Generating Change and Improving Lives in Watford
There is a sense of belonging in Stanborough Secondary School that is noticeable from the moment you step through the gates. Students sit at the heart of everything we do, and every day we strive to make a difference in the lives of the members of the school’s community and give our children the tools they need to be successful in life. Our community is diverse and welcoming, and we actively seek to integrate new families and staff into the fold, making sure everyone feels supported. We help people come together, overcome barriers, find a purpose and make the most of the place they live in.
This was evident when, on the 1st of October 2021, we reached out to our local community here in Watford for a Community Service Day. Members of the Stanborough Secondary School community set aside classroom learning, homework and other aspects of daily academic life to fully dedicate themselves to serving the Watford community. With a group of more than 70 people, we worked on projects both on and off campus, and we ended up serving more than five constituent groups and organisations located throughout Watford.
Community service activities included painting fences, working at the food bank and packing bags at One Vision, a community-based charity that provides support to individuals and families in need. These activities also involved taking gifts to sick children at Watford General Hospital and collecting donations for Mencap, a UK charity for people with learning disabilities.
With so many students going to so many places in one morning, Community Service Day ended up being a considerable operation. I believe the students’ flexibility was critical to pulling it all off. The nurses at the general hospital said, “We want to thank our students for caring and their kindness to the people we serve and congratulate them on their achievements”.
This day is an embodiment of our core values – courage, respect, resilience and excellence – and our school motto of ‘God is the master of our school’.
Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘God has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others’. This means we should use our talents and gifts to contribute to others throughout our lives. To be a giver, not a taker.
There are countless options for community services at Stanborough Secondary School, and we should remember that, but Community Service Day, where we stop our normal academic routine, provides a different kind of affirmation in what we believe in as a school.