Part of educating our children is creating an informed awareness of how fortunate they are and a clear understanding of how, through their own will and effort, they can make a difference to those less fortunate than themselves.
When deciding on charities to support, a balance is sought between local, national and global to develop this understanding, and also between charities which specifically support children and those applicable to the whole community. Our School Council and a Charities’ Co-ordinator help us to prioritise and to consult properly, before then asking the School community to get behind the various ventures. In this we are sometimes greatly-assisted by our very active and supportive Parents’ Association (SVPSPA).
Charitable ventures are initiated and run in a variety of ways. Sometimes, as in the case of the MacMillan Coffee Mornings and the ‘Mumma Mia’ Summer Performance, they are organised by the SVPSPA. Alternatively, a great many are organised by the School to support charities such as the Kent Wildlife Trust, Help for Heroes, the Dandelion Trust or the Save the Children Fund for Syria. Whole community events like the Harvest Festival and the Christmas Shoe Box appeal support local charities.
An excellent and recent example of how the School community harnesses its strengths was the SVPS Sport Relief 24 hour basketball marathon. Every child in the School took part, all teachers helped in some way and many parents found the time to drop in for a quick game throughout the night. It raised nearly £7,000, a fabulous total for any school, especially a Prep School. Incredibly in the same term, £2,000 was raised, too, for Readathon.