I hope you all have had a lovely weekend and are making the most of the national lockdown to start your Christmas preparations. Yesterday was Stir-up Sunday - an informal term in Anglican churches for the last Sunday before the season of Advent when traditionally you make your Christmas pudding. There is a popular myth that plum pudding's association with Christmas goes back to a custom in medieval England that the "pudding should be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity, that it be prepared with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and the 12 apostles, and that every family member stir it in turn from east to west. Did you make your pudding this weekend?
Next Sunday marks the start of Advent- an important part of the Christian calendar which means 'coming' and it's the period before Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus. It is all about preparing for Christmas Day. It marks the season of preparation; lights go up, shopping begins, Christmas trees are adorned with baubles, and families get ready to celebrate together.
Indeed, in school our Christmas preparations are also under way. Barn Owls, Cuckoos and Firecrest are busy rehearsing their Nativity, the Christmas Tree and lights have been ordered, the dates for the Christmas parties and Christmas lunch have been agreed and each class will visit St. Mary's Church to enjoy a short service with Caroline Turvey. We are hoping there might even be a few more surprises in store for the children too!. Please be reassured, that all our Christmas Festivities will strictly follow Government guidelines - we are determined that Christmas in school this year will not be cancelled, albeit it will be different.
This lesson was just great. The children beemed from ear to ear all the way through. They used what they knew from our levers prototype lesson and made a waving Noah. They look fabulous and we cannot wait to add Noah to his Ark with a moving flag, a munching animal and a moving ocean.
Caroline is recording a weekly Collective Worship. This is up on the Church website: gkchurch.org.uk/collectiveworship Thank you Caroline!
In addition, Reverend Hugh is leading a daily 'Breathe' and prayer virtually at 10:00am. You may need to have the Zoom app downloaded onto your phone/tablet
Go to https://www.gkchurch.org.uk/praywithus and click on the links in there
Years 3, 4 and 5 walked to St Mary's Church on Wednesday morning for a special Ash Wednesday Service led by Caroline. Unfortunately, half of Year 5 were not there as they were in Forest School. So not to miss out, Caroline quickly dashed down to Forstal Woods when the service was over.....
Caroline arrived carrying a huge rucksack. She talked to the group about preparing for a journey – linking with Advent and Lent as a time of preparation. She made a link about being superhuman; asking the children what super powers they would choose. She used James as her ‘model’ and unpacked her rucksack, bringing out food, water, boots, coat, a map etc. She linked this up with story Jesus in the wilderness, and talked about Him being tempted, and the idea that we need to rely on God to help us. The children listened attentively and respectfully, responding well to her questions. Caroline then explained about Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday and went around the circle ‘ashing’ those who wished to.
It was lovely to see so many of you in Church today for our very special Christingle Society. Every year we collect donations for the Children's Society , a charity devoted towards changing the wellbeing and lives of young people all over the country. This year it is their 50th Anniversary. Thank you all for your donations - there is still more money to be counted but so far we have collected over £150! If you would still like to donate money, please bring it in to school and hand it in to the school office or class teaching team.
The whole school enjoyed a wonderful celebration of the Harvest in St Mary's Church this afternoon. A big well done to all classes for their brilliant array of 'performances' that showed harvest in many different ways; reading, acting,dancing, singing, video-making - we had everything! A huge thank you to all families that donated food; This year the gifts will be divided between our own Community Cupboard and the Nourish Foodbank in Tunbridge Wells.
Finally a big well done to Year 6 for leading the service so well.
Following a picnic lunch, the school then opened its' classroom doors and parents were warmly invited to experience an afternoon in the life of Goudhurst & Kilndown pupil. There was a real buzz throughout the school and lots of parents commented on how it had been a wonderful day, just perfect!
As part of our Easter Service, Year 6 created their own version of Palm Sunday.
On Monday 18th March we welcomed Bishop Trevor to the school for one last time as he is due to retire in May. He visited each class and led us in Worship. As always he left us filled with encouragement, wisdom, hope and love for the future.
This week we are so grateful to @Allchurches for their grant of £1,800 towards our next project-creating a Godly Play space adjacent to the Peace garden. Mrs Omer with the support of Mr Draper are running a Godly Play after school club, but our vision is that we will have a dedicated building and resources in order to embed Godly Play sessions into our RE Curriculum and SMSC development areas of in the School.
Godly Play promotes knowledge, skills, empathy, values, spiritual growth and develops the needs of the whole child:mind, body and spirit. It provides a multi-sensory approach to learning, developing language and communication skills and encourages children to make meaning for themselves.
Our project has the full support of Reverend Hugh Nelson and his team and our vision is that St. Mary's Church Community will use the building and resources as part of their mission to improve the spirituality and mental health and well-being of everyone in the community.
At our school we take emotional well-being of our students and staff very seriously. We strongly believe that by developing spirituality, we can improve resilience and emotional well-being which in turn will lead to happiness. If you are happy you will learn!