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

Posted on: 29 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...

The Schools Together Group has published a new report entitled ‘The Missing Two Thousand', which explores how innovative cross-sector partnerships can support disadvantaged students into university.

While many partnership projects have been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, state and independent schools continue to collaborate remotely; with pupils utilising online learning resources and workshops and staff members taking part in valuable professional development programmes.

Read ‘The Missing Two Thousand’ in full here.

Tom Arbuthnott on the launch of 'The Missing Two Thousand'

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Recognising the increasing demand on food banks during the pandemic, two Year 8 students at St Albans High School for Girls took it upon themselves to use their daily hour of exercise to raise money for Luton Foodbank.

Over the course of several weeks, the girls each ran 100km, raising over £2000 for the cause.

Rory, a 16-year-old pupil from St Peter’s School, York, has launched a soup run for local over 60s who have been advised to self-isolate due to the coronavirus pandemic. The service also offers a point of contact for residents who live alone with no family to check on them.

Rory distributed letters to the older residents of his village with information about the soup run and his contact details. Now he delivers to 15 villagers twice a week, using a delivery vehicle fashioned out of a golf trolley and two folding plastic crates.

A local Tesco store also donated £180 worth of flowers free of charge to Rory, after he explained the purpose of the soup run when trying to purchase the large quantity of vegetables required to make the soup. Rory has since distributed the flowers to older and more vulnerable people in the village, along with his portions of soup.

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“I’m doing this to help save lives, brighten someone’s day and to bring all my friends back together by wearing this sweatshirt”.

Ten-year-old Martha from South Hampstead High School has designed a sweatshirt to celebrate key healthcare workers and raise funds to support the NHS.

Inspired by the rainbow pictures spotted in people’s windows, Martha decided to paint her own, in appreciation of NHS workers and as a symbol of hope amid the COVID-19 crisis. Martha’s mum then printed her colourful design on a sweatshirt as a surprise. She was so pleased with the result she decided to make more to sell to her school friends, with all profits going to the NHS.

To purchase a sweatshirt, contact

Sixth formers from three Manchester schools have joined forces to launch HomePal, an engaging new home-learning programme which aims to enrich and enhance the education of younger pupils.

Pupils from Withington Girls' School, Manchester High School for Girls and The Manchester Grammar School decided to work together on a joint educational project. Several Zoom calls later and HomePal was born.

The colours blue, burgundy and yellow run throughout the Instagram post templates and reflect the uniform colours of the three participating schools, while the name HomePal and the logo were selected to represent the concept of home-learning.

Content is primarily targeted at school children in Years 7 to 9, but HomePal’s contributors say their lessons are attracting users of all ages keen to learn a new skill or subject during the lockdown period. Though most of the topics on offer have an academic element, they are intended to be fun and interaction is actively encouraged. The pupils also felt it was important to include mindfulness lessons, in order to support mental health during the lockdown period.

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“It’s a great way to expand horizons, particularly for younger children missing their usual school environment. It’s not meant to replace school remote learning but extends their studies and is also an opportunity to try subjects they may not be taking currently, such as Chinese or mindfulness.”

--- Shamae Griffin, Withington pupil and writer of HomePal’s Spanish lessons

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Norwich Lower School pupils have written 140 letters to elderly residents living in care homes. Inspired by the Literacy Trust's #mydearnewfriend campaign, the letters aim to bring some cheer to residents who have not been able to receive visitors during lockdown.

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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.