Endeavour MAT Home School Newsletter 15th May

Posted on: 14/05/2020

EEndeavour MAT Newsletter 15th May 2020 

 

“How do we change the world?  One random act of kindness at a time” Morgan Freeman

Kindness is an undervalued attribute yet has the power to change minds, to change outcomes for the better and to make ourselves and others feel appreciated, loved.  Whilst we are physically apart it is vital for us to feel emotionally connected to our school communities as well as our local communities and family members.

Kindness and empathy help us relate to other people and have more positive relationships with friends, family, and even strangers we encounter in our daily lives. The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. In short, doing good does you good!

Endeavour MAT schools have been taking part in the Mental Health Foundation’s Random Acts of Kindness Challenge as a tool to help support and connect students during lockdown. Their website includes lots of inspiration for acts of kindness for our students as well as valuable tips for maintaining mental health during lockdown.

One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in these uncertain times. People are coming together to sing on balconies in Italy, others are setting up in groups to help the elderly or vulnerable.  We also know some of your have held virtual movie nights and some have created choreographed dances over video chat to share with the world. Acts of kindness make the world a happier place and there are still lots of things that we can do for other people to inspire kindness in unforeseen times:

Our students have embraced the challenge and are sharing countless instances of kindness, including babysitting, preparing meals, staying in touch with family members who live alone and much more besides! 

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Mrs Maycock of WGSG Mathematics Department is a member of a St John Ambulance band.   Her bandmaster organised for them to create a video of them playing, and generally having fun, which was sent to all the St John volunteers who have been working in the Nightingale Hospitals and assisting with local ambulance services.  The video was so well received and had so many views and shares on Facebook etc. that they ended up doing an interview and a couple of their members did a “live on air” session broadcast on BBC Radio Kent.  A few of Mrs Maycock’s band decided it would be fitting to play The Last Post for their own neighbours to mark the 11am minute silence.  Mrs Maycock has shared the below photo of her playing and one of her son who is responsible for the wonderful bunting and Stay Safe artwork in the window!  The full video of her band’s brilliant performance can be viewed on youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAMAZKCr1Y4

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Rachael C of WGSG 8B baked this wonderful cake to commemorate VE Day.... and provide a delicious treat for her family.

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Annabelle C of WGSG made and decorated this wonderful bunting in celebration of VE Day - in memory of the victory of the Allied forces in the Second World War.

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Mrs Black, librarian at WGSG.  “This week our focus has been on kindness and it has

been wonderful to see all the little random acts of kindness that you have participated in or been on the receiving end of. Continuing with this theme, I have put together a list of books you might wish to read. Some are about kindness in general, some have a character that is particularly kind, and some show us how even the smallest acts can make a difference in the world”.

Screen shot 2020 05 14 at 124737Book of the week has to be Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. The following passage discusses why people do acts of goodness or kind things.

‘One day she bought a small plant, an African violet in a plastic pot on sale for ninety-nine cents at a drugstore.

“Who’s it for?” I asked her.

“I’m not exactly sure,” she said. “I just know that someone at an address on Marion Drive is in the hospital for surgery, so I thought whoever’s back home could use a little cheering up.”

… We went to the house on Marion Drive… She tied the violet ribbon around the pot. I held her bike while she set the plant by the front door.

Riding away, I said, “Why don’t you leave a card or something with your name on it?”

The question surprised her. “Why should I?”

Her question surprised me. “Well, I don’t know, it’s just the way people do things. They expect it. They get a gift, they expect to know where it came from.”

“Is that important?”

“Yeah, I guess-“

… Getting credit…

“What about it?”

“Well, it’s nice to get credit”.

The spokes of her rear wheel spun behind the curtain of her long skirt. She looked like a photograph from a hundred years ago. She turned her wide eyes on me. “Is it?” she said’.

Recommended reads for all years & sharing with wider family

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Main character Roberta “Bobby” Waterbury was voted one of the kindest fictional characters in children’s literature.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

This classic novel shows how kindness is a choice, and the impact it can have on those closest to us.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

"When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind."

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

“Just like your mother you’re unfailingly kind ... a trait people never fail to undervalue, I’m afraid.”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind: Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage.”

The BFG by Roald Dahl

A story of loyalty and compassion, this book teaches us all that good things come to those who wait.

Recommended for Year 10 and up

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne

“A definite must read for anyone who wants to understand how hard the world can be sometimes and just how far a little kindness can go in making it a better place! #KindnessIsContagious

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A touching novel about the unyielding nature of loneliness, the power of kindness - no matter how small the gesture - and about friendship.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

High school seniors Kendall and Max witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers.

Henry M of WGSB 8T has been running 1 mile a day for 26 days to raise money for the NHS and in particular Darent Valley Hospital. He has raised £429 so far and has 7 miles left.  This is brilliant Henry – well done, and good luck for the remainder of your marathon.

Here is a link to his fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/henry-s-2-6-challenge452

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Emma B of WGSG has been litter picking with her family whilst out on her daily walks.  A wonderful initiative that benefits everyone who uses the Heath for their daily exercise.  Emma’s family’s effort was picked up by the local papers who published the below feature.

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/dartford/news/i-can-use-my-litter-picker-mum-225207/

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Iona of WGSG 7A made dinner for her family, a delicious cottage pie!

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Farha of WGSG is taking time to think of her family and do what she can to support them, she shared the below update;

 "During these hard times, my sisters and I, have been trying our best to pull our weight around and help ease the stress that my parents are having. Some of these acts of kindness are keeping things clean, looking after our brother and helping with the cooking. One of the most fun acts of kindness was a zoom party for my four-year-old brother and 14-year-old sister with our relatives. This month is very important to us as it is Ramadan. Although we are not able to celebrate it like we would normally do, we still fast and we and are still grateful to have each other in this holy month. Having a member of the family in the NHS can be worrying, however, we are able to support one another in this strange time. I have called my friends to check on them and would like to again. Every night we find time to relax and watch some tv or a movie."

Theo P-C, Sam H, Tommy C and Leo R of WGSB have been working with their group  North Kent 3d Face Shields www.3dfaceshields.co.uk to produce vital PPE. So far, the group have made over 6,000 shields all distributed to local NHS staff, carers and a host of key workers!

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/gravesend/news/more-schools-rally-behind-ppe-effort-226174/

The senior leadership team at at Stone Lodge school made and distributed wellbeing packs to their staff, a wonderful gesture much appreciated by the team as they work tirelessly to ensure all students are supported in their home studies.

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Lucy B of WGSG 9C shared the below act of kindness with us;

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Lola L of WGSG has chosen to do something for her sister as her random act of kindness.  A movie viewing den and a treasure hunt!

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Belle C of WGSG “My random acts of kindness During corona; I have been missing both of my nan and grandads a lot so every week we try and Facetime them to catch up as they can’t leave their house and so it has been a hard time for them. We have also been buying their groceries to ensure they have all they need. My mum is also very stressed with her work at the moment and so I try to help out at home and make her cups of tea when I can”.

Students have been making their own wellbeing toolkits as one of their activities to ensure positive mental health and wellbeing during lockdown.  Teaching staff have been impressed by the wonderful range of upbeat messages and joyous images students have used in their toolkits, including these from Rosie S and Charlotte S of WGSG

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Daisy M of WGSG 9C has made a jumping course for her dog, which we love the idea of.   Just look at that face!

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Thank you to all students who have shared photos and news of their home school studies and down-time activities, we are thrilled to receive so many!  Including;

Caitlyn T of WGSG 7C has been practising her piano on her breaks from online learning to take her away from the computer .. which must be lovely for everyone else at home too!

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Ernie of Stone Lodge has been taking advantage of the good weather by heading out on his bike for his daily exercise.

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Shin of Stone Lodge is studying hard at home .. well done Shin, your dedication is paying off!

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Tegan M of Stone Lodge has been working hard on her school work as well as going out with her brother for bike rides. 

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Sonia F of WGSG 9A has been making the most of her time at home, completing her online school tasks as well as cooking for the family and playing badminton. You’re doing a great job Sonia!

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WGSG Designing the Built Environment Y9 students have been making models of their cafe designs at home.  They were given the school as a client and have created sustainable buildings with features such as green roofs, recycled water systems and solar panels.  Mrs Baillie has been thrilled with the quality of the designs and technical models. 

These are models for a Cafe design that year 9 have been working on.

Including this amazing one by Isabella D-C which includes solar panels and a living roof

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Amelia’s accomplished design includes panoramic windows and a flexible use of communal space

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This great Lego model from Neval S

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And this lovely example all made in school colours from Eloise E

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“Why not take part in a local poetry competition and get your creative juices flowing? Details are below - Students from all schools are invited to take part

If you would like to send me copies of those poems at LWakeling@wgsg.co.uk  I can then share them with teachers at all of our schools so we can judge the best, hand out rewards and publish some for all to enjoy! Do contact me if you need any advice on how to go about this. Best wishes Ms Wakeling

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WG6 students have been sharing news of their lockdown time with us, including;

Screen shot 2020 05 14 at 125200Sam GreenbankDuring my time at home I have enjoyed pursuing other hobbies such as running and drumming. I have been helping Mr Anderson (of WGSB) test the new features on his chemistry website and assisting him in ironing out the bugs. Last week I began working with my dad as he reopened his building sites. Mixing up cement and laying bricks are not things I would’ve thought I’d be doing at this time of the year but I guess that’s life.                                                                                                                                                    Tanisha in Y13 has been getting involved with the South London Sikh Youth volunteers during this difficult time. They are doing amazing things to serve the community such as providing Free Mobile Food, offering assistance and help if you call 02080585957 or via Gurdwara Sahib Woolwich. Instagram- southlondonsikhyouth 

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Head Girl, Jess Routley.  My theatre school planned a Danceathon to raise money for the NHS- me and the other dance teachers led it for pupils and their families and we raised £4,700!

Mr Willis, IT support manager at WGSG is, like us all working from home .. his new fluffy PA is providing a unique approach to support!  He sent us this photo and we couldn’t resist including it in the newsletter.

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STEM Resource.  GSK are offering free STEM Learning resources on their website.  “During this challenging time, we want to help you to bring STEM to life while teaching remotely. Some of the resources on our GSK STEM Education website are perfect for young people aged 11-14 to do at home with little or no equipment”.

Kent County Council have provided the below Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support information and advice for families.

“We have seen an increase in distress in young people, specifically 10 to 16 who are feeling socially isolated and may be struggling with conflict or relationship difficulties at home.  In addition, we know that young people who display behaviours associated with neurodevelopment conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or ADHD are likely to find it more difficult to recognise their distress and access support associated with their wellbeing.

Action is being taken across schools, health services and social care to try to identify young people who may be particularly vulnerable to emotional distress at this time. However, we would like to draw your attention to a range of support available to young people and their families. 

If families or children are not sure what support is needed, then they can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 123 4496 to talk through what information, advice and support might be appropriate.  This is also the number to call if a child needs urgent mental health support.

For people of all ages needing immediate mental health support, just text the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258.  This is a new 24/7 text service provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line as part of the Kent and Medway Release the Pressure campaign.

Other services that young people can access directly are:

Kooth is a mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people aged 10 to 16 across the whole of Kent. The service is free and can be accessed at www.kooth.com. It’s a place to get advice, information and support 24/7. Young people can chat to a friendly qualified counsellor Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 10pm and Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 10pm. 

·     Accessing www.moodspark.org.uk or www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk to learn about mental health and find tips and resources to keep emotionally healthy.

·     Texting ChatHealth for support around physical and mental health on 07520 618850. The number is monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

·     Self-referring to the Children and Young People’s Counselling Service at www.kentcht.nhs.uk/forms/school-health-service-referral-form

·     Accessing the Big White Wall if aged 16+ for anonymous support through https://www.bigwhitewall.com

Next week.  Food!   During lockdown we have spent more time than ever cooking together and eating together as a family. So many of you have shared pictures of delicious cakes you have baked and new recipes you have tried.  Whether you have turned to the comfort of an old favourite, developed new skills (hands up anyone who has cracked the perfect sourdough), or joined the masses baking their #bananabread, eating and cooking together is something that can be enjoyed by the whole family!   Please send us us your recipes and baking experiences to share in our next week’s newsletter to be in with a chance of winning a Waterstones egift voucher (which can be spent online)!  Four prizes up for grabs £10 to the winner from each school and a further overall winner voucher of £10

I hope everyone is well in mind and body … to finish, Dr Newson of WGSG’s weekly dose of fun!

One for my English teacher. Thanks for explaining the word “many” to me.

It means a lot.

A Mexican magician tells the audience he will disappear on the count of 3. He says, "Uno, dos..." and then *poof* … he disappeared without a tres!

and

I think I want a job cleaning mirrors. It's something I could really see myself doing.

Stay safe and stay in touch .. we look forward to welcoming all of our students back when it's safe for us all to do so.  In the meantime, please send photos and news to gwellcoat@endeavour-mat.co.uk

 

Very best wishes,

 

Mrs Lodge CEO Endeavour MAT, Mrs Lawson HT, WGSG, Mr Guthrie HT, WGSB and Mr Barnett HT, Stone Lodge School.

 

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