It has been a busy week in both parts of the school. Up in Prep we have been celebrating Global Citizenship Week and woven across all the curriculum have been glimpses of lives elsewhere in the world to help make greater sense of our good fortune here. Looking at children and the beds they sleep in around the world provided the pupils in Year 5 and some of Year 6 with the shocking realisation of the inequalities in a very effective way that led to a great deal of debate in PSHE and RE. With a stimulating visit for Year 3 to Bore Place and from an array of specialist speakers over the week I commend to you the full article later in this edition of e-news.
We’re committed to developing a generation of passionate, articulate young people who feel moved and driven to make a difference, not only in school or the local community but also in the world as a whole. In my assembly on Monday, Martin Luther King day, we learnt about the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama and the actions of Rosa Parks in triggering this powerful movement for change. It was fabulous later in the week when, exploring the use of child labour and slavery in the fashion industry, a pupil suggested people could boycott brands that permit this to continue. Our study of Martin Luther King taught us how much his faith was bound up in his political action. His relentless and intelligent pursuit of equal treatment for all, which ultimately cost him his life, was rooted in his Christian beliefs about peaceful protest as being the only form of legitimate protest and when Mr Powell powerfully delivered part of his “I have a dream” speech in assembly it was perhaps no surprise that it included text from the bible, also familiar to us through Handel’s Messiah.
On Thursday when Bishop James came to St Michael’s to confirm the nine candidates who chose to make their vows, he spoke of the kind of love we might offer to one another as being the kind of love that might include a readiness to die for others. Whilst I very much hope for this never to be something any one of us might actually be called to do, he captured again some of the passion that Martin Luther King lived with and asked us to think about how we might show love to those who do not treat us well. That is a challenge we can all think about regardless of our faith.
It was lovely that the confirmands had so much support as they made their vows and took their first communion and we look forward to the ways in which they will show their faith in their actions and lives. Please hold in your thoughts this week, Charlotte, Harry and Harry, Oliver, Gabriel, Luke, Danny, Oscar and George.
The week both started and finished on a distinct high. The digital leaders had a personal training session from the Apple Experts in Bluewater and impressed the trainers with their bright, quick and insightful comments and questions. A wonderful trip to Brighton College for a strings day for 16 of our musicians was a highlight which you can also read about here.
Mrs Chugg’s assembly at the end of the week gave a fascinating insight into what has been an exciting and meticulously planned cross-curricular extravaganza and I think my only regret is that I’m not actually 10 again and a pupil at St Michael’s.
I hope you enjoy a special time together with your family this weekend. Perhaps it might include your children teaching you some of the things they have been learning about this week at school.