At Christ Church School we live out our Christian Vision and school ethos through our close connection with the community. We welcome, value and respect everyone connected to our school and aim to help children to develop their character in line with the British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of all faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. We also aim to reach out to other parts of the community so as to experience and enjoy the diversity of the area we live in, and to learn about and make a contribution to parts of society where support or action is needed. At our school children develop aspiration for themselves and for the communities in which they live. Our desire for them is to have a determined spirit to be advocates for change in local, national and global communities.
At Christ Church we place high importance in the emotional well-being of our pupils, families and the community around us. We work with our school community to provide understanding, support and an opportunity for change.
In our previous Ofsted inspection, our development point was to evaluate the impact of the school's work to promote community cohesion. We have embraced this as part of our culture since that time and there is now a tangible synergy within our community.
Community Cohesion – What we do!
Whole School Project
At Christ Church we have an exciting initiative! Each class has identified a community focus they are interested in where the children can learn about a project or organisation within the area and help in some way so that our children are making a real impact and a valuable contribution.
Greenwich Food Bank
In September Year 2 had a visit from a representative from Greenwich Food Bank who had lots of fascinating facts for the children and explained how the organisation works. From that, they decided that they would like to help by raising awareness in school and collecting particular items that the Food Bank have highlighted as an urgent need.
Reception and Year 1 are building a relationship with residents at a local residential care home. Groups of our children will make regular visits to the home where we will sing, read, craft and play board games with the residents. This is so valuable in many ways. The children will build an understanding of people from different generations and backgrounds. They can enjoy the company of the residents and have fun sharing stories and activities. The children will also develop an understanding that some of these people are lonely and therefore can see the impact they have in sharing some time and good company.
Our Year 4 children feel passionate about having an impact on the environment and the world we live. They have researched Eco Bricks, which is a global organisation whose vision is to work together to transition our homes and communities from plastic to greener alternatives, removing plastics from the biosphere. The children are making and collecting Eco Bricks - a reusable building block created by packing clean and dry used plastic into a plastic bottle. Ecobricks enable us to take personal responsibility for our plastic and Year 4 have started their eco journey by looking to clear the local area of unwanted plastics by using them in Eco bricks with the aim of building a sustainable structure.
Meeting friends and building relationships
Our Year 5 class are establishing a link with a local school for children with special educational needs. This link allows the children to learn about how life differs for people who have varying needs and also creates an opportunity for them to build relationships, share learning and experiences with local children of a similar age whom they may not normally have the chance to meet.
Homelessness in our community
After doing some work in class about Action Aid and sharing their learning in collective worship, our children in Year 6 voiced a desire to help people effected by homelessness. They have made contact with a local homeless charity organisation, Emmaus Greenwich, to find out more and see how they could have an impact. A representative from Emmaus will come to speak to the children about a time when they had been homeless, how they managed and how life has now changed for them. From that, Year 6 will identify what they can do to help and we look forward to seeing how their project evolves.
Our Year 3 children decided that they would like to help somebody in another country who does not have the opportunities in life that they do. They have selected the charity World Vision who they will be working with to sponsor a child. The children will be finding ways to raise funds to support their contact and they look forward to hearing updates and making building a strong two-way link with their new friend.
Other community links
Our school choir enjoy getting out and about and sharing their music with various groups within the community. Christmas is a particularly busy time for them where they visit the Memorial Hospital and Residential Care homes in the area. Easter and summer bring performances too with our Summer Serenade for school families and friends in the community being an annual highlight.
We have a strong link with Woodlands Farm. All classes visit the farm at least twice in the year to enjoy activities which support their learning in variety of areas across the curriculum. As well as this, we have our school allotment at the farm. Every class spends some time over the year tending to the allotment, whether that is weeding, planting, watering or harvesting. Our fabulous school chef, Marie, uses produce from our allotment in the kitchens and in cooking activities with the children.
Year 5 will enjoy spending time at the university again this year in a project that has been running for three years now. The children experience attending lectures, working on projects and presenting their own work in a lecture theatre to other students, staff and parents.
In return, we have mentors from Greenwich University who come to Christ Church regularly to work with and support children across the school.
Last year, our school council children played an important part in the Children's Parliament based at Under 1 Roof in Woowich. They worked with representatives from other local schools to experience what it is like to be a member of a council. The group planned an initiative to support others in the local area, brought activities back to their 'constituants' at school and developed a project ending in an event day where people from the local community could come and find out about projects and services in the area which may support them and their families. We look forward to being part of this project if it is run again in the future.
Greenwich Welfare Women's Refuge
It is important to us that the children in our school understand that there are people within our local community who are less fortunate and help them to build an understanding that by working together we are able to help. At Harvest and at Christmas we support the Women's Refuge, a centre for women and children who are escaping domestic violence. Donations of food, toiletries, and living essentials are collected at our Harvest Festival and donated to the refuge and at Christmas time we collect donations of Christmas presents for the children who are staying in the refuge to ensure that every child at the refuge receives a Christmas present.
Friday Club for lunch
The Friday Club is a group of elderly people connected to the church. We invite them to come and share lunch with the children regularly.
As part of a varied and enriching curriculum, our children have regular school trips or visits to/from organisations and places of interest to support their learning and develop understanding. These include religious and cultural visits where we look to educate the children and encourage the values of mutual respect and tolerance. We look to provide experiences of the customs of all major faiths across the school.
Links through the Church
The school is also part of the Church community and therefore we also support causes through Christ Church such as The Children’s Society, Christian Aid and last year we had a whole school focus on raising funds for Debt Slavery through the charity USPG.