Children from Bournemouth’s Park School, an outstanding independent school situated just a mile from the coast, have recently celebrated Harvest Festival by filling up a minibus with dry foods for donation as well as having a special visit from Salvation Army Boscombe, explaining the importance of the festival.
Harvest Festival is an annual celebration marked across the world. In Britain, harvest has been celebrated since pagan times in either September or October. Originally, farmers would make loaves of bread with their new crops and offer them to the local church.
In more recent years, the occasion is celebrated through hymns, praying and food donations, all of which are now part of the modern Harvest Festival.
Both children and staff at Park School were encouraged to bring in any extra, non-perishable foods to donate to the Salvation Army Boscombe BH1 Project. Results from the collection were grand, with the haul including a variety of foods such as cereal, pasta, rice, flour and beans.
Melanie Dowler, Headteacher at Park School, said: ‘It was fantastic to see the amount of food we had managed to bring together and to see the enthusiasm from both the children and staff was a heart warming sight.
‘We want our children to understand that not everyone is in the same situation and many people do not have access to necessities, so by engaging them in charity work we’re giving them a wider understanding of the world we live in.
‘We aim to give our students the best education, and whilst we do spend time and care teaching English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Digital Learning among other core subjects, we also see the importance of a wider education outside the classroom, with the children growing up to be well rounded compassionate people.’
As part of the assembly, the children asked questions about the festival and were engaged in the talk explaining the origins of Harvest Festival and why it’s vital we collect donations and celebrate each year.
Jane Alton, Corps Officers, from the Salvation Army explained during her assembly where their food and donations go to, with the children staying engaged and curious about the wider world of charity.
The Salvation Army BH1 Project is dedicated to helping the homeless and community clients. Offering guidance and support including essentials such as drinks, food, showers, clothing, and providing a laundrette, in an effort to help those less fortunate regain some humanity.
Park School prides itself on offering a wide curriculum with both academic and practical skills being nurtured from a young age.
Melanie added: ‘Donating and fundraising are at the heart of our learning approach because it enables the children to experience the pleasure of giving joy to others and to express and communicate how this makes them feel.’