Dear Dr Welby,
introduce myself as a lifelong member of the Anglican Church, brought up in a
clergy home and, with two brief periods away, a communicant member of Anglican
churches throughout adult life.
years I've kept an eye on press coverage concerning you and your
predecessors. Have to say, being the Archbishop of Canterbury must be one
of the toughest jobs in the world. Whatever you do, at least 2/3 of your
members will disagree, whilst non-members will consider you irrelevant, out of
touch, or even evil.
One of my colleagues, of a similar age to me, told me of a recent conversation with one of our pupils, in which he was trying to explain what life was like in the days, well within our memory, before video recorders, let alone DVD, multichannel TV, on demand services such as Netflix and iplayer. "So what you're saying," the pupil asked, eyes open wide in sheer wonder, "is that, when you were my age, if you wanted to watch a certain programme, you had to be in at a particular time to do so?
Some months ago my head of year told me that a group of boys, including a
number from my tutor group and others from my maths group, were organising an
event to raise money for charity Fantastic! Pupils taking the
initiative, looking to help others whilst promoting a sense of community,
developing organisational skills and having fun all at the same time.
Which teacher wouldn't want actively to encourage this kind of undertaking?
And the event itself? A football match.
I was very pleased to be asked to speak, for the first time, at
full school assembly. Fixed points were the title, 'Who has control?'
and the Bible passage Luke 4:1-13, the temptations of Christ, which I
arranged to be read before I spoke. Please see below what I had ready,
had to make some real time cuts in order not to over-run but this is
pretty well what I said. Interested to know what you think! Very
pleased with a number of positive comments from colleagues and pupils,
and a very nice card from our headteacher - if you're reading this,
thank you, very much appreciated!
If memory serves correctly, when I was doing mock O levels (now GCSEs) in my 5th year (now year 11) we were only required to turn up when we had an exam to do, otherwise we were on exam leave. That has now changed - whilst doing mock GCSEs year 11 is required to be in school for the normal school day, if there isn't an exam scheduled in any particular time period, then they go to lessons as on the normal timetable, then to use the lesson time to revise.
So, what that means in practice is that, over the last two weeks, I've seen revision going on in a whole variety of subjects.
A belated happy new year to all my readers, I trust that 2019 will bring peace and happiness in all your endeavours, personal and professional.
I'm aware that I've somewhat neglected my blog recently, there are a number of reasons for this which I'm happy to discuss in private conversation. But I felt I did want to write a post today.
For the last few months I've been very pleased to be on the rota to lead the prayers at the 10.30am service at St James's Church, Bramley near Basingstoke.
[Jesus said to His disciples], "What were you arguing about on the road?" But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all."
He took a little child whom He placed among them. Taking the child in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the One who sent Me.
Some years ago I set myself a little project comparing the way two newspapers, 'The Guardian' and 'The Sun', handled education news stories over the course of a month. I decided to do this some time in advance, and considered that the single best month would be September as schools go back for the new school year.
Everything was fine initially, with education stories appearing in both papers at the rate of 2 or 3 a day. But the year I was doing this was 2001 and, as anybody old enough to remember knows only too well, on the 11th September 2001 an atrocity occurred which completely dominated newspapers for some considerable time afterwards.
One of many things I like about the school at which I teach
is that the senior members of staff post a sign outside their offices
indicating what book they are currently reading. One reason for liking this is that it sends
out positive messages to pupils – we want you to read and enjoy reading and
look, we read as well! Another reason is
that it gives a good topic for conversation when meeting them casually, ideally
if I’ve read the book myself, but one can always use a bit of imagination in
the discussion if not.
So, after a long year back school teaching, the summer holiday is upon us - at the time of writing 2 weeks in with 4 more weeks still to go. I have to be honest, the last few weeks of term were very much a case of getting through to the end, the (by UK standards) unusually hot weather continuing for some considerable time didn't help matters, very few fans or air conditioning units to be found!
The first week I spent catching up with some reading, largely arising from the Holocaust, a blog post coming but not quite ready yet - visiting the dentist and the optician, this kind of thing.