16th April 2021 — In recognition of their work in the community, particularly during Lockdown, Gordon’s School has been selected as Finalists in the Goldsmiths’ Community Engagement Awards. The Surrey school, along with seven other schools from across the country, will now face a team of judges at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London on 23rd November.
For the Regional Finals, six students – Brayden Kerr; Noah Schollick; Ann Robinson; Abigail Hunter-Blanco; Owen Carter and Uyime Ntia from the co-educational day and residential boarding school in Surrey Heath, presented to Judges, including Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE, a Liveryman and former Prime Warden (equivalent to Chair) of the Goldsmiths’ Company. The judges described the school’s efforts as “inspirational” and noted that “….community engagement is in the DNA of the school”.
The judges heard that as schools closed for Lockdown in 2020, students and staff at Gordon’s joined the national effort. DT Teacher Tom Webb and his team made some 2,000 protective visors on the school’s 3-D printer for hospitals, care homes, supermarkets and GP surgeries. Sixth Former Magnus Jackson continued the work, producing ear savers on his 3-D printer.
Edwin Sutton the school’s Internal Fleet Manager and a former traffic policeman, delivered blood products and COVID-19 specimens. He also joined the London Ambulance Service as a driver.
Sixth Former Toby Johnson collected the deceased from hospital morgues and homes in Surrey and Hampshire to take to undertakers.
Meanwhile staff in the Catering Department raided school tuck shops and kitchens for food and disposable gloves to donate to nearby foodbanks.
Two of the school’s Medical Centre nurses volunteered for duties at Frimley Park Hospital.
And House Parents boosted morale with their Lockdown Live music events from the school. Neighbours enjoyed a mixture of contemporary, swing and rock from their gardens while the rest of the world tuned in to listen via a Facebook livestream.
The Hockey Team raised over £1,200 for the NHS by setting themselves a running challenge!
One Year 8 student produced around 30 cakes a week for ICU staff at St Peter’s in Woking. She also designed colourful images and motivational messages to decorate ambulances.
Thursday night claps for the NHS and keyworkers became very much a Gordon’s affair for neighbours in West End, Surrey as students picked up their bagpipes to salute those on the frontline. The Prince family with four children – all of whom play or played the bagpipes – joined in with their instruments from their driveway, to the delight of near neighbours.
More recently, a community art project ‘Day in the Life of Lockdown’ invited members of the school and wider community to capture an element of their day in a photograph. The aim of the project was to show how the community was connected during these challenging times.
In ‘normal’ years, the school holds an annual ‘Make a Difference’ Day when students visit local care homes; garden for the nearby church and infant school and sleep out overnight on the Parade Square at school to experience homelessness first hand.
Students bake cakes and serve tea to the elderly at Christmas before the Carol Services and in the summer.
The school’s Music Department is involved with Inter-Generational Music and visits elderly care home residents to sing and play music for them. This has been continued over lockdown via video recordings involving music every day in the lead up to Christmas and more recently music compilations as part of a Lockdown Music Festival.
The Pipes and Drums play not only for the school’s Parades but for Remembrance Services; school and village fetes.
All Sixth Formers are required to perform at least 20 hours volunteering as part of the Honours Programme. Every student exceeds this with some reaching over 200 hours.
Headmaster Andrew Moss said: “We are delighted to be regional finalists of this prestigious award, which recognises such an important part of life at Gordon’s. All our students are encouraged to take on responsibilities and contribute to life here and in the wider community through our extensive volunteering and service programme. As well as helping to build confidence, these opportunities cultivate the character strengths of courtesy; integrity; diligence; enthusiasm and resilience which underpin the school ethos.”
The Goldsmiths’ Company Community Engagement Awards were launched in 2019. The awards, which are student-led, celebrate the positive impact schools have through charitable and voluntary initiatives within their local communities.
Commenting on why the Goldsmiths’ Company had created the award, Mrs Cobham-Lowe said: “These activities are of vital importance to many people, but often go unrecognised. The Goldsmiths’ Company Community Engagement Award recognises the unsung heroes in schools up and down the country – young people who have given their time, energy and ideas to outstanding initiatives that support our local communities.”