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St John’s has been awarded “Community Initiative of the Year” at the prestigious TES Independent School Awards 2015.
In a prize-giving ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 27 November, the School was announced as winner in respect of the St John’s School Community Holiday.
The holiday is a fun-packed residential week for 20 children aged between 10 and 18, with a range of special needs, run by pupil volunteers. It gives them a chance to experience an independent holiday in a safe and caring environment, while parents and their usual carers have a week of respite.
Up against tough competition in the form of Brighton College, Burgess Hill Girls, Norwich School and South Hampstead High School, St John’s was commended for its care and community service. The judges described it as a “fantastic outreach scheme that also benefits the School’s pupils”.
St John’s prides itself in the energy, optimism and kindness of its pupils, alongside their academic achievements. Since the first holiday in August 2014, the pupil volunteers have surpassed themselves, caring for the holidaymakers with consideration, compassion and humility.
Community Holiday Lead and Teacher of History at St John’s, Neil Whitmore, commented: “It is a great accolade, and a tremendous reflection on the effort of so many people. First and foremost, the holiday is for the children, and our intention is to give them a great week. This would not be possible without the helpers, group leaders and senior team members. It is a testament to their planning, energy, enthusiasm, care, patience and determination.”
The awards celebrate those making remarkable contributions to independent schools across the UK, applauding excellence and rewarding innovation. The St John’s School Community Holiday is a key part of the School’s desire to connect more closely with the local community and to extend the community service volunteering of its pupils.
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