Charitable activity plays a large role in the life of pupils, staff, parents and indeed the whole school community at Holmewood House.
We wholeheartedly believe that this is a fundamental aspect of the educational journey our pupils enjoy. Every year, a vast array of charities are supported at local, national and international level.
The parental body is also actively involved in charity work in two main ways. One is through the work of the Friends of Holmewood, who nominate a charity for three years, to be their adopted charity and raise superb sums of money to help these causes. The children vote on which local, child-based charity, they would most like to support. The other is through the school uniform shop, which is run by volunteer parents, who sell school uniform and sports kit to parents. The funds raised again directly help young people. Overall, the uniform shop supports 4 charities- two local and two international. The two local ones are Dandelion Time and The Children’s Respite Trust. The two international ones are Shine in Zambia and the Heatherbank school community on the Eastern Cape in South Africa. This year, a total of £18 000 was distributed equally amongst these four brilliant charities.
Year 8 pupils, following their exams, visit both Dandelion Time and the Children’s Respite Trust, where they work on projects to help those most in need in the local community, the pupils acquiring new skills in the process and helping to put back into the local community. Equally, on previous school exchanges to South Africa, pupils have spent a whole day helping out at the Heatherbank Township community school.
A new initiative this year has been to support the Rusthall Food Larder, co-ordinated by a former member of staff and Harvest donations at school were donated to this great local cause, where again, there is much need. Year 8 pupils have each week accompanied the Senior Master, delivering the donated food items and helping to set up the tables and lay out the produce.
Porchlight, a local Kent based homelessness charity is supported through a Year 8 sponsored sleep out at school and a visiting speaker from Porchlight, gives a presentation to the pupils that evening on the issues surrounding local homelessness.
The Royal British Legion is well supported through the sale of poppies at school and the Head Boy and Head Girl accompany the Senior Master, to the Tunbridge Wells Act of Remembrance and during this service, lay Memorial Wreaths, on behalf of the whole school community.
Individual pupil initiative on charity is welcomed and last year a group of Year 7 girls set up stalls in the run up to Christmas, selling sustainable Nigerian jewellery items – a wonderful way to showcase Nigerian culture, but at the same time, raise proceeds for Cool Earth, who support rainforest communities around the globe, protect rainforests and fight the climate crisis and Fight for Sight, who fund pioneering eye research. In a previous year, a pupil sold prints of her artwork, to raise funds for an impoverished community in coastal Peru, where art materials were bought for an after-school club, to help girls continue to engage in education.
School facilities are hired out, whether that be the theatre or some classrooms for a local theatre company to make use of. Local primary schools make use of the swimming pool, as part of their curriculum and the art department has run community-based art projects for local primary school children. The sports hall is also hired out to local sports clubs in the evenings and at weekends, to give maximum benefit to the local community.
Holiday courses are run at both Easter and in the Summer, for the benefit of both Holmewood children and those who do not attend the school, from the local community. St. Paul’s Church in Rusthall, hosts our annual carol services and donations are given to the church for this excellent and convenient facility.
As a result, it is clear to see that Holmewood is very much at the heart of the local and global community.
“Pupils are keen to support charities and help others less fortunate than themselves. They participate in a number of local, national and international charities….”Independent Schools Inspectorate