To enable our community to live its vision and become Good Samaritans who are committed to serve others, we encourage our children, staff and families to take part in a range of social action projects.
We support a number of national charity events such as Children In Need, Comic Relief, Sports Relief and Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. But we also feel that it is important for our pupils to understand that there is disadvantage, need and the requirement for social action in our local community. Therefore we have strong links with our local Foodbank, Storehouse in Trowbridge, collecting donations for them through our Harvest Festival and a Reverse Advent Calendar each year. We also collect Christmas gifts for a local charity Ruksak 45218 which are distributed to families in the community who are struggling to make ends meet. Through these actions we can show our thankfulness as well as serve others.
We empower children as much as possible to plan, organise, lead and carry out these events. In March 2022 the children asked to and then organised a number of events to raise money for Ukrainian refugees. These included a non-uniform day and a sponsored walk. In October 2022, a Y6 pupil arranged a whole school event to raise knowledge of and money for Young Minds a charity that fights for young people’s mental health.
It is also important for our children to understand how actions beyond raising money can be as powerful and effective. The national restrictions brought in during the covid pandemic in 2020, made us think more deeply about how isolated some people within our local community are, and how we could show friendship to them. During the first national lockdown we started a penpal programme between children and villagers who were having to shield. We also made Christmas decorations, cards and wrote letters to residents in two care homes who were unable to see family and friends during the festive period in 2020. Following the easing of restrictions, we have begun a partnership with a local care home, Blenheim House in Melksham. This has started with a class of children visiting the home to share a musical performance with the residents, and we are planning other similar events in the future.
Another way in which our children show their commitment to service and that actions speak louder than words, is through a variety of ecological projects that we undertake in the local area. In particular we have worked with the parish councils in both Keevil and Steeple Ashton to set up a regular programme of tree planting within our catchment area. We have earned a gold Green Trees Award in recognition of our efforts.
We have also set up a Share Library for both the school and village community. In all of these ways, children learn and understand how they can challenge and effect change, and how they can actively express their compassion and generosity through service.