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Cakes, crafts, and a chorus of kindness from our children

Brackenfield children planned a week of lovely activities this November to mark World Kindness Day 2022. Their aim was to cheer local people up at what can often be a dark and dismal point in the year when the nights draw in and the days become shorter.

'At a time when a recession is also looming, and with the cost-of-living crisis is putting immense pressures on families up and down the country, it was hoped that our approach would also give people across Harrogate a much-needed morale boost during these difficult times.

This year, World Kindness Day officially fell on Sunday 13 th November, and is an annual event created to celebrate kindness and all the wonderful benefits it brings.

2022 marked the 25th anniversary of this national day, originally created by not-for-profit organisation, the World Kindness Movement (WKM). It aims to inspire and encourage people to show greater compassion to one another in the hope of creating a fairer, better world.

During World Kindness week, our youngest cohort of children from the Nursery and Reception classes baked some tasty treats for residents of local Harrogate care homes. These were delivered in person by the school’s Year 6 “Community Captains” on Thursday, to Manor House and Hampden House, just in time for afternoon tea.

On Wednesday and Friday, Years 2 and 4 respectively sang songs in the town centre and shared small gifts with local shoppers. These gestures lifted the spirits of passers-by and gave everyone a brief opportunity to reflect during their busy day on how showing more kindness to those around us can provide a heart-warming, ‘feel-good’ factor.

Children from Year 1 participated in a kindness pebble drop in Valley Gardens and across the town centre area on Thursday, leaving heart-felt, hand-painted messages of good-will for others to find. Youngsters from Year 3 also delivered gifts and kindness notes they had made on the doorsteps of the school’s nearest neighbours.

On Friday, Year 5 and 6 pupils delivered letters, poems, and artwork to residents of Manor House and Hampden House. Not only did these showcase their creativity; they also demonstrated how the children had tried to capture – in pictures and in words – what kindness means to them.

Our Headmaster, Joe Masterton, said: “In our busy, modern-day lives, opportunities to think about how we can be kind to the people around us, or about how we should be more kind to ourselves, tend to be few and far between. World Kindness Day gave us a wonderful platform to reflect on this and to think about how the smallest gesture can mean so much to someone else.

“We’re very proud of all our children, and their teachers, in dedicating their time and efforts last week to show our community how much we care. Kindness is one of our four values, and it was great to see this inaction as we help our children to cultivate positive attitudes which will boost the mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved.”

In the run up to World Kindness Day, the children planned their activities in classes. They also shared their ideas with each other during whole school assemblies on what it means to be kind.

A Year Five pupil said: “Being kind feels good because you know you’re helping someone else feel better about their life. If no-one was kind, everyone would be sad all the time, and that’s not a world we want to live in.”

Another, from Year Three, added: “Being kind is about making people smile and feel happy and loved. We want everyone to feel like that.”

We are an outstanding-rated prep school, focusing learning on four key areas – Curriculum & Learning, Activities, Outdoor Learning, and Community – to ensure a well-rounded education is delivered to our pupils.

Encouraging community engagement forms an integral part of school life. Activities are spearheaded by two Community Captains from Year 6, who, with support from the Senior Leadership Team, fundraise and support important local causes. Year after year, these individuals continue to lead the school in making a positive impact within their local neighbourhoods through fundraising or other worthwhile activities that boost community spirit across the area.