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Two church schools win award for scheme to tackle global injustice

24 March 2023

St Luke’s C of E Primary School/Twitter

After gaining Gold Award status for the second time in Christian Aid’s Global Neighbours scheme, pupils at St Luke’s C of E Primary School in Sway were visited by the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Revd Debbie Sellin, who presented the award in a special assembly last week

After gaining Gold Award status for the second time in Christian Aid’s Global Neighbours scheme, pupils at St Luke’s C of E Primary School in Sway wer...

TWO Church of England primary schools have achieved record awards this month as part of Christian Aid’s Global Neighbours Scheme to help children to tackle global injustice and become advocates for change.

Both schools ran projects which helped pupils to learn about global poverty, and how they can play a part in creating a fairer world.

St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Beverley, South Yorkshire, became the first school to achieve all three levels of the award from bronze to gold, over the past three years; and St Luke’s C of E Primary School in Sway, Hampshire, was the first school in the country to achieve their second gold award.

Pupils and staff at both schools were involved in a range of activities, from gathering foodbank donations and recycling second-hand clothes to challenging food waste and engaging with climate justice, which helped to earn their schools the Global Neighbours’ accreditation.

The scheme provides a framework for thinking about global citizenship education in schools, and offers ideas for curriculum and collective worship activities.

A Global Neighbours schools programme officer at Christian Aid, Alison Brown, said: “The Global Neighbours Scheme was launched in partnership with the Church of England’s Education Office with a vision of helping young people understand more about the inequalities in this world, and helping them to become courageous advocates for those who have no voice. It’s wonderful to see how staff and pupils at both schools have taken this to heart and are seeking to tackle injustice.”

The deputy head teacher and global education lead at St Luke’s School, Sway, Mark Gannaway, said: “We took part in Christian Aid’s scheme because it gives us a practical way of living out our school’s Christian values of love, hope, and thankfulness.

“Our world is increasingly connected, and our hope is for our children to grow as responsible global citizens who care about issues such as the environment and access to health care.

“The children have especially enjoyed welcoming our many visitors to the school, including representatives from Orangutan Appeal UK; the National Park Authority, to talk about littering in the New Forest; and from Sway Greening, to see how we can all help by being a little greener”.

Since the scheme began, five years ago, 158 schools have received awards in 33 dioceses, and about 34,000 children have taken part. The diocese of Winchester has the highest number of schools nationally to have received awards, 20, of which St Luke’s is one.

The head teacher at St Mary’s School, in Beverley, Laura Wallis, said: “We are thrilled to be recognised for the work we have done as a whole school community to raise awareness of the inequalities across our globe, and, perhaps more importantly, the steps we can take to address these.

“The pupils learn about global issues regularly, and gain an understanding of injustice in our world. They have engaged with decision-makers speaking on behalf of those who are not always listened to. As well as challenging a local supermarket about the range and placing of Fairtrade products, they have raised their concerns with local and national leaders.”

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