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Mrs Faulkner’s Thought for the Week – 15th April 2024

This week our theme in school is We Serve Our School and Our Community.

Service is a word, which has all sorts of emotional and social overtones. There is the sotto voce reference to slavery and being a servant in its most negative context, and there are the military connotations around service to your country and the compulsory military service of yesteryear.

However, we want our students to understand the purest sense of service and its benefits. Being part of a community -  be it a school, a village, a country or the world comes with certain responsibilities, and service is one of them. Contributing positively is what we all want from a member of our school community and serving the values of that community is a great way to do that. Our expectations of our students, that they leave us as well rounded individuals, mean that we expect them to understand the basics of service to a community. They will then be able to join whatever community they want to, confident that they know how to improve and support its values.


This week we will be inviting our Year 10 students to apply to become prefects and asking them to reflect on how prefects can make a real difference to a school. This is a very obvious way of serving our school. However, there are many other ways that people can serve our community. There are individual contributions, like how a student behaves outside of school wearing our uniform, or how a student interacts with visitors in school, in addition to group service such as House Charity fundraising, the behaviour students show to new staff as a teaching group, sports teams, musical performances, curricular trips. We currently have a large group of Key Stage 4 students in Iceland, and they are getting some hugely positive feedback, as always, from locals.

How the school interacts with the wider community is also important to us as a school. We are well-known in the village and wider area, but we are also constantly looking for ways to link up with local people and organisations. We have worked with the Parish Council recently around the new park facilities in Downton and we have great links with the Baptist Church through our BVT curriculum, as well as the Primary School and local nurseries. Students also use Downton Leisure Centre as part of their Teen Gym programme. There is still more we can do though to provide our students with the experience of being part of a larger community and to realise the impact that their choices have on it.

This week we also welcome Mr Jy Taylor to our school as our new Headteacher.  It will be interesting for the students to see service in such prominence, as he comes to know the community and we get to know him better. He has the same values at his core as we do as a school, so we are looking forward to working with him and pushing the school on even further.

Service is probably one of the most important and supportive things we can do in our lives. The opportunity to contribute and to make things better by our choices and actions is a privilege. As educators, our job is to make our students understand and appreciate this importance and give them the skills to serve.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said,

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Have a great week!



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