Curriculum Driver: Community
At Grange Park, we are keen to develop community in order to underpin and drive all aspects of the curriculum. We have a successful Acts of Kindness programme for children across the school where children are offered opportunities to volunteer their time to help others, both in and out of school such as litter picking, buddy reading and playground PALs (play activity leaders).
Family assemblies, which happen once a week, give children and staff the opportunity to get together with other classes in their Grange Park family and share successes, such as great attendance, fabulous work and making great choices as well as providing opportunities to discuss inspirational people and the half termly ‘character trait’ focus.
We are keen to develop awareness of mutual respect and tolerance of cultural diversity through a planned, sequenced programme of assemblies, community events and community links with local churches and care homes. Equally, we are strengthening and developing relationships with our parents, through workshops such as secondary transfer, supporting children with anxiety, and online safety awareness.
Staff and children work together to increase theirs and others awareness of the work of particular charities - local, national, international - by linking with local organisations supported by these, such as the Felix project. This year children will take part in volunteering in the community as part of our ‘Widening Horizons’ programme.
The Felix Project
We are pleased to be part of the Schools Programme for the Felix Project.
More than 10 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year whilst food poverty is a growing problem and parents struggle to put food on the table. The Felix Project will provide a free weekly delivery of surplus food to our school every Wednesday for distribution to our families.
Some of the food will be near to or past its 'best before' date. 'Best before' dates are about quality, not safety. When the date is passed it does not mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture. It is perfectly safe to eat.
For further information about the project please log on to The Felix Project's website at http://thefelixproject.org
Acts of Kindness
The children of Grange Park Primary School are encouraged to take part in volunteering through our Acts of Kindness (AOK) programme. We promote Acts of Kindness in the home, at school and in the community through the work that we do with numerous charities and initiatives like our ‘Widening Horizons’.
Within the school the programme allows children to take part in AOKs once or twice a week at lunchtime. These include: litter picking, helping out in the dinner hall, gardening, being a playground equipment monitor and supporting children in the younger years.
Children enjoy the responsibility and take it very seriously.
Mila in Jupiter class said “I enjoy reading to the younger children and helping them to learn. It makes me feel happy and grateful that I am part of the school.”
Elif in Jaguar Class said that she “Enjoyed mostly gardening because it reminds her of going to her grandpa’s with her cousin and helping them to water the flowers. I like helping others.”
Acts of Kindness are celebrated every half-term in special AOK assemblies where children receive special mentions for their contributions.
There are many emotional benefits for both giving and receiving kindness, but did you know that being kind also has many health benefits?
- It increases the amount of oxytocin (also known as the ‘love’ hormone in the body).
- It increases the production of happiness hormones in the body.
- Being kind can actually make you live longer.
- Kindness produces hormones called ‘endorphins’ which are the body’s natural painkillers.
- It improves your overall mood.
- Kindness has been shown to decrease social anxiety.
- Being kind reduces blood pressure.
Helping others is a huge part of life at Grange Park Primary School. We encourage social responsibility and are proud of our continuing commitment to charity. Each year, we take part in various charity events to help support a number of good causes. We raise hundreds of pounds each time thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of our children and their families.
There is never an expectation for anyone to donate and we try to be mindful of the cost of everyday living. The main charitable events that we support each year are:
Poppy Appeal (November) - This fundraising campaign is held every year in November, the period of Remembrance. We distribute iconic paper poppies and merchandise to raise vital funds to help the Armed Forces community.
Children in Need (November) - BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK. The children dress up and raise vital funds.
Sport/Comic Relief (March) - Across the UK and around the world, there are Comic Relief-funded projects helping children and young people. They fund organisations that not only catch people when they’re in crisis, providing emergency support; but also aim to build a better future by helping people to grow their capacity and resilience, so that they don’t end up in crisis again.
In the past, we have also organised other events suggested to us by children and parents/carers for charities such as AGE UK, Greenpeace and Appeal for Ukraine.
We want the children to be aware that any size of donation can have an impact, they can reach out to others and show love and compassion and be shown that they can make a difference in the world.
At Grange Park Primary School our ‘Widening Horizons’ programme aims to support and enable children to delve into new and challenging learning experiences. Each year pupils participate in events which give them an opportunity to discover, nurture and celebrate a range of talents and interests, real life experiences and enterprise. This we feel allows them to be inspired, try new things and raise their aspirations for the future.
Our first event was based on the ‘World of work’, where we gave children an insight into some of the different careers possible. This year our focus will be on volunteering in the local community.
In addition to these events, we hold termly ‘Talents and Interests’ assemblies where we invite children, staff and parents to showcase their talents and interests as well as celebrating the achievements of those in the audience. If you have a talent or interest that you would like to come into to talk about please get in touch with Rebecca Neale, Deputy Headteacher for Personal Development via the school office.