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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 Spring term 2021:
This week our theme is - Unity
Where do you get your inspiration? Is there a person, a picture a piece of music, that you always turn to when you find things difficult, when you need that little bit of a push?
At the moment, we all find ourselves dealing with a situation that is unlike anything that we have had to deal with before. It’s really difficult to find the inspiration to do what we need to do, whether that is logging on and working from home, or coming into school. Whether you have a full day ahead of you with lots of different activities, or a long day with not much to focus on, just remember that you are not alone.
As a Christian, I believe that I can do all the things that I need to do, because I am not on my own. I have Jesus Christ to strengthen me, to inspire me, to help when things get tough. Just don’t forget, that sometimes Jesus might take the form of a friend, or a member of the family, and help you through by prompting them to be there for you.
We use words all the time, we talk, we listen, we text, we email. We see words all around us and we cannot function without them.
Words are very powerful; they can be a matter of life or death. They can harm or hurt. As Chaplain I spend quite a lot of my time listening to students who have fallen out with friends, so much of this starts with “S/he said this about me, then someone told me that s/he said this.” The quote from Proverbs was written nearly 4000 years ago, but it is so relevant today, “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” I wonder how quickly arguments and quarrels would die down if others didn’t keep gossiping and stirring? How much better our community would be. It is worth stopping every time we think about passing on something we have heard, does it need to be passed on? Will it help? Is it kind? Would we like it if someone said that about us?
This year marks 100 years since the Unknown Warrior was buried in Westminster Abbey.
This is what happened.
Four bodies from the thousands of British soldiers who could not be identified were selected.
On the night of 7th November 1920. The General Officer in charge of troops in France and Flanders, Brigadier General L.J. Wyatt, with Colonel Gell, went into the chapel alone, where the bodies on stretchers were covered by Union Flags. They had no idea from which area the bodies had come. General Wyatt selected one and the two officers placed it in a plain coffin and sealed it. The other three bodies were reburied.
On the morning of 11th November the coffin was placed, on a gun carriage drawn by six black horses of the Royal Horse Artillery. It then began its journey through the crowd-lined streets, making its first stop in Whitehall where the Cenotaph was unveiled by King George V. The King placed his wreath of red roses and bay leaves on the coffin. His card read "In proud memory of those Warriors who died unknown in the Great War. Unknown, and yet well-known; as dying, and behold they live. George R.I. November 11th 1920". The coffin then continued to Westminster Abbey where it was buried. The grave was filled in, using 100 sandbags of earth from the battlefields, so even though the soldier is buried with Kings and Queens in Westminster Abbey, he is still buried in the same earth as his fallen comrades.
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.