A bumper crop of goods has been collected for the homeless and those in need by big-hearted children, families and staff at Newington Community Primary School in Ramsgate.
The donations are a central part of the annual harvest festival that was celebrated in style with virtual singing assemblies held in class bubbles with every child taking part.
As well as learning about the history of the autumn festival, boys and girls gave rousing renditions of favourite songs including Cauliflowers Fluffy, See the Farmer, Wiggly Waggly Worm and the children’s favourite, Conkers.
Music teacher Warwick Eldred filmed a singing assembly and then each class teacher played the video to their class for them to join in.
More than 500 donations, which will be distributed via Ramsgate Salvation Army, included a wide variety of tinned food, packets of rice and pasta, biscuits, cereals, tea and fruit squash, as well as personal care items like toothpaste. All donations were non-perishable and were quarantined before collection in the interests of health safety.
The festival was co-ordinated by teachers Samantha Sholl and Rachael Rowden. They said: “It was important to ensure the spirit of harvest festival was celebrated across Newington whilst protecting our bubbles.
“We pride ourselves on working as a tight-knit community to assist our wider community. We are eager to do our bit to help our neighbours, sharing what resources and food we have to ensure that nobody is left without the vital things they need.
“The world needs community spirit more than ever now and our children have been demonstrating the core values we hold dear – showing versatility and grit at the strangest of times whilst also remembering the importance of being kind to all.”
Classes also took part in a competition to design a harvest festival poster, a thank you card or a letter to the Salvation Army explaining why pupils felt it was important to donate to them. These will be shared via social media and a prize given to the winners.
The Reception children celebrated through a range of activities including vegetable printing, country dancing, music, dressing as farmers, building animal enclosures, making scarecrows, pumpkins and the colours of autumn leaves. Teacher Olivia Wheatley said: “We had an amazing time celebrating everything Harvest.”
Head Teacher Cliff Stokes said: “Newington has a big heart when it comes to helping others and supporting local and national causes. We pride ourselves on our citizenship and being part of our larger community.
“This year more than ever families and individuals need support and kindness – and once again Team Newington has dug deep to help make life a little easier for those who need our collective care through their thoughtful and generous Harvest Festival donations.
“Our ongoing aim is to make the school environment as natural and normal as possible for our children during these challenging days and a colourful, thoughtful and joyous celebration like harvest festival illustrates this perfectly.
“I am extremely proud of this marvellous team effort.”