Year 10 summer projects focus on the community

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Each year our Year 10 undertake a series of Summer community projects which they design and run themselves.  The projects are always challenging but also very rewarding and harness important life skills such as teamwork, communication and organisation as well as their subject knowledge.

This year’s projects brought the students into contact with both the youngest and oldest members of the community, as well as exposing them to some very down to earth local problems.

10S decided to create a carousel of three workshops – cookery, science and dance – for Year 3 pupils from Corpus Christi Junior School in Brixton. The cookery workshop in the school’s dedicated cookery suite focused on healthy eating, with the Year 10s helping their young charges to prepare and cook their own pizzas which they ate together at the end of the morning.  In the science workshop, 10S took the eager Corpus Christi pupils into the school’s science labs – an exciting new experience for them in which they needed to don lab coats and safety glasses and learn the correct safety procedures. They had devised three experiments to bring science to life – from creating Elephant Toothpaste (mixing hydrogen peroxide and detergent with yeast to create a foaming ribbon from the test tube!) to burning copper strips to see what colours they made.  The final session in the carousel was a dance workshop that focused on teaching different choreography styles using the same music.

10D invited groups of older people for tea in the school’s Orangery.  Residents from four local Excelcare homes – Castle Bar and Pear Tree in Sydenham, Park Avenue in Bromley and Windmill Lodge in Brixton – were brought to the school’s Orangery where they were treated to a tea, prepared and served by the students, and entertainment with musical solos and bingo.  The hit of the afternoon was definitely the dancing – wonderfully energetic from several octogenarians!  When the girls were not serving tea or dancing, they were busy chatting to their guests and finding out lots of interesting stories about their lives.  They even discovered that one guest had attended Sydenham High!  She was given a tour of the school and afterwards said that she had felt like Royalty.

10Y dug deep for their challenge – a guerrilla gardening and litter pick in Crystal Palace Park.  Armed with gardening gloves, rubbish sacks and lots of determination, they went to work.  Said student Ellen Wylie: “We searched in so many in accessible places, where cans and wrappers had blown and got caught. We were appalled to find some larger discarded items, including a bicycle wheel and the storage box from a pizza delivery bike.”   Whilst one group picked litter, another group planted flowers they had brought in some of the less cared for corners of the park.  The students chatted to members of the public who were clearly appreciative of what they were doing and the commitment shown to the local environment.

Everyone agreed it had been a very rewarding experience.