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

Posted on: 22 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...

This Wednesday marked #ThankaTeacherDay, which enabled many of us to come together to show our appreciation for those who work tirelessly to educate and inspire the next generation.

The Girls' Schools Association, along with 21 other leaders working in education, publicly thanked school leaders, teachers and other school staff. The letter highlighted the complex and challenging issues schools are facing at the moment and acknowledged the long hours, ingenuity and dedication many teachers have shown to support their pupils during this time.

To all teachers, thank you!

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“It’s a tough time for everyone at the moment, but it’s a great feeling to know that I’m doing something that could really help us get to grips with this awful disease.”

Tristram Waters, a computer science student at Bryanston School, is supporting a US research programme working to develop an effective treatment for coronavirus and other viral disease.

The Dorset sixth former researched and developed a plan to capitalise on his school’s computing resources. His initiative and foresight has led to Bryanston providing spare capacity on its computer network during the school shutdown to support the major supercomputing initiative known as Folding@home.

Folding@home is co-ordinated and managed by scientists at Stanford University in California. This work is now being used to find out more about the viral proteins associated with the coronavirus to see how they work, how they suppress our immune systems and to help in the development of an effective treatment for the disease.

Karan, Year 7 pupil at Emanuel School has been helping to raise spirits within his local community by getting involved in a neighbourhood concert.

A group of singers and musicians have been getting together in the driveway of his building to perform a free concert on weekends. Keeping a safe 2 metres apart, the performers share music with their neighbours in order to keep everyone’s spirits up.

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Children of key workers at The Mulberry House School have been making yoga cards for children without gardens.

The pupils, aged between two and seven, posted the cards through letterboxes with the note:

"Dear neighbours, we have created some yoga cards for people who do not have a garden. We hope you enjoy them and stay safe and healthy."

On Friday 22 May, Adam Pettitt, headteacher at Highgate School, will be running 106 laps around the school sports field to raise money for pupils affected by digital poverty. At the time of writing, £15,000 has been raised, which will be used to provide 50 Year 12 students at Acland Burghley School with laptops. Donations to the 'Laps for Laptops' campaign can be made here.

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Pupils and staff at St Albans School have been getting involved in an array of partnership and community action projects during the pandemic, from producing online learning materials for partner schools to shopping for the elderly. To see more of this inspiring work, follow the #SASWeCare hashtag on Twitter.

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.