Celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday

What a day!
We celebrated hearing about the Queen’s personal faith expressed through her Christmas messages and prayed for her. We had great fun singing two of her favourite hymns and the National Anthem. Everyone was involved. And then we had tea and cakes!

Head Girl’s speech November 2015

Good morning!

Welcome to The Christian School (Takeley).  I am Nadia, the Head Girl and I would like to talk to you about my experience in this unique school.

My time here has been amazing.  The experiences that I have had are second to none.  The school has provided me with so many opportunities; which I will share with you today.

I actually looked round on one of these Open Days and two of my peers now showed me round; never would I have dreamed that I would be standing up here right now, in front of you as Head Girl.

I was home educated right up until Year Seven, when I came here.

I remember being really nervous because the only thing I knew about school was what I had been told by a friend – who I still know today.  I was really nervous as I thought “are they going to judge me if I don’t look a certain way or if I’m not cool”?  I had those butterflies going round in my stomach.

When I walked in, all I remember was the sense of pure acceptance.  How people actually cared about me.  I knew from that moment I had to go to this school and this was furthermore cemented when I had a trial day.  Then the excitement came – my first paid of school shoes, my first everything!

Now, what do you get when you come to this school?

You get small class sizes where you get individual attention and don’t feel scared to put your hand up.  They care about you as a whole person not just making sure you fit a mould.  There is no mould to fit; well there is but there are currently 57 different moulds – one for each student.  Everyone is treated as an individual.

You go from one family at home to another at school.  We look after the little ones so the family feel and warmth is amazing.  You’re not forced to be a certain way or do a certain thing, you make friends for life.  I have made friends that I will never forget and the experiences that I have had have just been incredible.

And by the end, when I have left this school, I know that I will be ready.  They will have prepared me and I will have come out with the best grades that I can.  Not the best grades anyone else in my class can but the ones I can get.  I will be ready to venture into the big wide world and whatever happens I know I will always have a home here and be welcome here.

Finally, I just wanted to quote a parent of a fellow pupil who said this to me – “they just encourage you to spread your wings and fly” and that is exactly what all of us Year 11s will be doing at the end of this year.  It is “a school like no other”.

Thank you very much.  I know that you will be very happy here.

Pumpkin Carving

20141017_111912In an assembly earlier this month I spoke about why we did not celebrate Halloween at the school as some amongst us found it a contradiction to their faith. It was an opportunity to highlight the differences there are and how we can respect each other’s traditions and understandings but still have fun. God’s not grumpy.

At the time I had been impressed by the attitude of World Vision who have seen the tradition of pumpkin carving as an opportunity to highlight the plight of children in Syria where real fear punctuates their day.

 

And then today this happened…

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We are very fortunate to have Jenny an Early Years’ teacher brought up in Pennsylvania. This is what she told me.

When I was a child growing up in Pennsylvania, USA, harvest time was eagerly anticipated for the celebration of festivals. Part of the excitement was the annual pumpkin carving. We loved to scoop out the slimy insides and cut faces or stars into them, inserting a candle stub inside and setting them to glow on our table.We would sit around the the pumpkin singing harvest and thanksgiving songs as it smiled happily at us.

I never associated the carved pumpkins with Halloween or with anything scary or sinister but have such happy memoires of their happy grinning faces and the competition to carve the best one.

I think now of the pumpkin as a little beacon of light- it’s a natural lantern fashioned by our Creator to provide us with food… or a fun project to celebrate harvest time with our children. It’s good if we can redeem the pumpkin and its happy face and win it back and associate it with good things.

Take a look at World Vision’s way of redeeming the pumpkin…

School Log July 2014

We would like to use this opportunity to reflect and give thanks for a busy year.

We have visited Buckingham Palace, the Henry Moore Foundation, Battle Abbey, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, the National Theatre to see War Horse, France, Spain, Oakwood, the Big Bang Exhibition at the NEC, Mayfield Bakery, Hatfield Broad Oak Farm Sausage Factory, Essex Food and Farming Day at Writtle College, Walton on the Naze, the Houses of Parliament, Boydells Dairy Farm, the pottery in Hanningfield, Bishop’s Stortford, Cammas Hall Fruit Farm, Great Dunmow, Hatfield Forest and Hatfield Heath.

We have been entertained by talented pupils at musical assemblies, by our “pop up” choir, and at the truly incredible Eisteddfod Festival.

We have got involved with the local community at the Farmers’ Market.

We have remembered those less fortunate than ourselves by supporting the Bishop’s Stortford Food Bank, Children In Need, Mercy Ships, Samaritans Purse and Stand by Me.
We have been visited by our Swedish pen pals, a Mad Scientist and a number of speakers.

We have come together for our Envisioning Day and cheered each other on at our swimming gala and sports day.

We have celebrated all manner of achievements, a silver wedding anniversary and a new baby. We watched friends move onto pastures new and welcomed new friends.
We have grown – in the number of students and in buildings.

The school is a family and we look forward to the new people joining in September. The school will be different because of them as we enter our 26th year.

Family Week 2012 Rounds Off The Year

Despite all the threats of rain, we’ve been blessed with some sun for our week of activities in school; all the lower senior pupils enjoyed the opportunity to try crafts and outdoor activities instead of lessons. Theo, Y9, was the youngest contributor, delivering a DJ workshop to some of the pupils. Rachael, Rain and Abi Griffiths – our “old girls” – came back to school to offer a dance session.

There was also photography, skating, cycling, orienteering, team building in the woods, making jewellery boxes, creating flower garlands and tie-dying.

Susan has kept her junior class busy this week on year books and the filming of their Greek play – which the school watched together. As ever, that class created a performance to be proud of, with masks and costumes and some great acting to a script which they prepared themselves.

On Thursday the school came together to prepare for and to hold our own Olympics – with a wide number of countries represented from every continent. It was lovely to see all the Y11 come back into school that afternoon to get involved.

The week finished with school made pizza and presentations and an attempt to make this the first year ever that everyone takes all their things home with them for the long holiday.

The next year offers exciting possibilities in terms of development of courses and additions of new staff with God’s guidance.

We hope everyone enjoys a good break and some sunshine.

Life in school doesn’t stop over the holiday as parents help by installing a new kitchen, keeping the grounds tidy, looking after the chickens or any other odd jobs.

The last Saturday of the holiday is the school clean and maintenance day. School is open from 10.00 until mid-afternoon and we share lunch together with those who time their clean for midday!