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Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!

Making a Difference- Swaffham community and beyond

At Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School we care about the Swaffham community, our county, the world around us and the people and animals that live within it. Here you will find out more information about all the amazing projects that we take part in, to make the world a better place and to help others live life in all its fullness.


Citizenship is a key part of our Making a Difference curriculum, developing pupils's character,  teaching pupils how to be responsible and active citizens who contribute positively to society. 


Our approach to 'Making a Difference'  is built upon 6 principles for effective social action:

  • Socially impactful to help the community. Quality social action that responds to the real needs of Swaffham and really help local people. This extends to the wider geography too. 
  • Embedded to create lasting changes and behaviour. Social action is golden thread throughout our whole school curriculum and Heartwood values. 
  • child-led, owned and shaped by our children's needs , ideas and decision making. Giving the children the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to lead projects to make a difference. 
  • Progressive creating a long-lasting approach to making a difference and commitment to helping others
  • Reflective recognising the difference that Heartwood has made and thinking critically about how to take this further or improve our approach 

Each year, we ask parents to decide what the main charities will be that the school will support, one local and one national/international. This creates a meaningful context to our charity work.



Sustainable school environment 


At Heartwood our environment is sustainable with the lowest impact we can have on the environment. We source old and restored furniture, materials and resources which reduce the carbon footprint on our world. We have a careful consideration when purchasing materials such as plastic and ensure that all other options have been explore prior. 

Where possible we use resources from our environment, forest and local building sites. Pupils get involved in up cycling materials and furniture we bought and that has been donated. 

Our school environment is stunning, sustainable and has careful consideration for our beautiful world. 

Growing sustainable produce

Litter Picking

The Eco Warriors have been learning about the potential impact of litter on the local environment. They have been litter picking and sorting their waste into recycling. There was over 80% that could be recycled! 

The Heartwood community raised money for Norfolk and Waveney Mind over Christmas 2023

Still image for this video

Working in partnership with Breckland council

We shared ideas and a vision with the local Cllr Ian regarding a pond for Heartwood. In partnership we applied for a Green Grant and this funded the majority of the pond installation. 

Here are some the main areas of impact of this project:


Nature: The pond is a true wildlife magnet, providing homes, breeding grounds, bathing spots, food and a watering hole for all manner of creatures including birds, ducks, frogs and insects. It’s always great fun to spot these beautiful creatures using this area and a great love of the children’s. It's very rewarding feeling to know you are helping your local wildlife thrive.    Educational: There are few better ways to educate children about wildlife and water safety than having access to our own pond. The pond is a great way and inspires and encourages children’s natural curiosity about wildlife. It is an excellent tool for teaching children about our responsibility for caring for the environment, plus as a way to remind them about how to behave safely around bodies of water.

Supporting the community at Christmas

Kira and Ethan making a difference in the community again. They went shopping and donated food to the food bank and the local community fridge.

Kira and Ethan Making a Difference in the community!

Kira and Ethan have been awarded a community 'Making a Difference' award at the BBC Radio Norfolk. We are so proud!!

Eco School Flag! 


We are delighted to have been awarded our second Eco-school flag!!

Battery Recycling

We counted our first collection total of batteries, we have collected 548!! We are going to continue to run this until the end of June.

Yr3 & 4 worked hard to count them all.  Please continue to donate!

We are delighted to have been awarded the Local Neighbours Bronze Award

Cluster Ukraine Appeal

We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our school community who have donated to the Ukraine appeal. As a cluster of schools we have collated much needed clothes, food, blankets, medicines, baby essentials and shoes to support those suffering in the Ukraine. These have been transported by a local parent to the boarder of Ukraine. 

Together, in partnership, we have made a difference in a time of need. 

Heartwood Foodbank

Thank you to all of our school community who have donated this past year! 

Carol singing for the community

KS2 sang for the community at Christmas to bring warmth and comfort. The turn out as brilliant! 

We raised £116 for Nelson's Journey through our bucket collection. 

Waterstones- buy a book for a child in care appeal

Instead of sending Christmas cards to each other- being conscious of the planet/ wastage but also a more effective use of spending, as a school community we donate to a charity instead. 

This year as a community we raised money to purchase books for lots of children in care across Norfolk through the Waterstones appeal. We were proud to have been able to purchase lots of books for children to share our compassion and love this Christmas.

The Big Issue competition

The art club have been learning about homeless people and how we can support them other than just raising money. They learnt about The Big Issue and how it supports people to earn money.

They have designed front covers for the December edition enter into the competition! Let’s hope we see one of the designs on the front cover and we all purchase to support the seller! 

Green Grant 

We are delighted to have been awarded £3000 from the local green grant to create a pond and extra wildlife area. 

Baking to raise money

After being inspired about the work of Lenny Henry in our Black History Heroes week, some members of the Otter class asked is they could raise some money to help Comic Relief. They researched, bought, baked and sold cakes to the community- making over £56!

COP 26

To raise awareness ahead of the COP26 we researched, reflected and created poems and artwork about natural disasters. Each class looked at a different disaster. 

We displayed this in St Peter and St Paul's church. 

Rotary Club Visual Arts Festival

Art communicates so many messages and can make the recipient feel happy, warm and give them enjoyment and connections. We were previlidged to display our art work at the Swaffham Rotary Club Visual Arts Festival to make a difference for the people in our community. 

Heartwood open gallery

Sustainable Swaffham 


We are actively taking part in the town's initiative to be more sustainable. As part of our pledge we are offering free water refills to members of the public and our community. 

Heartwood Heroes on BBC Radio Norfolk

To spread the word about how to be more eco-friendly and to protect our planet, the Heartwood Heroes have broadcast their views on BBC Radio Norfolk.

Thank you to our local community

Here are some photos of the sunflowers we have grown from seed and potted up for people in our local community of Swaffham, Norfolk.


Each class has decorated their own pot and wrote a little think you card.


We grew 8 sunflowers for the following places:

The local vets

The local ambulance service

The Fire Station


The doctors

The local food bank 

The local residential home

A local pub who prepared free food for people in the community over lockdown ❤️


We are so lucky to live in such a wonderful community and everyone was so grateful to receive their sunflower. 

Email from Swaffham Ambulance Station: 


I'm Simon Nunn, Advanced Paramedic from Swaffham Ambulance Station. 

We recently received a plant from Fox class as a thank you to NHS workers, which was very kind.


I thought I'd just share a picture with you to show we are taking care of it and to say thank you to Fox class for their kind gesture.


If the children would like a visit from us any time please let me know I'm sure we can arrange something.


Kind Regards


Simon Nunn


Advanced Paramedic

Swaffham Ambulance station 

Save the bees!

Mouse class have been investigating and the bees need more flowers for nectar. They have made up gift bags containing seeds to give to the local community to help with the planting. Some of the mouse class children were busy posting them through local letter boxes. 

Bees make a home in the Heartwood Forest

Heartwood children litter picking out of school time

We have been made aware by the local Town Councillor of a litter issue in our local town, we have been working hard to address this issue as a school community. 

We will be contributing towards a new public litter bin and have ensured that we are equipping the children with the knowledge, understanding and skills of how to protect their local community. Children have been litter picking in their time at school. 

These children have taken this further and have been litter picking at home to Make a Difference to their local areas- Heartwood Heroes!!!

Opening the school to the community to develop and nurture partnerships

Creating, developing and flourishing relationships with our local community is important to Heartwood. 

From w/c 21st June we will be opening up our Heartwood library to the local community. Parents/carers and children from 0-3 are invited to come into school to listen to stories and meet. This will be on a Friday at 2:30pm. 

We are hoping to extend this community offer to our Forest school, offering free sessions to this age group from September. For more information, please contact the school.

Serving and contributing to the community

Some of our children visited the Green Parrot in Swaffham and bought some items for the ‘community Kitchen.’ They took them to the community centre, our donations will help people who live in Swaffham and some refugees. 

World Earth Day 2021

Every day is a day where we teach, think, reflect and plan our actions to reduce the impact on the environment and our precious world. 

World Earth Day was a good day to really enrich and enhance the experiences for our children and think about how we can individually and collectively make a difference locally and globally. 

Mouse class- Earth day pics - planting seeds, creating earth collage, learning about composting and saving our fruit peel, feeding the birds.

Year 2 global art with natural resources

Year 3 planting new trees

Heartwood was been awarded the Eco-school flag!

Year three have been learning about what the Romans did for us and what we can learn from the Anglo-Saxons. The Romans brought us roads - connecting us all together.


The Anglo-Saxons would grow their own produce and use what they had to feed their families. We learnt that subsistence living is a really good way to live and help our planet. We talked about shopping local and growing your own!


Community Book Hive

We have set up a Community Book Hive for the community of Swaffham. Please help yourself to a book to snuggle up at home with. You are welcome to keep one, borrow and return or swap for another one to share the reading love. 

Happy reading! 

Reception Key worker children thanking the Swaffham Community Hospital

Christmas card campaign 

At Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School, making a difference for the residents in our community and beyond is at the heart of our curriculum, with compassion a core value of the school vision. Our thoughtful and creative children have enjoyed and taken pride in being able to bring a little warmth, comfort and happiness to the local elderly residents through the card project. They have explored some of the emotions, particularly loneliness that some of the residents may be feeling, leaving the children wanting to make an impact and share some Christmas cheer.  

The children will be baking delicious biscuits to deliver to other residential homes in the Swaffham community too as sadly due to COVID we cannot visit to share carols. All the children and staff from Heartwood wish everyone a safe and very merry Christmas.  


We have received some heartwarming phone calls, emails and letters from the residents who received the cards from the children. This has been wonderful for the children to see the impact that they have had on others. 

Year 1 collected food for the Swaffham Food Bank as part of a reverse advent calendar

Staff Christmas donations to Swaffham food bank

'We will remember them...'

As a school we raised £157.83 for the Poppy Appeal 2020❤️

Nursery Remembrance day activities

Mouse Class (Nursery) have been learning how to look after the class pets. We have to clean out Rex the rabbit's hutch every week so he has a nice clean place to sleep, we help to feed him every day and give him lots of cuddles so he feels loved!
We also have two Giant African Land Snails in our class, Sue and Richard! They love to eat cucumber and we help to keep them clean by giving them the occasional bath too!

Year 1 

Through the story The Three Little Pigs, Year 1 learnt about materials and animal homes. Using the research, knowledge and skills they acquired, they designed and created bug hotels for the Heartwood insects to have a habitat that they will enjoy and feel safe in. 

Moles Class 

Our Moles class are working towards the Young leaders Award facilitated by the Archbishop of York Youth trust. 

Year 2

Year 2 have explored the impact and potential danger of using plastic in our world. They went litter picking to help keen the local community tidy and where astounded by the amount of plastic waste they found, including plastic bags. They decided to design and create canvas bags to sell which would encourage the community to use less plastic. 

Year 3

Year 3  incorporated their science topic with the allotment. The children have been learning about rocks and soil and carrying out investigations. The explored which was the right soil/growing environment for plants to grow. They planted some potatoes and pumpkins which will be shared with the elderly in the community.

Children in Need

On Friday 13th November we raised £157.60 for Children in Need. We all learnt about a different charity that is supported by our contributions. To make a difference we sent cards and letters to children benefit from these charities. 

Protecting our environment

We are proud to have been awarded the Bronze and Silver Eco-school awards, we have been working hard to ensure that we are becoming an eco-friendly school. 

Macmillan Cancer Support- The staff of Heartwood raised £56.73 by hosting a cake table to raise money.

Swaffham Food Bank- EYFS

In Nursery and Reception we have been learning about Harvest. We learnt about where our food is grown and how it is harvested.

We talked about being thankful and what we are thankful for.

Our wonderful families have donated lots of food items for the local community food bank, to help people in need...

Mouse Class Harvest activities...

Our wonderful community

We are thankful to the local community for all their support with our school. The generosity and kindness of local businesses, including; Waitrose, Travis Perkins, The COOP Necton, The White Hart, Tescos and the church have contributed to making Heartwood the wonderful and inclusive school it has become. 

Thank you 

Thank you NHS!!