Organic gardening and information technology lessons given by pupils are now on the curriculum at Rainham School for Girls. Produce from the garden will be given to senior citizens and low income families in the area and the IT classes are available for senior citizens wanting to develop their computer skills. The IT lessons include a basic introduction to the web, sending email and photographs.

Both initiatives, which have recently started, are a result of the Schools and Communities Together (SACT) committee in place at the school.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact, said: “I am delighted that Rainham School for Girls is taking such a leading role in our Schools and Communities Together initiative. “It’s a great example to others. There can often be misunderstandings between schools and residents, and this scheme is all about showing how well they can work together and benefit each other.”

The newly formed SACT initiative involves a committee being formed that links pupils from a particular school with agencies involved in community safety in Medway including Medway Council, Kent Police in Medway and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. SACTs meet on a regular basis and encourage pupils to think up and take part in community projects.

One started at Rainham School for Girls last November and one started at the Howard School earlier this year. And Medway Council intend to encourage SACTs to set up in schools across Medway. Jonathon Aston, Medway Council’s Community Officer for the Rainham South and Central wards has helped organise the links at Rainham School for Girls.

He said of the IT lessons: “For the youngsters new technology is a natural as breathing, but for some older generations it can be a daunting prospect. “By helping people understand IT this helps break down barriers between pupils and residents.”