- About Us
- Christian Ethos
- Sixth Form
Each week students are introduced to a key theme. The theme is designed to fit with events that are taking place at Kings and the wider world. Links are explicitly made to Christian belief and practice, and the school values ‘Kings principles of PRIDE’ as well as other faith perspectives and secular approaches. Assemblies, curriculum events and the tutor programme are designed to enrich students in their learning and spiritual development.
Students engage with the theme and are encouraged to have ‘think’ time, allowing for philosophical enquiry, quiet reflection and spiritual contemplation.
Literacy is also strengthened by having a word of the week which is considered within the context of the weekly theme.
Here is the theme and word of the week programme for the Autumn term 2020:
This week our theme is -
When we think about giving, we often focus on money or presents. But giving can be so much more. You can give your skills, your time, your Knowledge, your abilities. This week think about what you can give that will really make a difference to someone. It may be money, but you might be able to make a huge difference to an individual just by giving your time, to sit with them, to listen to them, to simply be with them. It might not make a huge difference to the world as a whole but giving time to someone might mean the world to them.
We often hope that our dreams will come true, but it does depend on the dream!
If we want our dreams, our ambitions, our aspirations to come true, we must work towards them. Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream, that one day my four children will be judged, not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.” It is a dream that we are still working toward, in many places in the world we have a long way to go before Martin Luther King’s dream can come true. But Martin Luther King did not just say that this was his dream, he did everything he possibly could to make his dream come to. He was so committed to his dream that he was prepared to go to jail and ultimately to sacrifice his life. He did all he could to achieve his dream; do we do all that we can to achieve our dreams?
This week we would normally be in church, we would sing, we would bring in gifts for the Food Bank; But this year we can’t do any of those things because of Covid19.
Instead I have asked the students to work as a tutor group on an acrostic poem. They have to use the phrase
Take a close look at the image. You can see that the body here is made up of lots of different people. Each one is different, no two are exactly the same size or shape. It reminds me of the story in 1 Corinthians 12: 14-20, where St. Paul talks about each part of the body being important and each having its own value and its own role in the function of the body.
This week we are encouraging the students to think about co-operation. Co-operation is all about working together and getting on with each other. In order to work well together and co-operate we need to value each other. In the body each organ has its own value, its own purpose, but each organ also relies on other organs. They do not function independently. We have to be the same, we must value ourselves as individuals and value each other equally if we are to co-operate.
This week we welcome our students back to Kings. With one-way systems, masks and staggered break and lunch it is very different, but it is still Kings and our community has been apart for many months. But we are back, we are together again, and now we must work together, staff and students. Showing love to each other in this context means looking out for each other, caring for each other. This could be checking up on a friend, or spotting that someone is unhappy. It could be holding a door open for a teacher or showing a younger student where they must go. Once again lots of small, random acts of kindness, will help us to become a great community.
What makes you wonder? When was the last time you just stopped because you were blown away by something you saw or heard? What made you pause? Not because you were tired, or stuck in traffic, but stop because you were in wonder. It is so important that we stop, that we take time out to wonder, to see the awesome in our world. Some of the things that can make us stop are tiny, but their impact can be huge. Over the summer, try to find reasons to stop and notice and wonder.
We live in such an amazing world, whether you believe God had any hand in it or not, the sheer wonder of the world we live in should make us stop.
One of the most positive things to come out of lockdown is the way that the Earth has recovered. The lack of flights, less car travel and less manufacturing pollution has given the Earth a chance to breath again. Before lockdown no one would have conceived that flights would stop. How could we possibly not fly everywhere? How could we possibly not drive every day? But we have learnt that it is possible, we can fly less, travel less, we can give the world a chance.
So, as we get back to “normal”, will we continue to drive and fly less? Will we continue to do what we can to help stop climate change?
We have one planet Earth, just one, what state do we want it to be in for our children and grandchildren?
Courage is a strange thing. We often focus on people wh show amazing courage and overcome huge obstacles. But sometimes it takes courage just to get out of bed and face the day ahead. Doing something for the first time takes courage. Accepting that you have got something wrong takes courage. However, big or small your challenges, you can face them because you have courage. You can face anything because God is with you all the time, wherever you go and whatever you do.
Belonging is an amazing thing, it makes you feel safe, comfortable, and welcome. You can belong to many different groups, family, friends, a sports team, a choir, school etc. etc.
One thing that I belong to is a church. At the moment, I cannot be physically with my church family, the congregation. We have not been inside the church building for fourteen weeks. But I still belong. I am still connected to the others. And I always belong to God. I love that wherever I am and whatever I do I still feel that sense of belonging. Nothing can separate us from the love of God; it is always there, just waiting for you to accept it.
When you belong, you feel safe. You know that you are accepted for who you are. You are welcome! In a world where we can often feel alone and separated from everyone else, it is so important that every single one of us finds somewhere where we belong.
What do you see when you look at the image? Do you see Good or Evil? Can you see both at the same time?
It is the same with people. What do you see when you look at a crowd of protesters on the news? People with a legitimate reason to protest, or people out to cause trouble?
When you see a homeless person? Do you see someone in need of help and support, or a drug addict who is a disgrace to society?
Take time this week to think about what image you have of different people. But remember that people are also forming opinions and making decisions about you based on what image you put out to the world. What image do people have of you? Are you kind or selfish? Are you nice or nasty? Are you hard working or lazy? What image do you want people to have of you, is it really you, or is it an illusion?
There are so many ways in which we as human beings can be creative; many would say that our ability to be creative is what makes us human. There are so many ways to be creative, not just artistic, but creative. Be creative in the way that you make and maintain friendships. Be creative in the way that you show your family that you care about them.
Our word of the week is catalyst. A catalyst makes change happen. To be a catalyst, you need to be creative, you cannot change things by being the same, you must be the change that you want to see in the world.
What will you change? In what ways will you be a catalyst? How will your creativity change the world for the better?
What talent, what gift do you have? Maybe you just haven’t discovered it yet. Maybe you will find out in a few years’ time that you are good at something that you haven’t tried before? Perhaps you already know that you have a talent, but are you using it?
We all have different talents, but the trick is to recognise it and use it. If you have a beautiful voice, but only sing in the shower, that’s a real shame. If you are an amazing sportsperson, but cant be bothered to be on a team, that’s a real shame.
When we think of talents we often focus on music, art, sport, acting etc. But what if your talent is different? What if your talent is being a good listener, or being a trustworthy friend? What if your talent is looking after young children or caring for dementia patients? There are so many opportunities for each of us to realise what we are good at; what we must then do, is use those talents to make a difference.
Please find time this week to check out the Power Point for this week. There are many, many great ideas on there to help you with Mindfulness. Whether you are having a great day, or a rough day, or a bit of both, or somewhere in between, take time to understand what you are going through. Take time to simply be.
There is so much going on now, but at the same time there is nothing going on. It is easy to focus on the things we cannot do, that we are not allowed to do. At the same time, we may be worrying about when we can do more.
Take time to acknowledge what you are thinking and feeling. Try some of the ideas suggested in the Theme of the week Power Point. However, you are managing at the moment you are doing a great job.
Wisdom is more than just knowing lots of things, more than knowledge. The best description I heard of wisdom is this
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is actually a fruit.
Wisdom is deciding not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.”
Wisdom is making the right decision, the right choice. That is not always easy. Often it is a real challenge. We have to do what we can to use wisdom to make the right decisions and make good use of the opportunities that we have.
It may seem that we don’t have many opportunities at the moment, in lockdown, but we do. We might want to go out and meet with friends, but the wise decision is to stay in and not risk it. We have the opportunity to do our work for school, but we might not want to take that opportunity. Use wisdom, to make the right choice.
We make choices all the time, sometimes we don’t even think about it. At other times we think, we take our time, weigh up all the possibilities, then make our choice.
The Bible passage from Philippians gives advice abut how to make good choices. I wonder if we consider these things when we make our choices. Whether or not you are a Christian, whatever you do in life, if everyone thought about these things before making a choice, then the world would be a much kinder, much better place.
The other picture is of a “Decollage” that I made last week to do something for Relaxation (which was last week’s theme and word. I made choices in this piece. I could have used my time differently, but I chose to do this. I chose to use old magazines and newspapers to get the colours. I chose where each piece was going to go. I chose the words that I wanted to put on. Did I think about every single choice that I made, probably not? But I am glad that I made the choice to take time out from other things to do it. I now have something which I can put up in the Sanctuary to remind me every time I am in there of the time I was at home, during lockdown.
It will remind me of a time when my choices about what I could do were far more limited than they normally are. It will remind me to make good choices when I have to and when I have the opportunity to.
Relaxation is this week’s theme. Now it may seem weird at a time when you are not in school and many of us are not at work that you need to be told to RELAX. But just because your routine has changed, and you can do your work in your PJs does not mean you are using your time for relaxation.
We are too tempted in lockdown to think that we should be doing, busy, using all this time we have. But relaxation is vital. Switch off, chill, relax. Take time to “be not do”! Go and sit in the sun, close your eyes, and listen. Go for a short, socially distanced walk and look around at all the new leaves and flowers that are appearing. Just lie on your bed with some music playing quietly and BREATHE.
Breathe slowly and carefully. Take your time. Let your mind wander and even empty, don’t even try to think about anything. JUST BE STILL.
If you want to take it one step further, then BE STILL and hand over all your worries to God. You never know, in the quiet, when you stop speaking you might hear an answer.
The theme for this week is determination. If you have time, search for images for the word DETERMINATION. You will find lots of inspirational quotes and pictures of people climbing mountains etc. Some of them make it seem that if you are determined you can achieve absolutely anything. Certainly, you cannot achieve what you dream of without determination and focus, but sometimes determination is about more than achieving long term goals and dreams.
In our current lock down situation, determination may look very different. There may be days when you don’t want to do anything, days when the most you can manage is hours of TikTok while you lie in bed in your pjs. That is fine, for the odd day, but it takes determination to do something different. You may be using all the determination that you have to get up, washed, dressed, and go into the garden before 3.00pm. Great! Tomorrow you can use that same determination to be functioning by lunchtime.
Do not assume that to be successful in Isolation you must finish every piece of work on Firefly, write a poem, create a piece of artwork, and develop your ability to become a great chef. Your Isolation success is your alone. Focus on one or two small things that you want to do and see them through, even if it is just reading one worksheet! Determination is something that can grow.
If any of you have been out for your daily exercise, you may have seen rainbows in windows. Younger children are being encouraged to draw and colour a rainbow to stick in their windows. Then as they go out for a walk or a bike ride they can look for their friends rainbows. It’s a lovely idea and shows that even in dark, difficult times, there is always HOPE.
Just as the blue sky is always behind the clouds, Hope is always there. In the Old Testament, the story of Noah and the Ark tells us that God sent the rainbow as a promise of hope after the storms and floods. The rainbow is a sign of HOPE.
There is always HOPE, hope that the lockdown will work. HOPE that our family and friends will be ok. HOPE that we will all return to normal when this ends. The signs of HOPE are already there, people more people in Italy are recovering than dying, the ozone layer is repairing, people are helping the vulnerable, new ways of communicating are being used all the time, social media has now become a force for good.
For I know the plans I have for you. declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11
It is, without doubt, a strange week to be writing a School Chaplain’s blog. I am sat at home, trying to focus on schoolwork, but finding it very difficult to not be distracted; I am sure many of our students feel the same. I know I will get better at focussing on the work, but at the moment there is to much else going on.
In the circumstances of being at home, with a phone, an iPad and a TV to tell me what is happening in the world it is difficult to think about Salvation, this week’s theme of the week. However, it is more important than ever that we focus on the hope of Salvation. Look at the prayer, it can be said out loud, or in your head. God is with us in all of this.
The Prime Minister announced our lockdown last night, for three weeks. In three weeks’ time, hopefully, the worst will be over. In three weeks’ time it will be Easter. I may not be able to celebrate it in church as I want to, but I believe that Easter gives us the hope of Resurrection and Salvation. Once again, when our world has come through this pandemic, we will be able to have “life in all its fulness.” (John 10:10.)
Who knows, we might even be grateful to get back to early mornings and school!
I wonder how many of you have decided to “give something up” for Lent?
Well if you haven’t it is not too late, but why not approach it in a different way and do something rather than give something up.
The two pictures show 40 different ideas for Acts of Kindness that you could do. How many of them could you do before Easter? What Target will you set yourself, 10, 20 maybe all 40.
The theme for this week is ambition. Now sometimes we think of this in negative ways, connected with power or promotion at work. But what about having the ambition to complete 30 Acts of Kindness this Lent? What about the ambition to focus as fully as possible on your revision for the first time? Sometimes having ambition is a great thing.
Over half term we saw the impact that negativity through social media can have if taken too far. The suicide of Caroline Flack, made us all realise that social media and the press can have a huge impact on an individual.
Checking our social media has become for many of us, part of our daily rhythm of life. For some maybe it is a bigger part of our daily rhythm than we would like it to be. However much we use social media, do we use it in a positive way. Do we build up, or knock down? It is so important to be kind, to be positive. You can never tell if your comment will be the last straw, the one thing too many. Everyone can cope with an excess of positivity, it is something that should be part of our rhythm of every day life.
Our Theme this week is reflection. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you happy with what you see? Do you see the whole person, the parts that are hidden? Or do you just focus on how you look?
Obviously when we look in a mirror to do our hair or something basic like that it is all we have time for but imagine you could see your true self reflected. What would you see then? A good friend, a confident adult in the making?
If you are not happy with what you see in the mirror, what can you do to change it? But before you change, reflect! Am I seeing my true self, or am I listening to just what others say about me?
Theme of the week – Opportunity
Word of the week – Broadband
Sometimes to make the most of an opportunity that is open to us we must take a risk.
Look at the fish, it’s taking a huge risk, but it will be better off afterwards, it doesn’t know how good the opportunity is, it’s taking a leap of faith.
Opportunities present themselves all the time, in lessons, at lunchtime, on the weekend. Do you take the opportunity or not? Are you willing to take yourself out of your comfort zone and take a chance?
BE THE FISH! Take the risk and make the most of every opportunity that is offered to you. If all else fails grasp just one opportunity, see where it takes you, you never know it may be the thing that changes your life for ever.
Monday 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day. This year it is 75 years since the extermination camp at Auschwitz was liberated. It is too easy to think that the Holocaust is something that happened a long time ago, but it is in people’s lifetime. Had she lived Anne Frank, perhaps the most well known teenager to die in the Holocaust would have been 90 this year. Who knows what she would have written had she been allowed to live?
This is Istvan Reiner, he was a happy smiling four year old when he arrived at Auschwitz and this photo was taken.
He was killed.
What might he have become?
What might he have done with his life if he had been allowed to have one?
The students and staff at Kings are being challenged to stand together against evil. To speak our when something is wrong.
“All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” - A Jewish saying from the Talmud, written nearly 2000 years ago.
Theme of the week – Equality
Work of the week – Extremism
This week we focus on equality. There are many areas in life where we can she areas in inequality,
Theme of the week: Value
Word of the week: Convention
This week the students and staff at Kings will be looking at British values and how they link to our values at Kings.
What do you think? Are any of these values more important than others?
The ones that underpin the others for me are Mutual respect and Tolerance. At Kings we have Respect and Empathy, if these values are lived out, all the others will fall into place.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs is sometimes challenging in the Cheddar Valley, there are not many communities of different faiths. At Kings we try to teach the students about these different faiths so that when, as adults, they meet people who have different beliefs to them they are aware and understand them. Understanding of difference leads to tolerance and tolerance makes the world a better place.
Theme of the week: Acceptance
Word of the week: Evidence
Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? Are they different from last year’s or do you always make the same ones?
We don’t have to use the New Year as an excuse to make resolutions. Each day we have the opportunity to think about ourselves and resolve to make changes, but before we can do that we need to think.
What will you be celebrating next week?
Maybe you will celebrate getting to the end of term and being able to have a lie in.
Maybe you will celebrate time with family.
Maybe you will celebrate getting a new phone or some other present that you have wanted for ages.
Maybe you will go to church at some point and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
However you celebrate and whatever you celebrate, we wish you a Happy Christmas.
If you look at the two photos and do a search for “planning at Christmas” you will find books, “to do lists”, even apps to help you plan for Christmas. There always seems to be so much to plan, to do and it all seems to cost a lot of money.
Maybe in all the rush, planning and frantic preparation for Christmas, we need to take time out. We need to stop, to plan some time for ourselves. To use that time to think about what the real meaning of Christmas is. To think about what the birth of Christ really means; love, hope, peace and joy.
This week try to take some time out to think about whether you are going to have a Christmas filled with love, hope, peace and joy, or is it going to be just about more and more expensive new stuff.
This week is the start of Advent and the start of a new year in the Christian church. It’s a time to get ready and prepare for Christmas, but it should be about more than writing cards, buying presents and putting up the decorations. Advent is a time when we can prepare our hearts and minds for Jesus arriving in the world. God was so determined to communicate his love for everyone on Earth that he sent his own son to pass on the message.
It’s a message of love, kindness, joy, peace and hope.
This Advent try something different. Each day try to do one random act of kindness that you might not normally do. Open a door for someone, offer to hand out the books in class, make Mum a cup of tea, tidy up without being asked! That way, you will be preparing for Christmas in the right way and the world will be just a little bit better. If everyone does it, the world will be a lot better.
This week students will be looking at the ideas of Power and Patriotism. Celebrating the power of sport, students will reflect on the famous speech of Nelson Mandela ‘The power of Sport’ and the opening of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Power is linked to team spirit, team work, unity and togetherness and using a recent BBC documentary, students will watch the preparations the England Rugby Team make on their journey to the World cup. The England team talk about their setbacks, challenges, positivity and perseverance which links to previous ‘theme of the weeks’ and our Kings’ Principles of Pride. The impact of having and living out a Christian faith is also reflected on; as God given talents and skills are celebrated looking at the testimonies of five famous Christian sports stars who write about the power their faith gives them to pursue and succeed in their sport. The responsibility and longevity of power is also considered by exploring patriotism through the examples of action, anthems and recent political developments regarding Brexit.
This week students are looking at attitude and considering how we justify our attitude and actions. Students are encouraged to consider different examples of when attitude is considered justified or not justified and how a Christian faith helps people develop their attitude and behaviour in different circumstances. Students are to consider the examples of Rosa Parks and Nick Vijicic, who have been driven by their Christian faith to develop a positive attitude and inspire others to do likewise.