Last week, along with the artistic flourishing I noted in the previous post, I noted some serious flourishing in other ways. On Tuesday, I spent the day auditing teacher planning. This is very important to us because of the requirement that our school curriculum meet certain principles in its planning, among them a compliance with our theory of learning, that literature is at the heart of our learning, that we create a deliberate Christian worldview in our planning through the use of Trevor Cooling’s What If Learning, and attention to both the disciplines of each subject and the skills of learning. All of this has to be articulated, and it is always a joy to see the deep imagination at work in the minds of our teachers when they plan activities for children. It was great to note a growth in the degree to which our planning is taken seriously and used effectively for children.
At the same time, Helena Clark and I visited every class to observe fragments of the Class Collective Worship that takes place every Tuesday or Wednesday at the start of the day. We are studying the Lord’s Prayer again this term, and a focus on the nature and purpose of prayer was at the heart of all the reflections that we saw last week. It was fascinating to watch children reflect, draw, write prayers and sing in response to their learning. Two Y6 classes had their time of collective worship led by children from the “opposite” class, based around not prayer but their own class virtue – justice in Wheat Class, perseverance in Barley Class. These were particularly special because of both the effort that children had put in to lead and prepare, but also because they made, along with the children, a community of worship where we as adults could take part and allow God’s word and life to come to us through the work of the children.
The picture here is of some lilies of the valley and blue bells in our front garden – I liked it because of the linearity of the growth. Tall and short, with different flowers at different stages, but all pointing upwards to their source of light and goodness.