Courageous Advocacy at St. Martin’s C of E (VA) Primary School
‘Go and make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to do all the things I have told you.’ (Matthew 28:16-20).
The Church of England’s definition of courageous advocacy states: ‘Courageous Advocacy is the act of speaking out against an issue of injustice, often on behalf of those whose voice is not heard.’
At St. Martin’s C of E (VA) Primary School, we have a strong emphasis on encouraging our children to become courageous advocates, not just locally, but nationally and globally, in order to fulfil our aim to ‘serve one another in love.’ Galatians 5:13.
This enables our school community to develop a greater awareness of the challenges that others face in life and how they, as individuals, can support causes and make a difference. We recognise the limitless potential of every member of our school community. We nurture their unique talents so that everyone has the opportunity to flourish and drive forward change for the greater good.
We teach our children that at some point in life, we will all face challenges and need support to overcome these barriers. We teach this through the teachings of the Bible, by learning about other courageous advocates, and also through our work with The Archbishop of York Youth Trust.
‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ (Proverbs 31:8-9).
It is important for our children to appreciate their role as part of a community; to take responsibility, to be able to look after themselves and to foster an understanding of their own importance, impact and influence on the world. As part of this, our Year 6 children work with The Archbishop of York Youth Trust in order to complete their Young Leaders Award and we have also achieved the Bronze level of the Global Neighbours accreditation.
In recent years, our children have organised fund-raising activities to support many good causes, some of which include:
- The local Food Bank at Westway Open Arms
- The Rainbow Centre, Scarborough
- Aid for the Ukraine Appeal
- Sport Relief
- Comic Relief
- Children in Need
- Christian Aid Appeals
- The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
At St. Martin’s, we are immensely proud of the fact that our children have the foresight and courage to be courageous advocates for change. This is a driver for our curriculum in school. It goes beyond simply knowing; to saying and doing. They challenge injustice, take action and are agents of change, therefore making our school, our local community, and the world, a better place to be!
‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Mark 12:29-31).
Examples of Courageous Advocacy:
- During our Harvest celebrations, the Year 6 children presented their work on courageous advocacy to their parents and the whole school collected food and toiletry donations for our local Food Bank at Westway Open Arms, Scarborough.
- A group of children requested to collect donations for Ukrainian families. They designed posters to advertise their plan and gathered all the donations in for the local collection that was travelling out to Ukraine. We were blown away by the support of families and the children were proud of what they had achieved (see below for photo of delivery at the collection depot).
- William set himself a goal to walk 100 mountains/ hills to raise money for Cancer Research. This was a phenomenal achievement that had BBC news coverage. The celebration assembly we held in school in turn inspired others to go and raise money or do good to others. The children were very proud of William and this was wonderful to see and hear their conversations.
- Dylan and Connie raised money for the RSPCA, setting up a little stall and selling various food and drink items. A group of Year 5 girls did the same and chose to donate to the Ukraine Appeal.
- As part of the charitable giving element of the Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award, Year 6 carried out a £5 challenge. Each child created a business plan and were then given £5 to bring their business venture to life. For one week in the autumn term, the children sold their items to the rest of the school, with the aim of paying back their £5 and raising as much profit as they could for charity. This year (November 2022), the children raised a whopping £1354.21! They chose to send half of the money to St. Catherine’s Hospice, which is a local charity in Scarborough and #TeamSeas, which is a global charity that raises money to help with the problem of plastic pollution in the World’s oceans. Well done Year 6!