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Covid-19 Summer 2020

The national lockdown of schools placed immediate constraints upon our partnership and community work, but such was the strength of our existing partnership commitments and administrative support that we were able to respond creatively and proactively to a range of issues.

Aims

The national lockdown of schools placed immediate constraints upon our partnership and community work, but such was the strength of our existing partnership commitments and administrative support that we were able to respond creatively and proactively to a range of issues.

Resources

After schools closed, we launched Online Resources, a collection of free digital resources for children and young people from Kindergarten to Year 13, and for their teachers and families. Anybody, from any school, is able to use them.

An immediate response to Covid-19 school closures  from the College was to begin a series of online talks that pupils from partner schools could access at home on their own personal equipment. These have proven highly successful. See Thinking About... case study.

The experience of staff who act as educational trustees have gained whilst working at the College has been utilised to aid and assist educational institutions in their preparations for virtual learning and partial re-opening. We regard this ongoing support for school governance as an important expression of our support for education more generally.

The College DT team (staff and pupils), used 3D printers to produce over 2,500 full-face visors at a rate of 50 per day, for health workers across south London. We were the first school to gain BSI accreditation and shared our design with other schools and companies enabling production across the country. In addition, we distributed over 650 eye-protectors from the Science department supplying local surgeries, hospitals, care homes, pharmacies and hospices. With the help of the Friends of the The College, we will fundraise to replace all the existing stock and cover the manufacturing costs of making the visors.

The College made 12 acres of playing fields and track available to the local community for recreational purposes. Keen to develop on the closer relations formed with our neighbours, the Master has created a forum of local people to work with the College on a public inclusion programme.

The College was used on a regular basis as an Army run Covid-19 Test Centre. Operational staff supported NHS and Southwark Council plans in order to safely carry out testing for keyworkers.

The College community has embraced the challenge of fund-raising during lockdown. DC Boat Club, with boys in Y9 to 13 rowed, ran and cycled 2,000,000 meters over five days to raise £2,069 in support of The Felix Project. Pupils in the Junior School were delighted to donate over 600 gently used books for The Children’s Book Project. Pupils in the Junior and Lower Schools took part in a Reverse Mufti Day which saw pupils wearing their uniform when learning from home whilst pupils in school wore their own clothes raising £1,010 for the National Emergencies Trust. A further £6,500 was raised for the NET through the 401 Challenge which was launched to celebrate our 401-year history. Our community was asked to challenge themselves and then donate. Creative challenges included: room redesigning, bike renovation, friendship bracelet making, poetry recitals, cycling, running, hopping, trampoline jumping and flipping, baking and Rubik cube solving.

In an attempt to tackle local digital poverty, the College launched Digital Inclusion, a pilot scheme to source electronic devices for pupils at City Heights E-ACT Academy and those known to the Kingswood Community Shop. One generous donor gifted £3,000 to support the project.

Impact

“Thank you for the facilities last night, the evening went off really well. The boys couldn’t believe how great it was and enjoyed themselves. I spoke to the manager for the team and I mentioned the friendly, she was very keen. Our boys are from the estate and are a mix in ages and abilities.”

Pc Tom SMITH whose youth team made use of College playing fields during lock-down

“Thank you for allowing us to use your facilities. It has allowed development and continuation of training. We are very grateful.”

GB Youth Team Athlete

Pupil Involvement

Since lock-down began in March younger children from within our community wrote over 100 cards and drew pictures to residents of three local care homes. In addition, members of our Chapel Choir sung to residents at the Dulwich Almshouse.

Older pupils have continued their volunteering in numerous safe ways to bring hope and practical support to those in need, including gardening, maintenance, shopping and the playing of their instruments (safely) in public for the pleasure of many.

In April pupils, parents and staff completed sporting activities to raise money for the NHS Covid-19 Appeal and other UK charities. As well as a weekly doorstep salute to the NHS, our CCF walked 7.5 million steps and raised £737.75 for the NHS Charities Together appeal.

Frequency

The College’s Partnership Team is actively considering how its existing partnership work can adapt not only to the ongoing challenges of COVID but also the post-COVID educational landscape.