Norwich School are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the 'Whole-school community initiative of the year' category in the 2019 Tes Independent School Awards.
During 2017/18, the school has been privileged to work with over 200 local schools, charities, businesses and organisations in 190 outreach projects. The school places great importance on the role its staff and pupils play within the local community. Over the past year we have worked with over 80 primary schools and 40 secondary schools in a range activities from masterclasses, drama performances, and sharing of resources and facilities. Through our Community Service Programme our pupils have spent 5,700 hours volunteering with 42 local organisations. Pupil-led charity activities raised over £10,000 for local, national and international charities, with the Lower School receiving a personal letter of thanks from Sir David Attenborough for The World Land Trust Fund. The year has seen an eclectic range of activities, including the hosting of a Techathon STEM event held over two days at the school which was attended by 80 local children and their families.
The school has been privileged to grow strong links with particular organisations in our community, notably a link with social enterprise Friend in Deed has resulted in some vital work done to highlight the issues of loneliness amongst the older generations, which is particularly prevalent in Norfolk. As part of this musical scholars visited local care homes to give recitals to residents, providing much needed enrichment and helping forge links between the generations. The school organised a poetry writing competition, whereby local primary school pupils were invited to visit their nearest care home and make new friends amongst the residents, culminating in the writing of a joint poem about friendship. In June the school held an awareness day for the Alzheimer’s Society, which included a whole school assembly, workshops where pupils, parents and staff were invited to learn more about the disease and become registered “Dementia Friends”, pledging to continue the work of Friend in Deed and the Alzheimer’s society. As part of the day, residents from several local care homes were treated to a visit to the school and a musical recital in Norwich Cathedral. Finally, July saw the inaugural Intergenerational Sports Day held at the school, whereby local care home residents, families, pupils and staff were invited for an interactive day of sporting activities devised to foster co-operation between the generations. Teams ranging in ages from 0-90 years old were encouraged to work together to bridge the gap between young and old.
Ongoing outreach activities include hire of our Blake Studio Theatre, Sports facilities and lending of school vehicles to other organisations to enable trips and visits. The school has recently held its 16th University Access Summer School, welcoming 140 state pupils from across the region for a week of intensive Higher Education preparation, with talks from industry leaders, admissions experts and interview practice and advice.
In January we were delighted to publish our nationally commended outreach publication, Reaching Out, which detailed the ongoing impact the school has within the local community. Click here to view Reaching Out.
Mrs Hill, Assistant Head (Admissions, Marketing and Outreach) said:
'We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Tes Independent School Whole-school Community Award this year as we have made even more outreach and community links than ever before, following the publication of our ‘Reaching Out’ document. A particular highlight, was on the first ever Norfolk Day in the summer, where we hosted an Intergenerational Sports Day; we had an age gap of 90 years between team members and there was such enthusiasm from our partner, Kelly Lindsay of Friend in Deed, and our own pupils who helped the day to run so smoothly, especially in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees!'