jessica’s sister Sophie, also a student at Burgess Hill Girls, and their dad Paul.

Jessica, a pupil at Burgess Hill Girls, and Emily, a student at Uplands Community College, have raised over £1,300 for charity by running a mile every hour for 24 hours. Organised by Phoenix Running, 'P24 - The Longest Day' was a virtual running challenge held on the Summer Solstice, Saturday 20 June.

“You would think that running on the hour would mean a fairly long break so it’s easier, it’s not! Between every mile your muscles fatigue and cramp. You have to motivate yourself to get back off the sofa. Eating was also challenging as there was not enough time to let our food go down so stitches were common and very painful. The night miles were the hardest as it was dark, our legs were tired and we had to try and not fall asleep, but when the sun began to rise at 4am the end was in sight!”

--- Jessica reflecting on her experience of the challenge

The girls decided to fundraise for Choose Love/Help Refugees, a charity supporting refugees all around the world, providing emergency aid and long-term solutions where they are most needed. Donations can still be made via their justgiving page.

In the lead up to the end of term, 44 members of Hampton School's male-voice choir, Voice of Lions, have come together to produce a virtual rendition of 'He ain't heavy, he's my brother'. The choir, which would normally be heading to the Edinburgh Fringe, decided to record their individual parts at home and collate them into one video. Click here to watch the inspiring performance in full.

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The Royal Grammar School in Guildford held its annual bake-off remotely this year, raising over £1,700 for the NHS and frontline carers. The theme of the competition was positivity, and staff, students and families all took part.

“The competition gave a much-needed creative outlet during this challenging period and our philosophy of #RGSTogether was very much in evidence as the whole community united behind such an important cause.”

--- Organiser Katherine Walker

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.