Our Remembrance was led by the school Values Leaders and families joined us in a special act of worship. Peace Prayers, poems and poppy-shaped clay peace candles were created by the Values leaders and used to remind all of us to be Lights in the Darkness of war and to use our time and skill to pray for peace in our world. The children interviewed Mr Scott, who was once a war journalist. He was able to tell us how frightening it is to be in places of danger. We reflected on those who have immense courage and carry out jobs on or near the front lines with little to protect themselves. We were very aware of those who are victims of war and so our poppies were decorated with prayers for peace and peace prayers were hung on the prayer tree. Andy Pratt came to play the Last Post as we stood silently to reflect on those who have died in war, particularly the two world wars.
Our Wonderful New Outdoor Worship Area!
Our children love the outdoors and we are so fortunate to have an environmental area complete with a fire pit, willow tunnel, seated areas and a pond. We also have an outdoor classroom and, during the academic year 22/23, we planned an outdoor worship area, complete with pathway so that wheelchair and pushchair users can access the site.
We are creating a mosaic for the area and have recently planted bulbs around the cross so that, in Spring, we can celebrate Easter outdoors and to be reminded that God is with us, just as much outside as inside! The children have commented that being outside helps them to breathe in fresher air, feel more comfortable around nature and it's a great place to worship.
Our whole community benefits from the use of the area and we recently used it to pray together, as we reflected on some of the sad things taking place in the world. The area will be a place for all children to feel they can come and talk to God, amidst the beauty of His earth.
This year's harvest saw the Lower Juniors deliver a special assembly. Children learned harvest songs and celebrated the gift of apples which grow so well in our environmental area. Apples were collected to share with our community and, as in previous years, our families contributed towards our collection for the Salvation Army's food bank.
Bishop Phillip asked Diocesan schools to help others in need through the Bishop’s Harvest appeal. This year the appeal is supporting the work of CRESS UK. CRESS UK is a Christian charity whose mission is to educate and train South Sudanese people with the knowledge and skills to empower them to establish self-sustaining communities.
In 2013 a civil war broke out in South Sudan. Thousands of people fled over the nearby border into Northern Uganda and were dispersed into refugee and displaced persons camps. The work of CRESS came to an abrupt end within South Sudan and was re-established afresh in Northern Uganda. The vision of enabling community self-sufficiency, both in exile and on eventual return to South Sudan, remains strong. Any collections from our harvest audience today will be greatly received! Thank you to those of you who are able to come to watch the assembly and to support the work of this worthwhile charity. You can find out more about the charity here
Easter Worship 2023
This Easter we celebrated together with a special act of worship where our artistic talents were put to good use. Each class were inspired by pieces of art work before they produced their very own paintings using specific techniques to tell a section of the Easter story. We used art work and song to share the story of Christ's arrest, crucifixion and resurrection. Our worship leaders also wrote prayers and helped to present the pieces of work.
You can see the pieces of art work here
Fairtrade, Lent and Equality 2023
During Lent we celebrated Fairtrade fortnight with a "bake off". Lent is usually a time of fasting but we have used Fairtrade fortnight to recognise the luxury foods we have that we cannot take for granted. Bakes from our 'bake off' were sold to raise funds for Christian Aid and the theme of "Save the planet" helped us to think about how we can reduce, re-use and recycle, particularly during Lent. We have used our worship and reflection times to find out more about inequality of resources across our world and the impact of climate change on those deprived communities who produce food which is transported across the world. We have also explored ways in which we can better look after God's earth. Our worship leaders attended the Fairtrade conference at county hall and helped to prepare for the 'bake off'. They advertised the event, wrote letters to invite judges and they decorated the prize bags.
Our school community responded amazingly and the bakes were absolutely tremendous. A group of families attended a bake session and donated the cakes baked to 'bake off'. Our visitors, including the mayor, commented on how wonderful it was to see the community come together to highlight a global need. The mayor, Neil, was questioned by the Eco Council about how Preston City Council is reducing the impact of climate change. Councillors will now explore further ways of how we can work with the Council to improve our local environment. Cath Greenlees also visited to bring Fairtrade products and prizes as well as to be interviewed by children about the work of Christian Aid and the importance of Fairtrade. Our Judges - Cath, Jane and Mrs Islam - were able to select overall winners and rewards were handed out to all who took part in the 'bake off'.
Our hall was decorated with Fairtrade bunting and children re-used or recycled paper. They wrote messages and prayers on the bunting so that all could read of the children's wishes to create a better world.
You can see a display of the cakes on this link - enjoy!
Our Remembrance this year was led by class 5C. They told us accounts of heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice amidst prayers and reflections for peace. A display in school of the poppies made in classes and presented by worship leaders shows the uniqueness of the way each class chose to represent the image of the poppy as they considered its relevance.
Harvest Worship 2022
Our Lower Juniors led worship this year and a huge amount of harvest was donated by the school community to the Salvation Army's food bank. Our classes also learned how harvest celebrates the gifts given to us in God's world. Our worship leaders helped to bag all of the food and the offerings were very gratefully received at the food bank.
Our Lower Juniors also presented on this year's Bishop's Harvest Appeal. The charity supported was the Mothers' Union which supports the education of women in Burundi. The impact of education enables women in this African country to seek employment and improves their life chances. We collected a huge number of conkers and had a "guess the weight of the conkers" competition and children also paid to create model "hero" characters. These characters celebrated the great work of people who have improved the world for the better. We raised £100 for the Diocesan appeal and had lots of fun at the same time! Well done to Kate Traynor who won the goody basket after guessing that the conkers were just over 16 kg!
Easter Worship 2022
Worship Leaders presented a truly awesome Easter worship at the end of term. They brought symbols made from each class as we retold the story of the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem to His resurrection. Reflections, prayers and powerful singing made for an excellent act of worship. We were also surrounded by new hall displays to tell the story of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection which was God's plan for our salvation.
Each class also re-told the Easter Story in drama. You can watch it here:https://youtu.be/pp5anLaoms0
Fairtrade Fortnight 2022
Fairtrade fortnight has been launched by our worship leaders as they seek to raise awareness of the plight of farmers and producers who work in the most challenging climates in the world. Climate change has been impacting on global warming and this leads to increased challenges in food production. Our sense of justice for the most underprivileged brings about a need to make change and to bring about a balance in earnings for the poorest communities in our world.
Our worship leaders worked hard to make their own posters, write their own words and build a powerpoint for the assembly, all by themselves. Blake also referred to the website he has created on climate change. You can visit it here:
You can watch the Fairtrade Assembly here:
Well done to our Worship Leaders who led a very powerful Remembrance this year. Diversity was reflected in our Remembrance this year as we learned about soldiers who fought in WW1 from India, Africa as well as our local neighbourhood. We learned about the great Elsie Inglis, who didn't allow her gender to prevent her from working to heal others in France. We also remembered the great Walter Tull, who experienced racism, but still showed great leadership in battle.
Iris Phillipson joined us for Remembrance and she brought the post Victorian postcards from the war front which were sent to her two relatives who fought on the front. Sadly, the two Phillipson brothers died, Richard only 1 month before the end of World War 1.
We have produced a video of the Remembrance this year and are very proud of our Worship Leaders for bringing their own reflections and reading their own written pieces.
Here's the video of our reflections: https://youtu.be/IPIjc8uJgQU
Bishop Julian came to visit our Easter exhibition. We were so delighted to hear his wonderful words of praise. During the lockdowns, we have needed to have hope that God is in control of all things and will walk beside us during difficult times. The Easter story reminds us of the values of sacrifice and humility and the celebration of God's amazing love for His world and his people.