Headlines – 21 October 2022

Wilmcote Piano Request – A Happy Ending!

Anita Twyman, Head of School at Wilmcote CofE Primary School writes: “Our trusty old piano did not cope well with being moved during the summer renovations in the school hall. We reached out to our Diocesan schools in the area and St Andrew’s CofE Infants School in Coventry very kindly donated a piano that wasn’t singing much at their school. Massive thanks to Mrs Russell who drove to Coventry to collect and deliver for us. Community spirit felt very strong this week we really do work better when we work together. Our new Squirrel Class teacher Mrs Palmer was able to join us for a few hours on Friday and played for us during our Achievement Assembly. We are looking forward to the sound of music when she joins us after the holiday!”

The photos show the piano being used for a lesson and in collective worship on the theme of generosity.  And on that theme…a big thank you to all those schools who responded when we sent out the original request back in September. Anita and her team were overwhelmed with your kind generosity!


Pupil Conference – ‘What is Faith?’

Katie Benson, Headteacher at Radford Semele CofE Primary School writes: “This afternoon [Thursday], children from Radford Semele CofE Primary, Bishops Tachbrook CofE Primary and St Margaret’s CofE Junior School attended a Pupil Conference at St Margaret’s School.  The aim was for children to work collaboratively with pupils from other schools to discuss the Big Question, ‘What is Faith?’ To begin with, each group discussed this question and shared their thoughts. They were then asked to create a piece of artwork to visually represent what faith means to them. Children worked in groups of four, using mixed-media to create their artwork. Each group presented their final design to the rest of the children, explaining their choice of imagery and language used within the piece. All three headteachers, Katie Benson (Radford), Cathyrn Kilbey (Bishops Tachbrook) and Ruth Anstee (St Margarets) were incredibly proud of the children’s maturity and positive approach towards the challenge. It was a real pleasure to see pupils enjoying a meaningful discussion with each other and demonstrating our Christian values through their behaviour and attitudes throughout the afternoon. The three schools hope to collaborate again next term to build upon the positive start of the first joint Pupil Conference.”


New Vision Sculpture at St Margaret’s

Jen Jenkins joined the Bishop of Warwick, The Rt Revd John Stroyan at St Margaret’s CofE Junior yesterday for the inauguration of their new vision sculpture.  Their collective worship was wonderful. The pupils’ singing and musical talents were fantastic!



Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award Free Advent Resources 2022 

Follow the Star – Advent Journeys

As we journey towards Christmas this Advent season, the ABYYT invite schools to join them in exploring some of the journeys made in the Christmas story and to consider how these can help and inspire us on our own journeys in life.  Take a look at the journeys made by Mary as she visits Elizabeth, by Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem and by the shepherds and wise men as they travel to meet and celebrate Jesus. The journeys offer us an invitation to hope, search, follow and rejoice.  Over four weeks the FREE resource will explore what we can learn from these journeys and how they can inspire us to reach out and make a difference to others in our communities this Advent.

Each week includes:

  • Bible passage activity
  • Video Exploration
  • Questions to reflect on
  • Challenges
  • Prayer

This resource can be used in the classroom or in collective worship. Challenges can be done individually or as a group or class.  Schools can pre-order or sign up here: https://www.abyyt.com/advent


Looking for Free Christmas songs to engage KS2?

Discover PopUK’s FREE Christmas resources with a contemporary lively style that KS2 will love (with catchy choruses for KS1).

Listen to the popular ‘Shepherds’ Song’ with a rap

Find all PopUK’s FREE Christmas resources here.


Warwickshire County Council Admissions Department

 Warwickshire Admissions now have a dedicated number and email address specifically for schools to use (rather than the main channels which parents also use). This will hopefully result in a quicker and more efficient response: Telephone 01926 414111 or email schooladmissions@welearn365.com


Free World Kindness Day Resources (to link with Anti-Bullying Week)

World Kindness Day packs are available to download free from 52 Lives – School of Kindness. They include details about World Kindness Day, as well as a range of lessons / activities for your class. Download World Kindness Day Pack here. Also look at their FREE kindness teaching resources here. Free school resources can also be found on the random acts of kindness website (quite Americanised but still useful!) There are free resources, training materials and videos. One of their resources is this (4 min) video about St. Matthews School in Cambridge where for Anti-Bullying Week they decided to have a week dedicated to kindness. Children learned the importance of being kind to themselves and others while delving deeper into the ‘Kindness in the Classroom’ curriculum. Click here to watch.


Anna Freud Centre Free Wellbeing Resources for EYFS and Secondary Teachers

Early Years

The Anna Freud Learning Network have produced a new resource on personal, social and emotional development (PSED) for early years workers, managers and practitioners from the wider early years sector. The free guide and videos, will enable practitioners to support the healthy PSED of children in their settings. Find them here

Classroom Wellbeing Toolkit for Secondary Teachers

A free seminar will focus on insights from a new toolkit from Anna Freud Centre and The Early Intervention Foundation which provides guidance on practical steps teachers and other adults in school can take to promote and support mental health, through their everyday interactions with secondary students. This seminar will feature an expert panel of speakers from the Early Intervention Foundation, including Dr Aleisha Clarke and Jean Gross CBE.  The seminar is on 3 November, 16:30–18:00 – book your free place here.

Download the toolkit here.


Do You Have East and Southeast Asian Families in Your School?

You may wish to add this to your school newsletter: ‘On Your Side’ is a newly launched nationwide service, funded by The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, offering dedicated support for East and Southeast Asian victims of racism and/or other forms of hate. The service includes a 24/7 freephone helpline available in East and Southeast Asian languages, a website www.onyoursideuk.org – with reporting forms and resources, and ongoing community-based support delivered by trained casework advocates.  For further information please visit the ‘On Your Side’ website (link above).


The Schools & Academies Show Birmingham – 17 November

The Schools & Academies Show Birmingham is returning to the NEC, Birmingham on 17 November. They are expecting over 3000 attendees for a content-packed day of learning and networking.  As a staple within the education calendar for the last 12 years, the Schools & Academies Show brings together the sector’s most decorated and influential speakers to share their knowledge, expertise and best practice guidance on how schools, academies and MATs can overcome the biggest challenges facing the sector.  Register your free place to join the show in Birmingham to be a part of the debate, make new connections, gain access to over 30 hours of CPD certified content, meet innovative education suppliers and leave with practical advice to take back to your school!  https://schoolsandacademiesshow.co.uk/


Wellbeing – An Easy Mindfulness Practise to Start

(From Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership, by Janice Marturano)

Mindfulness is often defined as ‘non-judgmental, moment to moment awareness’. As leaders, it can also be thought of as the cultivation of leadership presence.  A mindful leader embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion in the service of others. Leadership presence is a tangible quality. It requires full and complete non-judgmental attention in the present moment. Those around a mindful leader see and feel that presence.  Our world needs mindful leaders, people who embody leadership presence. We need leaders who not only understand themselves but who are not afraid to be open- hearted and who have the strength of character to make ethical choices. The problems we see all around us are not insurmountable, but they do require a new kind of leadership.  As you continue to practice, and find more ways to actually be here for your life, you are also likely to encounter more and different ways to influence the lives of others, in your team, in your organisation, in your families and in your community.

A Mindfulness practice to try today

If you find you have a moment in the day when you feel scattered, overwhelmed, rushing from place to place and contemplating a to-do list that never seems to get any shorter. Try this STOP practice…

S – Stop. Yes, literally this. Stand and deliberately stay still. Plant your feet on the ground. Stop yourself from rushing to the next thing, reaching for your phone or walking immediately out of the door.

T- Take a breath – or even better – five good deep breaths. Most leaders I work with say they breathe shallowly only noticing the tension their holding when their hearts start to race or that familiar ache begins behind the eyes. Feel the breath all the way in and all the way out – notice the impulse to ‘hurry this’ and slow it down as best you can.

O – Observe – what’s going on right now? Note how your body feels, thoughts that are tugging for your attention, your emotions and energy levels. As best you can – and as you breathe – allow yourself to simply name and note what you are noticing; “tension is here”, “thoughts of planning are here,” “worry is here”, “heat is here”. Noticing and naming it – crucially not as “I am worried” but instead “worry is here” – allows us to create a little space in our lives so these emotions and thoughts can slightly reduce their hold on us.

P – Proceed with the next moment of your day.

Having taken this micro-moment of pause, being attentive whilst allowing ourselves to become more grounded and settled, we are now able to go into the next moment with a little more clarity, wisdom and compassion for ourselves and those around us.


We hope you have a restful and restorative half term break.  Next Headlines will be on 4 November.


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