Last week we celebrated Harvest in school. Going back to my own childhood, I have happy memories of filling an old ice cream tub full of fruit and veg, covering it in cling film and taking it into school. There it would be met by 200 other ice cream tubs and would we celebrate a jubilant Harvest Festival, thanking God for his wonderful gifts. We would sing ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ and reflect on the good fortune God had bestowed on us in the form of a productive harvest for the farmers of our land.
The parcels would subsequently be delivered to the elderly folk of our parish community. The chosen lucky few year 6 pupils, would accompany the head teacher as he drove around to the homes of elderly parishioners delivering these beautiful creations. We went from residential homes to mansions – a simple good will gesture that was always greeted by genuine delight.
Maybe it is a sign of the times but the Harvest festival has changed beyond recognition. The idea of sharing a gift for the sake of simply bringing happiness is sadly long gone. Last Wednesday the charity ‘Urban Outreach’ came into school to speak with us about their winter watch appeal. Hearing the desperate need of those in our local community struck a chord with us all. On Friday our school community collected boxes and boxes of non-perishable items to donate to Urban Outreach. The response was quite astonishing and once again, our school community has surpassed itself with its generosity.
Whilst I will always smile when I look back at the Harvest festivals of my childhood, the impact of the collection we had last Friday will be far reaching and truly make a difference to the lives of others. I hope that when our pupils are older, they will look back and be reminded of a time when, despite being so young, they were already working hard to support others less fortunate than themselves. The empathy and understanding they demonstrated last week was quite remarkable and well beyond their years.
Once again, a fantastic effort from out school family that I am so proud to be part of. Thank you everyone!