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This week started by asking the children for their help in this term’s Pupil Voice (an initiative we began this academic year to involve the children in some decision making about parts of the school day which directly affect them). The previous terms have seen them decide how to spend £100 on new playtime equipment and what projects they would like to do to enhance Forest School provision. This term we thought it would be good to participate in a charity fundraising event in which the children have to actively do something rather than just come to school wearing casuals or have their parents bake cakes to sell. As we felt it important that the children had ownership of the event, they were presented with four choices of children’s charities and sponsored events: The British Heart Foundations ‘Jump Rope for Heart’, Save the Children’s ‘Den Day’, hosting a ‘Readathon’ to raise money for seriously ill children and providing them with much needed books and storyteller visits in hospital and Cancer Research UK’s ‘Race for Life’. The children will discuss this further in their classrooms and then representatives will be chosen to attend a ‘Very Big Important Meeting’ with me next week to report back their class decision. Those at the meeting will then have the difficult job of deciding the one charity that we will all work together to support. I know this will be a really tough decision as they will likely want to help all of them and there will have to be lots of compromise and negotiation about which one is ultimately chosen.

I have already been impressed with some of the children who have related to their personal experiences or showed empathy: “I didn’t like being in hospital for just two days so if children have to be in hospital longer than that, stories would be really good.”; “My Auntie had cancer so I would like to help that charity.”; “Your heart is so important … all children should have one that works properly.”; “If my home was destroyed I would be really sad.” I know whichever charity is finally chosen, the children will work really hard to raise as much money as they can and will also, hopefully, develop their skills of empathy, compassion and consideration for those less fortunate than themselves.

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