During this year’s annual Woldingham THRIVE Day, students spent the morning serving the community and focusing on this year’s Sacred Heart goal, Social Awareness.
At the start of the morning, Mardeners attended a liturgy with Fr Gerry who set the scene perfectly, speaking about our love and service for one another and our duty to protect God’s creation. Some of Year 7 then set to work gardening in the grounds and preparing a tea party for support staff – a THRIVE Day tradition! Others prepared thank you notes and a small gift for the guests. It was incredibly impressive how the girls managed to decorate biscuits, cakes and the dining room in a relatively short space of time. They hosted their guests beautifully, serving them tea, coffee and cake and ensuring that they each sat next to a member of staff for a chat. A special mention must go to India who gave an excellent vote of thanks to the support team. Year 7 also wrote some letters and poems to the Sisters of Duchesne House, telling them of their experiences of Woldingham so far, and the morning was rounded off with an eco poster competition as part of our push to recycle and save energy around school.
Year 8 took part in some eco master classes run by a company called Green Up Your Act. They received an incredibly interesting presentation on eco houses, known as Earth Ships, and plastics in the ocean. Many asked very insightful questions in the Q&A session, displaying a real awareness of damage to the planet and the need to change this. They then took part in two upcycling workshops, coming away with an eco fish and a notebook hand made from old maps.
Year 9 spent the morning helping in the local community. In tutor groups, they variously entertained the elderly in residential care homes, packed food for local food banks and built a bug hotel for the Orpheus Centre’s garden. The girls were excellent ambassadors for the school, mucking in, helping as much as possible and living the sacred heart goals through their enthusiasm, energy and actions. Mr Kellaway and their tutors were very proud of them!
Year 10 lent a hand at churches in Caterham, Warlingham and Woldingham, where they cleaned, gardened, filed, baked and made Christmas decorations. Staff from both the churches and Woldingham were most impressed with how enthused the girls were with their jobs and how well they did. It was a fantastic morning and made a real difference to the churches.
Year 11 were lucky enough to have the opportunity to assist teachers at four local primary schools: St Francis’ Catholic Primary, Godstone Village, Woodlea and Warlingham Park. They were very excited about working with the pupils and were warmly welcomed by each school. The girls created collages and wall decorations, listened to and helped pupils read, painted, worked in the library and helped with Maths and English lessons. They had a wonderful morning and really appreciated the value of spending time with their younger counterparts.
Lower Sixth students gave their time to local charities on visits organised by Tandridge Voluntary Action. One group spent the morning at Their Voice in Caterham, a charity that supports victims of trafficking and their children. Girls sorted baby clothes by age and season, ready to be packed into kits to be sent out across the UK. A second group visited Whyteleafe Scout Hall and practised their DIY skills, painting the inside of the hut. The final group were not afraid to get their hands dirty and ventured onto Kenley Common where they enthusiastically removed scrub from key heritage sites. Great fun was had by all and the visits instilled among many a desire to continue charitable work in the future.
The Upper Sixth looked to their futures during THRIVE morning, with the aid of talks and a workshop. The first, entitled ’25 before 25’ was by Emma Rosen, and explored her experience of 25 jobs before her 25th birthday. This was followed by a talk from a local student, Izzy Radford, on changing her mind about university. The sessions inspired many in the Upper Sixth to keep an open mind about work experience and their future career paths. Careers Coach Lis McGuire ran a workshop on LinkedIn, advising and guiding students on building a positive and effective online profile. The girls found the sessions extremely beneficial.