Maureen Reynel from the local foodbank visited our school at the end of September. She met with the School Parliament and the School Prefects who presented her with the school's generous donations of food which were gratefully received.
Children learnt how FIND helps around 2000 families in crisis around Ipswich.
They were delighted to hear how the charity brings a little happiness to local children in need at Christmas. They decided that they would like Whitehouse families and staff to help Maureen this year by taking part in her charity’s Christmas Gift Appeal.
Staff agreed that it would be great to work together as a school community to make a difference to local children this Christmas. They also thought that the concept could be developed to enable children to gain a better understanding of money through a PSHE Curriculum Day in early December.
How was the day organised?
Students worked as elves in Santa’s Workshop throughout the day. They took part in a simulation game in the morning which enabled them to get a better understanding of money matters (how money is earned, how it is spent as well as how people might get into debts).
In the afternoon parents/carers came to school to work with their child to decorate a gift bag which was used to host one of the Christmas gifts we donated.
How did the school raise the money to buy the Christmas Gifts that they donated to the charity?
The School Parliament encouraged their peers to wear non-uniform for a £1.00 donation on the PSHE Day and to come dressed as an elf or wearing a combination of festive colours such as white, red and green.
Additional funds were also raised through the optional purchase of the gift bag made in the afternoon by the family.
All the funds raised on the day were used to purchase educational gifts which children and their families were involved in choosing at the end of the Curriculum Day.
152 KS1 and KS2 parents attended the events. £554.84 was raised on the day and used to buy in excess of 100 gifts which have now been sent to the charity. Thank you to the School Parliament for launching the initiative and to Whitehouse pupils, parents and staff for their kind generosity.
Comments from pupils after the event
I learnt that not all jobs are well paid. Sometimes, you have to do dirty jobs for little money.
When you are older, you should do your best to get a good job but if you can’t get a good job, you have to accept a lesser one.
I learnt that you should go to College to get a good career.
I learnt that you should be careful on how you spend your money, otherwise you can get poor or get into debts.
You are in debt when you owe the bank money.
I learnt how to use money wisely and responsively so that I don’t become poor or bankrupt.
I learnt that when you live with someone, you both have to discuss and agree what you are going to spend your money on.
We enjoyed working as a team and learning how to work well as a team.
Doing things for others
I like that the School Parliament are involved with the charity. It felt good to help other families.
I really enjoyed the PSHE Curriculum Day as it showed us how to share what we have.
I liked that I was helping others.
I enjoyed the day, because it was a nice thing to do , making bags for other children
I enjoyed making the bags, because I knew how the children would feel when they received them.
Having parents in school
I enjoyed the day because our parents learnt a bit more about us in school.
I enjoyed working with my mum, in the afternoon.
It would be good to have another Curriculum Day because we learn new skills which will be good when we are older.
Comments from staff after the event
Children were excited by the whole day. They enjoyed making the bags and were proud of them.
Having parents around was great.
The amount of parents coming along was great.
The children really enjoyed the Christmas craft and understood the principles of spending and saving money.
Parents were really keen to do this sort of activity.
It was also good for early years to be involved but at their own level.
Content was great for teaching children about how money works.
The game was fun and the children enjoyed it. It taught them some key skills such as inclusion, team work and thinking of others less fortunate etc. It was appropriate for the time of year and nice for the children to feel like they were off timetable and having fun for Christmas yet still learning crucial skills linked to the curriculum. I liked that.
Engaging activities, excellent opportunities for team work. All resources prepared and available to us in advance. Real life problems covered and opportunities for children to understand the importance of money. The children loved the morning sessions.
Both myself and my husband, really enjoyed the afternoon working with the children. We were impressed by the behaviour we saw in the classes - Parent Governor.