Mosaic Madness at Coleshill CE School

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ColeshillFAITH, love and stewardship were the Christian values at the heart of a mosaic created by children from Coleshill CE School in Amersham, Bucks.

David Bowers from Mosaic Madness worked with pupils on the mosaic that incorporated the values from the school badge. Jenny Earp, headteacher, said: “Everyone had a wonderful time producing the mosaic and it enabled the whole school to focus on the important values Jesus gave us to help us all enrich our lives and those around us.”

Children hit the headlines with ‘grow your own’ wheat

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PUPILS at Garsington CE Primary School in Oxfordshire are growing their own wheat to turn into a wheatsheaf loaf for their Harvest Festival.  They have sown the seeds, watered and weeded them and the plants are thriving in the beautiful weather. The aim is to hand-harvest the wheat in September and take it to Wheatley Windmill for milling. The children will then turn the flour into bread.

Last year the children presented their harvest loaf to the vicar at the school harvest festival. The children were so proud of their work when the vicar blessed the bread and placed it on the altar. The loaf was shared with the congregation at the village Harvest Festival. This year’s project has already been featured on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today, BBC Radio Oxford and this week the children have been filmed for BBC South Today. The children are learning more about where food comes from and how much work it takes to make a loaf of bread. It also helps them to understand what is happening in the fields around them. The media interest has definitely added to their enjoyment and pride in their crop.

Bishop John welcomes new commitment to RE

Bishop John

Bishop John at a service for Year 6 children in Oxford this week

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who chairs the Church of England’s Board of Education, has welcomed Michael Gove’s public endorsement of church schools and his commitment to look again at the place of RE in the syllabus.

The Education Secretary was taking part in a seminar at Lambeth Palace on “Church of England: Education and our Future” hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by Bishops and chairs of Diocesan Boards of Education from across the Church of England.

In conversation with Archbishop Justin, Mr Gove praised the standards and popularity of church schools and urged a continuing partnership.

Afterwards, Bishop John said: “I was delighted to hear the Secretary of State’s enthusiasm and admiration for church schools today. He reminded us that his own two children attend one of our schools and he applauded the Church for being prepared to work in places where others fear to tread.

“At the same time he set us a challenge to raise our game. This echoes our own determination to make a real step change in the way we serve our communities, working to the highest standards.”

In the questions and answers, Bishop John challenged Mr Gove on the position of RE. Recent experience had been “demoralising”, he said. Mr Gove agreed that it was time for the Department of Education to talk again to the Churches.

Bishop John said: “I was pleased to hear his public commitment to re-opening the conversation with the Churches on the future of RE and his recognition of its importance within the curriculum.”

Before the seminar, Mr Gove acknowledged the role of the Church and called for continuing partnership.

“We would not have so many great state schools in this country without the Church of England,” he said. “I know the Church does a wonderful job helping to raise educational standards and in providing a safe and loving environment for hundreds of thousands of children.

“However, there is much more we can do together. I want the Church to recover the spirit which infused its educational mission in Victorian times and support more new schools – especially academies and free schools – to bring educational excellence to the nation’s poorest children.”

The seminar marked the launch of a new document, A Diocesan Board of Education for the Future.

At the same time, the Department for Education has announced that it will now be possible for dioceses to set up mixed Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) which means that it is possible for community schools to become part of diocesan MATs, while retaining their own character and admissions policies.