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11+ outcome letters will be sent via email by mid-December, before Christmas.

Mrs Dawson: The Importance of Generosity and the Act of Giving

10 November 2022

Giving to charity teaches children the importance of generosity and also starts to show them that they can have a positive impact on the world. It strengthens their personal values, shows them that caring for others is an important part of being a human, and gives them a sense of belonging to a wider society, in an interdependent world.

As a school, we place great importance on charitable endeavour and philanthropy. Our most recent Charity Day, for ‘Just One Tree’, raised over £1300 and we now have charity days spaced throughout the year and led by each senior year group, who select and publicise the charity. I was so impressed that Anya (Year 12), having undertaken volunteering with ‘Just One Tree’, came to me to suggest the day. It is a testament to the giving nature of our girls that this sort of suggestion is commonplace here, and I struggle to fit all of the charity ideas into the school calendar! Our Charity Week in the Spring Term allows all pupils in the Senior School to lead a charity stall, focusing on raising money for our nominated charity, and is a chance for our Student Leadership Team to take ownership of a key event with the aim of benefitting others.

One Tree Day

Wellbeing experts list the act of giving as one of five ways to enhance our mental health. Having the power to enhance the lives of others is, in many cases, a privilege and developing a social conscience is a vital part of what we teach at Sutton High School. I want our pupils to be actively engaged in giving, not just passively paying for an own-clothes day, so it is important that we explore the act of charitable giving at school, not just in terms of money, but also in time, though encouraging volunteering and acts of selflessness, such as our pupils who have donated their hair to create wigs for the Little Princess Trust. Parents can support with this too, but talking to your daughter about the own-clothes and charity days that we have and perhaps only making the payment for your daughter to wear her own clothes if she is able to tell you what the donation will be used for!

Although we use own-clothes days to quickly raise larger amounts for the charities and causes we support, it is usually the smaller charity projects, like sisters undergoing a charity walk, or a pupil who created keyrings and sold them in aid of a charity that had supported her Grandfather through illness. There are many other stories of fundraising outside school, by individual families from Prep and Senior years, and it is always a privilege to speak to these pupils about what they have achieved and how proud they are. They all tell me how much they have personally grown from raising funds or awareness for a chosen cause, and they almost always want to do more and continue to build on their efforts.

We know that there is always more that we can do to place focus on charitable giving here and we will continue to find ways to encourage our girls to be generous, caring and socially aware.