Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
This week’s image is a display of hats made earlier this autumn, for the European Day of Languages. They are on an international theme – I can spot some shamrock, the Eiffel tower … this colourful display is brightening up our reception area at the moment. Thank you and well done to the students involved in creating this.
Our lay chaplain Faith Wheat has emailed to wish us all a ‘Happy New Year.’ A bit premature, you might think. But no; in Church terms, this is the start of a new liturgical year. Advent Sunday was yesterday, and we are back to the beginning again – thinking about those long ages of expectation for the coming of the Messiah, as we think about the coming of Christmas.
Actually, in many ways Christmas seems to have started already. The shops have been in festive season for many months. Yesterday I was in a shop where a group of enthusiastic youth were singing and dancing: “I wish it could be Christmas every day!” The Church encourages us to take a more measured approach, and to give due weight to Advent – a period of expectation, waiting, with a realisation that many things come only after long periods of prayer and preparation. This week we have the year 7 Advent services, liturgies of reconciliation in College, and Mrs Dixon is leading assemblies on an Advent theme.
“Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.”
This Wednesday I’m heading, not for Bethlehem, but for Birmingham – attending the SSAT annual conference. The SSAT is a network of schools and colleges to which we belong, and where we both contribute (as a TEEP teaching school, for example), and receive support from our professional colleagues. Themes this year include creativity in the curriculum, and also ‘creative accounting’ – nothing underhand, but many schools (including ourselves) are genuinely feeling the financial pinch and are looking at ways of being imaginative in using a diminished pot of cash to fulfil ever greater demands. I hope I’ll pick up a few useful tips.
HomeRun. Parents and staff will have received an email asking for a sign up to an app called ‘HomeRun’ – providing travel details for your children. The data provided to this App can be used by the local authority to apply for funding to improve road safety outside schools. If one-third of our parents respond, we may look forward to some traffic calming measures on Wingfield Road.
In my last blog I reported that the Year 11 Rugby team had reached the semi-finals of the Mid Wiltshire Schools cup. I can now report that they won their match 22-10 – a fine achievement. They will now play in the final this Wednesday, which will be at Trowbridge Rugby Club. Good luck to the team!
On Friday the Geography department took some Sixth Formers to London for a plate tectonics conference. Despite a late return (traffic on the M4 etc), Mrs Ewings reports this was a valuable experience for the students. A few were apparently as interested in eating burgers as in physical geography … not sure if fast food is on the A level syllabus??
More Modern Language News. On Wednesday the Modern Languages film club met, and watched the film Joyeux Noel. About 16 students from years 7-11 were present. After the film there was a little discussion afterwards about why the generals were desperate to keep it a secret and why the men were punished for “fraternising with the enemy.” Here are some student comments:
“The film was really lovely and enjoyable, definitely a 10/10”.
“Joyeux Noel was a heart-warming film that shows humanity and friendship in the most unlikely places” (Hannah Ranger, Year 9)
Ruth Perera, Year 11, described it as “deeply moving, an important historical film”.
In addition, there was great excitement among Mme Peacock’s Year 9 class today as they received their first pen pal letters from “real French people” (their words) from the Collège Anatole France, Châteaudun.