Headlines – 10 November 2023

Goodbye to Bishop Christopher

Several schools were at Coventry Cathedral on Saturday to take part in a special thanksgiving and farewell service for Bishop Christopher prior to his new appointment as Dean of Windsor. The children sang ‘World Changers’ which was particularly resonsant for him having seen the massive impact of this at the Alive event at Stoneleigh in the summer.

Jessica Newitt, Deputy Head Teacher of Alveston CofE Primary School said: “What a wonderfully humbling service. It was so emotional but a really lovely farewell. The children who were able to come were absolutely thrilled to be part of such an important event.”

Pupils also attended from St John’s CofE Academy Coventry, All Saints CofE Primary Coventry and Clifton upon Dunsmore CofE Primary.

You can read the full text of Bishop Christopher’s sermon from the service here.


Remembrance in Wellesbourne

More than 8,000 knitted poppies have been created by villagers in Wellesbourne ahead of this year’s Remembrance commemorations.  A cascade of poppies falls from the tower at St Peter’s Church with thousands more placed around the community, including 25 shop windows, the war memorial, a local Methodist church and Wellesbourne CofE Primary School pictured right.


New Advent and Christmas Resources Available

Prayer Spaces for Schools have lots of Christmas prayer activities.  PopUK have a new song in their free song library called ‘Love Makes Room’ which draws a parallel between Mary and Joseph’s story and that of the many displaced people and refugees across the world today.  In the lead up to Christmas, Premier Christian Radio will be featuring the Top 50 Christmas songs as voted for by the listeners. Schools, classes and inviduals are invited to take part and it’s a great way to get pupils to engage with the christmas message. The special Christmas Challenge will be on the station webpage https://www.premier.plus/ from Monday 13 November and there will be a dedicated voting link.  The Church of England’s Advent and Christmas campaign for 2023 is called ‘Follow the Star: Join the Song’. It highlights how singing can help draw us closer to God and each other through the journey from Advent to Epiphany.  Sign up for the free advent school resources here.


‘We Remember’ – Godly Play Script for Remembrance

Find it here along with the set of images that shows how the script unfolds.  There are also links to other great resources on the theme of Remembrance for school or church.


Conflict in Gaza and Israel – Resources and Wellbeing

How do teachers and parents talk about serious issues they themselves might be unsure of? This guide from Global Dimension gives some helpful links including discussion tips and a free ‘Teach Peace’ pack alonside peace building resouces including a Minecraft peace building game and associated lessons.  ‘Education Support’ and ‘Solutions Not Sides’ are partnering to provide a free webinar to support all teachers and education staff who are affected by the conflict in the Middle East. The webinar is at 16.30 on Wednesday 15 November and you can hear fellow educators and mental health professionals discuss how to stay well in this time of crisis. The intention is to leave feeling connected to others, and with practical guidance on how to cope. Book here.  The Church of England Curriculum and Inclusion Team have produced a short document to help school leaders and teachers as they seek to support in the best way possible. Called ‘Considerations for Schools in Supporting Pupils and Staff at times of International Conflict’ you can find it here.  See Global Citizenship resource Signposts for access to free teaching resources on the Palestine-Israel Conflict, curated in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.  BBC Newsbeat have an up to date summary which explains the history and politics of the conflict here.


Book Choices for Spiritual Development

This is a fantastic list of theologically rich picture books that might help as part of ongoing spiritual development provision in your school.


Open Invitation to Headteachers – Coventry Soul Children Choir

Chip Kendall, who some of you will remember from Alive, is looking to form a ‘Soul Children’ choir in Coventry and hopefully involving a number of schools. To find out more about Soul Children click here.  The meeting to discuss the initial plans is as per the invitation below – 11.30 at the Cosy Club in Coventry on Monday 20 November. If you, or your staff, or your parish contacts would like to attend you would be welcome.  If you need further information contact revtomcook@stmaryscoventry.org


Rotary Young Environmentalist Competition

The Rotary Club have a number of competitions aimed at children and young people. This young enviromentalist competition has a theme of ‘Waste Minimisation’ and schools are invited to take part.  Entries can come from a team or as an individual and come up with a clever way to address the challenge of waste minimisation. Submissions are in project form and must show your ingenious way of tackling the issue.  Your reward? A mentoring experience to take your idea forward and a chance to save the planet.Your project work will go through a local stage first, followed by the district heats and then, if chosen, on to the national final.  The competition is open to environmentalists up to the age of 17 and the closing date is 31 January.  For more information click here.


The Dirt Is Good Project- Free Courageous Advocacy Resource

The Dirt Is Good Project an award-winning, free programme for schools that empowers students aged 7-14 to be ‘world changemakers’ by uniting in compassion and take collective action on the environmental and social causes they care about, whilst contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development. There is an online library of free resources, including lesson plans, factsheets, worksheets, and assembly packs, to guide students through a student-led, collaborative process of designing and delivering a social action project in their community.  You can find out more about the project here: www.dirtisgoodproject.com/uk/home


Do You Have an Outdoor Prayer Space?

Prayer Spaces in Schools get lots of enquiries about how to set up outdoor area that is a permanent feature of the school grounds, as distinct from running a temporary prayer space outside. They would like to gather ideas and pictures to share with others so if you have one that you can tell them about, please get in touch with them at: info@prayerspacesinschools.com


Anti Bullying Week Resources – 13–17 November

This year’s theme is ‘Make A Noise About Bullying’ and will take place from Monday 13th to Friday 17th November. Find more details on the Anti-Bullying Alliance website


Responding to Stressful Situation Toolkit from Mentally Healthy Schools

Stress is a natural response to challenging situations and events. While everyone experiences stress to some extent, stress can be overwhelming when it is particularly intense or long-lasting, and negatively impacts our physical or mental wellbeing.  This toolkit contains resources to support both pupils and staff to identify and manage stress. It contains lesson plans, tips and advice and supporting activities for dealing with stress in relation to school life, as well as potentially distressing events in the wider world.  The resources are divided into materials for use with pupils and materials to support staff. Find them here.


UK Announces AI funding for Teachers

How this Technology Could Change the Profession

Read this news article from independent news source ‘The Conversation’ on the UK’s £2 million pound investment in Education AI and the impact this might have on teaching.  If you want to get a head start, this free e-book from the ‘ICT Evangelist’ gives ‘generative AI prompts’ full of ideas for nearly all corners of the curriculum.


Living Well Together

This short (4 min) inspirational film showcases the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra that brings Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians together each year in the name of peace and understanding. Click here to watch.



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