Over the past few weeks we have been co-ordinating our response to the crisis in Ukraine. We felt it was imperative that students saw the Ukraine crisis and the refugee situation within the context of a world view.
In the first week, tutors showed and discussed the Ros Atkins series of BBC video clips that explained the backdrop of the conflict and the main protagonists. In addition, our ‘Thought for the Week’ (TFTW) activity addressed some of the immediate questions for our students, such as, ‘Will the war affect me?’, ‘Is there going to be a nuclear war?’ and ‘What about the refugees?’.
The following week, we broadened our students’ view and our TFTW theme was entitled ‘Understanding other conflicts - Syria’. Our students were then set the challenge of indulging in ‘random acts of kindness’ to illustrate, as Bob Kerrey says, ‘Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change’ and to offer our students an element of control in their own lives. The random acts of kindness are on display on sunflower petals around school.
Each week as a school, we have sought to keep in our minds people suffering as a result of conflict. Our tutor groups have nominated students to tie ribbons on the front gates to symbolise our allegiance with those suffering.
A group of Year 7 students gave up multiple lunchtimes to make pom-poms, keyrings and to bake cakes to sell to in school to raise funds to help refugees. We also hosted a non-uniform day and a ‘Great Ukrainian Bake-off’ to raise further money. We are proud to confirm that so far as a school we have raised a total of £1,386 which is fantastic.
Our Learning Support department have been tending to the school allotment to prepare for planting the sunflowers which tutor groups seeded in the newspaper flowerpots created before the Easter holiday.
As we enter the final term of this academic year, we are fortunate to be welcoming to our school community some of the first Ukrainian refugees to have made it safely to the UK. We know our students will give them a warm welcome to our school and to the High Peak.