Back to School

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Schools returned yesterday. Welcome balloons were out.

Anticipating teachers were quoted: ‘Every one of us can’t wait for the classrooms, corridors and playgrounds to become alive again with the sounds of children learning and playing together.’

Head-teachers posted within an hour of opening: ‘Just to reassure ALL parents and carers, ALL children are settled and smiling in class. We have over 99% of pupils back in school today, this is fantastic. Thank you to everyone for the smooth start to the day.’

Papers, television and social media contained amusing, heart-felt and reassuring quotes from children and parents…

Alison Sefton, the new Head of Norwich High School for Girls, likened her job to her past career as a soldier under fire in the Iraqi desert:

‘Knowing what each student needs to flourish, what we can do to support them, both academically and pastorally… This is what we do, engaging, encouraging and enabling each girl to be the best she can be.’

‘…they are agents of their own fortune. Life isn’t linear, it’s not just about grades, it’s about using your skills, experience and a little bit of verve to get where you want to go…’

Musing… Deuteronomy 31… After 40 years of desert-wandering the Israelites are about to enter their Promised Land. Moses says: ‘…children, who do not yet know this law must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God…’

Many churches, feeling as if they’ve been wandering in their desert for the past year, are considering re-opening.

Moses’ words remind us that churches should prioritise their children. All in the church community take responsibility, teaching by their care, interest and example. Their designated teachers, resources and opportunities should be the best – not an add-on whilst adults do ‘proper church’.

Eglantyne Jebb, Save the Children’s founder, driven by her faith, compassion and belief in children’s rights said: ‘Humanity owes the child the best it has to give.’

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