Pupils at Vicarage Park are keen supporters of various charities.
For the past five years, as part of their curriculum, pupils in Year 5/6 have held a charity week which has regularly supported Action Aid and Christian Aid.
In addition to this, pupils support annual national events like Children in Need and Save the Children Christmas Jumper day as well as local initiatives such as the Christmas Shoebox appeal, and local charities like Blackwell Sailing who provide sailing experiences for people with disabilities. One of the charities each year is chosen by the School Council through pupil voice. The most recent chosen charity for 2019-20 was Cancer Care South Lakeland.
Pupils understand that it is much more than just raising money for causes. For example, they experience what not having water readily available feels like and this increases their sense of responsibilty to take action for fairness and equality.
Pupils also having a growing understanding that charities are belief in action. During 2018 we looked at the origins and history of Christian Aid and discovered that the charity was founded in 1945 by British and Irish churches to help refugees following the second world war. Since then, for more than 70 years, Christian Aid have provided humanitarian relief and long-term development support for poor communities worldwide, while highlighting suffering, tackling injustice and championing people’s rights. We have also been successful in gaining Global Neighbours accreditation, achieving the Bronze award.
The ethos group and some prefects worked with Mrs Winn to create a Courageous Advocacy tree in the hall. This reminds us of why it is important to speak out on behalf of others. The 'branches' were cut from our living willow wall at the front of the school and symbols of the charities we support were added as 'leaves'. The pupil group then created 'roots' from the Bible verses and stories where Jesus stood up for others. Another tree sprouted up in the Summer of 2021 - this time it was the 'Giving Tree'. Year 5 studied this book and then led a Collective Worship on it before the tree being on display in the main entrance.
As part of the Carol service in the Parish Church in December 2019, our Nursery and Reception pupils gave a selection box each to the local Kings Food bank, to remind us all that giving can be of gifts and time as well as money.
Despite the pandemic, we have continued our charity work and are proud that we have been able to support others during this difficult time.