Another very pressured week came to an end with a delightful visit on Friday from the children and staff from the Blake Primary School in Witney , with whom we have been partners in the development of our School Council since 2011. As well as bringing their school council, they brought this time their Eco Council, which we do not have one of, but the weather was such that we could sit in our courtyard, which every day is looking more and more like a kitchen garden (my dream!) and it was inevitable that much of the conversation turned on how we might develop the landscapes and land-usefulness of our respective schools. All of our children were amazingly polite for the occasion and amongst the three councils (plus our gardening club thrown in for good measure) was a genuine level of affection that we need to find ways of building on. The Eco Council began to tell our gardening club something of what they do and the responsibilities they have in caring for their school.
During the course of the year, and resulting from the meeting we had as councils in June 2013, the children have designed and then voted on a range of symbols to mark their partnership. These were turned into a variety of different options by someone with graphic design skills at the Blake, and the results are in the picture above. We planted a couple of climbing roses in yellow and red at the end of the afternoon (which should entwine and bear fruit and flowers year on year) and then sent them on their way.
Both the adults in the partnership (thank you particularly to the chair of governors from Blake, as well as two governors from Christ the Sower and who gave up some time to come to collective worship on Friday and stay behind to meet the Blake visitors) and the children want more from this kind of activity and from the partnership, and Friday’s was certainly one of the richest of the joint experiences that we have known. Of all the things that the Diocese of Oxford DBE has done for us, this link is one of the richest and most rewarding, yet we only meet twice a year. My head (as well as the children’s) is full of the things we could do were to take time to plan more deeply.
Back in March, when we visited their school in Witney, we were treated to the opportunity to co-create a painting that reflected the scriptures of a “cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us, urging us on to faith and hope and love. The pictures that were created were generously donated to us on frames on Friday and we will be hunting for a good place to hang them.