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Theme of the Week
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
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
|Week beginning ||Theme ||Word |
This week our theme is - Expectation
12th July, 2021 - Voice
This week’s theme is voice. It is of course important that we all have a voice and all feel that our voices can be heard. But what if your voice, your opinion, is harmful to others?
Yesterday, as I watched the football, along with many others, I found myself shouting at the TV screen. You get swept along in the moment, you become part of the crowd, even though you are at home. Your voice joins with thousands of others in groaning at the misses, sighing as an opponent’s shot goes wide, appealing to the referee when there appears to have been an injustice. These voices are fine; they help us to feel part of something bigger than ourselves.
But what about the voices that have been heard since; does your voice join with those who spout racist abuse, or are you one of the thousands that will condemn this appalling abuse? Will you have the courage to use your voice to speak out against racism and discrimination in all its forms?
Once again, in this case, as in so many, we need to “treat others as we wish to be treated.” Basic human decency and respect for each other would encourage all to use their voice for good, to speak out against racism.
5th July, 2021 - Empathy
Empathy is a strange thing, it is all about understanding what someone else is feeling, understanding what they are going through. It's not the same as sympathy, sympathy is feeling sorry for someone.
Whilst empathy is really important, how much better would all of our lives be if we did as much as we can to treat everyone well. The "Golden Rule" which is present in every major religion in the world is "to treat others as you would wish to be treated." If we all treated each other well, there would be less hurt, more understanding. Less anger, more gentleness.
This week in my assembly I have encouraged the students to stop and think, to put their brain in gear before they make a comment, or say something. It may be that the comment is intended as a joke, but is that how the person will hear it? Do any of us like to hear negative things about ourselves? If the answer is "No" then we must do all we can not to say negative things about others. So much hurt is caused by comments and name calling. If we all stopped to think, to show a little bit of empathy, we would understand, we would care more, we would want to help and not to hurt.
Help us to treat others as we want to be treated, to be kind, gentle, compassionate and understanding. Help us to come alongside those who need support, to listen, to care, to understand them.
28th June, 2021 - Enthusiasm
In this week’s assembly I challenged the students to think back to when they were in first school; to remember what it was like to volunteer for everything, to be enthusiastic, to shoot your hand up in the air and hope desperately to be picked.
I wonder when we lose that level of enthusiasm. When do we stop answering every question, volunteering to lead, wanting to be involved, being enthusiastic about everything. I wonder if we can ever recapture that level of enthusiasm?
Certainly, we need enthusiasm, we need to rekindle that desire, that passion, that excitement about doing things. Without this enthusiasm our lives become dull and monotonous; we simply get up and do what we have to and then go to bed again. That is not living, that is merely existing.
Jesus said that he had come so that we might have “life in all its fullness.” Life in all its fullness means more than just existing, it means living, it means being enthusiastic.
21st June, 2021 - Teamwork
We are all members of different teams, in school, in work, at home. Sometimes we don't even think about it as being part of a team, but a team is any situation where people work together in different roles to achieve something collectively.
The most obvious teams are sports teams, but what about families? What about Tutor Groups? They are all teams of a sort.
The Bible reading tells us "to encourage each other, to spur each other on towards love and good deeds." Encouraging those others in the team is important to its success.
This week, try to focus on "spurring one another on towards love and good deeds." Basically, encourage, praise and help. If everyone in a team does this, the team will be more successful.
14th June, 2021 - Honesty
Being honest with ourselves is something that most of us find difficult. We often find it really difficult to admit that we are good at something, or to show others that we can do something.
I wonder how many times you have been in a situation where you know the answer, but you say nothing, because you doubt yourself. Or when you have done something really well and when anyone praises you, you say “Oh it was nothing.” When actually you should be really proud of yourself and if you were being honest with yourself, it was amazing and you really worked hard.
Being honest with yourself shouldn’t mean that you are overly critical. You should see the good in yourself as well as the negatives.
7th June, 2021 - Lifestyle
The Bible verse in the picture is basically telling us "Don't sweat the small stuff." Our life and lifestyle should not be all about what we wear, or what we eat. We shouldn't be stressing about things which are not important. What Jesus meant was, focus on the big picture, think about your life and lifestyle as a whole, rather than worrying about every tiny little thing. It is more important that you are kind, generous, loving, friendly, supportive, helpful, courageous. These are the things that are important in life, not whether you are wearing the "right clothes." Making the right choices about the way that you live is important; we should all be trying to do what we can to look after ourselves, each other and the planet. If we focussed on these aspects of our lifestyle and didn't worry about the small stuff, it would be better for us and for everyone else.
26th April, 2021 - Free Will
Free will is a strange thing, it means that we as humans can make our own decisions. It means that we are not controlled. Now, you may assume that Free Will is, therefore, brilliant; we can choose to love, we can choose to be kind, we can choose where we live and where we work, we can choose whether we have any religious beliefs or not. Unfortunately, some people use free will to choose crime, to choose hatred, to choose violence.
What do you use your free will for? For good or for bad? Do you think about your choices or do you just react? Free will means that we can choose to make the world a little bit better, but to do that we need to make the right choices.
19th April, 2021 - Stewardship
Stewardship means “The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
We as human beings are STEWARDS of our world. We have a responsibility to look after our planet, its animals and its resources. As Christians we do this because God has given us this amazing planet to live on, to use, but also to look after. Whether you believe that or not is not the important thing here. The important thing is that we realise that we are stewards and that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to sustain and care for the Earth.
Some things that we do will be small, like picking up litter or recycling. Other things may take more thought and effort like buying clothes and goods from companies that have good records of caring for the environment. Some of us may be involved with charities that contribute to stewardship, for example you might sponsor an endangered animal. However, big or small our contribution, it is important that we strive to do everything that we can to look after our amazing planet. After all, do you want to be the one to tell your grandchildren or great grandchildren that you knew all about climate change, but did nothing; that you knew that animals were going extinct, but didn’t care; that you knew we were running out of oil, but still carried on using it.
29th March, 2021 - Easter
Easter gives us a real chance to focus on Hope. The death of Jesus on the cross is not just an event in a book written nearly 2000 years ago, for many of us, as Christians, it is an ongoing reminder that there is life after death. A reminder that there are new beginnings to come, that there is always the chance to start again. It reminds us that we worship a living God.
We can’t celebrate Easter in church as we normally would as a school, but the message of Easter still comes through. Follow this link to find out what different church leaders in Cheddar Valley have to say about Easter https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/8a3638b2-00d5-4cf7-b34f-ea9c33d8a7fa
We wish all our students, their families and the staff a happy, Blessed and safe Easter.
22nd March, 2021 - Compassion
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8
Compassion is the ability to see someone in need and then help, to do something about it. It is more than showing sympathy, more than showing empathy and understanding; it is realising that someone is struggling, that they need help and support and then actually being that help and support.
How can you show compassion in your everyday life? It doesn’t have to be big, you don’t have to try to change the world for everyone, but you might just change the world for one person!
15th March, 2021 - Structure
I wonder how often we focus on what we can see and not on what has gone on in the background? How often do we worry about good things look and not on how good they actually are?
How we structure and build our lives is important. Sometimes the hard work and effort that we put in is not seen, but it is there. Building our lives on the right foundations is so much more important than having the right make-up, being the right size, listening to the right music etc.
We should be building our lives on good solid foundations, that will see us through good times and bad times. These are the building blocks which should be the foundation of our lives.
8th March, 2021 - Life
Having the theme of “Life” for this week is so appropriate. This morning Kings went from having about 60 students in every day to having 1200 in school. Life is indeed returning, there is a buzz of noise everywhere you go. The playgrounds are full of chatter and laughter again at break and lunchtime. The classrooms are full and we learn to live together in a community once again.
In the reading Jesus says that he has come “that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” This is truer today than ever before. Even though many of the students might not have said so, they have all enjoyed being back in school. The have seen friends that they haven’t seen since before Christmas, their lessons are more interesting in person, practical subjects begin to start again. It really does seem that this is a time of new life.
We hope and pray that this is the beginning of the end, of the pandemic, that our lives will return to more and more normality, this will allow everyone to live life more abundantly.
1st March, 2021 - Fact and Fiction
This week’s theme is Fact/Fiction; its World Book Day, so we focus on reading. I think we forget how dependant we are on the written word, but it is everywhere. Even those of us who use the Internet rather than actual written documents, are still dependant on the written word.
Sometimes I feel that I haven’t picked up a proper book, with a story, for years; but then I realise that I have still been reading, emails, text books, theology books (maybe that’s just me), Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. I am reading all the time.
The one book that I read every single day is the Bible. I don’t read loads of it, just a couple of sentences or so. It pings up on my iPad every morning, a couple of verses, a picture and a thought for the day. It’s one of the first things that I do every day. It sets me up for what is to come. It gives me something to think about.
What do you read that makes you think?
25th January, 2021 - Light in the Darkness
I don’t know how many of you watched the Inauguration on Wednesday, but this young lady was amazing. If you haven’t seen her speak her poem, it is well worth looking up.
See Amanda Gorman's inaugural address here
I used this quote in this week’s assembly, because I think it is great and because it fits so well with the theme of “Light in the Darkness”. We have to keep looking for the positives. It is particularly important this week, because on 27th January it is Holocaust Memorial Day. It might seem strange to have the theme of “Light in the Darkness” as a theme for such a week. But even in the darkest moments of the Holocaust, there were glimmers of light and hope. The citizens that risked their own lives to hide Jews, the parents who ensured that even in the camps, their children had food, individuals like Maximillian Kolbe. There is always light. There is always hope.
So take time this week to think about what is good, to look for the light, the positives, the good things. It maybe that it is light as you drive to work for the first time in ages. Spot the snowdrop when you are out for a walk. Look for the buds beginning on the trees. Friends phoning to check that you are OK. Communities helping those who need it. The light is there, but we may have to look a little harder.
11th January, 2021 - Inspiration
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.
17th November, 2020 - Words
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?
9th November, 2020 - Remembrance
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.
The Unknown Warrior reminds us that some are prepared to sacrifice everything for others. Help us to remember all those who fought and died in war. Whether they are known to us by name or not, they are known by name to God.
19th October, 2020 - Giving
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.
12th October, 2020 - Dreams
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?
28th September, 2020 - Fairtrade
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
SHARE THE HARVEST
In an acrostic poem, each line starts with a different letter of the phrase. They have been asked to think about harvest, sharing and Fairtrade. I wonder how often do we think about where our food actually comes from. Do we actively seek to buy foods that are Fairtrade, or have low food miles? Do we care about where our food comes from or do we just buy the cheapest, or the same brands that we always buy?
At Harvest time, we give thanks to God for the harvest and the farmers that provide our food. This year, when even we in Britain have had shortages of some foods, maybe we should be more thankful than ever that we have food, that the harvest has been good.
21st September, 2020 - Co-operation
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.
Help me to value myself, to see the things that I do well, to have confidence in my own abilities. Then help me to learn to trust others and co-operate with them, so that my skills and knowledge and abilities can be used to help others.
7th September, 2020 - Community
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.