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

Posted on: 01 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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Staying fit and active during the lockdown

With so many examples across social media this week of pupils undertaking online PE lessons and fun activities to raise money for charity - including the 2.6 challenge - Julie Robinson, ISC chief executive, discusses the importance of keeping fit and active during the lockdown.

A ring design by an art teacher at John Lyon School has been chosen by a leading London jewellery firm to be put into production and sold to benefit the NHS.

Courtney Burley submitted her signet ring design to 360Jewellery, which was running the competition. Courtney’s design incorporates the words “First do no harm”, written by Greek physician Hippocrates, whose Hippocratic Oath forms the underlying ethical rules of modern medicine to this day; and the snakes from the Rod of Asclepius is a symbol used widely in healthcare.

Entries to the competition were shortlisted and then voted on by the public. For winning the competition, Courtney will receive the first ring produced, with others sold to raise funds for NHS workers. The ring can be purchased via a specially created PayPal page.

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“I really wanted to do something with my time over the Easter holidays to help raise money in some way, I saw this competition and thought I could use my creativity to enter my design for a good cause. When I was selected I was thrilled that my ring design was going to be sold to the public, to raise money for the NHS! I’m really glad to be able to contribute to this fantastic cause with my signet ring design.”

--- Courtney Burley, art teacher and John Lyon’s Charity Coordinator

Westholme School and Thomas Franks, the school's caterers, have started working with Blackburn Council to provide hot meals for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. In partnership with Together Housing, Thomas Franks will deliver 750 hot meals throughout the week to the Blackburn Youth Zone and the charity Newground. Fresh fruit hampers will also be delivered to those working in the North West Ambulance station.

Listen to James Pate, Westholme School's catering manager, speak on BBC Lancashire Radio about the work Thomas Franks and Westholme School are doing to support the Blackburn Council and local charities throughout this difficult time.

“I am so grateful to Westholme for opening their catering facilities and for their ongoing support throughout this uncertain time. We will continue to provide our services as long as they are needed, with the generous contributions from our donors.”

--- Frank Bothwell, founder of Thomas Franks

A pupil at Haileybury School has created colourful face masks from recycled Indian clothing to protect people in her neighbourhood. Sitara came up with the idea, during lockdown in New Delhi, to transform the traditional saris into something more useful. With the help of her family, she used scissors, thread and stretchy bands to build around 70 masks in different shapes and sizes.

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“The pandemic has impacted almost every fraction of life. Especially for those who are not as privileged and are in dire need of food, resources and other essential supplies. Keeping that in mind, I decided to take up the initiative to make face masks out of Indian saris in order to provide these people with a basic necessity such as a mask.”

On the last day of the spring term, Ivy (Year 2) and Alfie Prior (Year 4), pupils at Lewes Old Grammar School, agreed between themselves to wear their school uniform as they did their schoolwork from home, in exchange for £1 each from their parents - which they wanted to give to the NHS. Their parents topped it to £10 each and the children donated it to the NHS.

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Songs of thanks

Four Winchester College pupils, who formed a band at the school earlier this year, have produced a cover of Edge of Tonight, honouring the NHS. The track is inspired by their parents who are working in local hospitals.

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Anya Goel, Year 11 pupil at Hill House School has written a beautiful song, "Rainbow at the end of the Road", as a tribute to all the front line workers keeping us safe in these unprecedented times.

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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.