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

Posted on: 27 Mar 2020

Schools across the country have been joining with their local communities to help the UK’s 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...

We are in uncharted territory. People have had little time to prepare for the upheaval that has already occurred, or that is to come. The sheer number and scale of the issues facing each and every one of us has created a feeling of widespread anxiety. Despite the challenges we face, it has been so heartening to see schools thinking beyond their own gates and supporting the communities we live and learn in.

The number of schools, teachers, parents and pupils determined to play their part brings some light at these dark times. So, each Friday, we aim to provide some good news by highlighting the measures so many of you have gone to to support others.

Here we shine a spotlight on just a few of the examples that caught our eye this week...

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“I was very excited to work on the shields, as it was a project with real world impact. Working on the project and testing our results on the equipment from the QMC was a great experience in hands-on design and evaluation practice. I am thrilled we get to help out.”

--- Jackson, Y12

Sixth formers at Trent College have been busy creating virus protection shields for doctors at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC). The college knew they had the skills and facilities to help and students were eager to get involved and support the NHS during this critical time. The project also provided students with valuable experience in applying their D&T skills to real-life situations.

~ 11 of the virus protection shields are already in use at Queen’s Medical Centre ~

“It was a brilliant opportunity to provide help and assistance in the local community. We had to react quickly to produce a safe and accurate product that could sustain safe working conditions for medical staff at this challenging time. The time we were given to complete prototyping and manufacturing was tight and it was a real challenge to interpret the brief and then adapt our design to fit different hospital machines. I am pleased to be doing my bit to help the NHS during this national crisis.”

--- Jake, Y12

Headington School pupils have been helping unmapped communities in order to make a COVID-19 response in these areas.

Missing Maps is a global project which asks volunteers to help map places in the world for which there are no maps. If communities are unmapped they are left out of aid or government strategies when responding to disasters and other emergencies. The project uses satellite imagery and an online tool to allow users to trace around buildings. There are 200,000 global contributors to the scheme.

Since Headington School started running a club to support this project last year, they have mapped 73,000 buildings. With the global pandemic, it takes on a new significance but the principle is exactly the same – if the virus reaches places that are not mapped, nobody knows where to find communities, roads, or health and community centres to help them and the virus could have a much faster and more devastating impact.

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“It’s a great way to actually take some positive, tangible action even while stuck at home.”

--- Hannah Badger, geography teacher and leader of the project.

More information about the project can be found here and information on how to sign-up can be found here.

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--- Pupils at Langley School with their personalised gift boxes

Many schools have been showing their support for NHS workers.

Cheltenham College has opened up its car parks for NHS staff to use, providing valuable spaces for emergency vehicles and freeing up room for visitors and patients in local hospitals.

Pupils, parents and staff at Langley School have shown their appreciation by donating hand-decorated wellbeing packages to NHS staff at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

Norwich School has created an art and design challenge whereby pupils are encouraged to create thank you cards for those working in essential public services. Submissions are shared across social media under the hashtag #norwichschoolsaysthankyou.

...We leave you with our final message today, delivered by Hampton School's modern languages team, who are doing their bit to drive home the Government's message: #StayHomeSaveLives

Stay At Home - Modern Languages

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.