A very busy week indeed!
Year 7 students have been looking at values in ‘the kingdom of God’, and in particular at what can be learned from the Gospel story of the rich man. In Tuesday’s lesson, they took part in an auction, in which they could bid for trips to Disney Land, new wardrobes, Stoke City season tickets, and more. Sadly, some had run out of money when the last lots were auctioned; these included clean drinking water for an African village, meals and shelter for the homeless, and three teachers for an Indian school. Those that still had funds pledged money with enthusiasm. Students learned not only that material possessions should not be our priority in life, but also that with wealth comes responsibility.
Year 8 students have begun their study of Judaism by looking at recent Jewish history. The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day was ‘Torn from Home’ and, after looking at film clips of the Kindertransport and reading the story of Renee Bornstein – a child refugee, students were inspired to write poetry or a postcard of solidarity and hope to Renee.
The theme continued on Friday, when Mr Ken Wilson, our CAFOD rep, came into the classroom to challenge the children to adopt the mindset of a refugee; this time from the point of view of a Syrian refugee.
These lessons have been both sobering and yet vital in the education of young people in equipping them with the determination to work for a better future.
Year 9 students have been exploring Islam. In one lesson this week they were challenged to create a prayer mat using three types of Islamic art: Geometric design, Calligraphy, and Arabesque. The results were stunning.
In keeping with tradition, each mat contains a mistake (due to the belief that only Allah can create perfection). Can you spot them?
Year 10 students have continued with their study of Jewish belief and practice. A song from the acapella group, The Maccabeats, always helps our learning! (Find them on Youtube)
Year 11 students have been considering and debating issues surrounding the subject of human rights. Of course, this is very topical at present; however, it is interesting to note that way back in 1963, Pope John XXIII wrote Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) - a letter to all people of good will. In it he appealed for a world in which all human rights be recognised; the document was seen as monumental, and described as, 'not just some letter written by an old priest, but the conscience of the world’.
Quite a revelation to our students!