Why, it's almost like we planned it that way

Last Sunday, the last before we all start getting excited in school about Christmas, the Sunday before Advent, is known as ‘Stir-up Sunday’.

Its secular tradition is that it is the day that the Christmas Pudding should be mixed and stirred, and have it first steaming. The pudding gets reheated on the big day. The Anglican Church, however, uses words from the book of common prayer, "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people," in services that day. The people of the Church are asking to be whipped up, to be filled with energy, to be turned up in the fervour of their faith. They are asking for faith that gives them the confidence to proclaim their beliefs, encourage each other and seek a better world for all. ‘Ah, go on, go on, go on,’ as Mrs. Doyle would say.

In School Assembly this week I brought back out a poem I have used before, and used to have on display. It begins, ‘Be warmly angry. Be hotly angry, but do not boil away’. And it concludes with, ‘Keep on making a difference until things are different’. I was stressing to the children how we should not be deterred from a passionate belief just because others might disagree, discourage or misunderstand. I explored this sort of anger, and how it is not a violent emotion. It is a passion that drives action, and a determination that campaigns until just change is brought about. I suggested that, in such circumstances, we should keep on either until we are convinced or we have convinced. (As Vic and Bob would say, we shouldn’t let it lie.)

And then on Tuesday afternoon (in lesson time, because we invest properly in it, giving time for sixteen children and two members of staff to attend) we had our first School Council of the year. These wonderful, energetic, junior campaigners have ideas, and a list was made that will become the agenda for future meetings:

Notes about playtimes:

  • Playtime rota - is it fair? Some say that they have only had 2 go's on something, when others have had more.
  • Cover for the slide so that they can use it when it rains.
  • Not being allowed to run on the boat.
  • Have whole year groups on bottom yard so that you can play with your friends.
  • A way of controlling the slide so that people don't push or go down the slide too soon.
  • More play equipment.
  • An inside space to go when its cold outside.
  • Y5 quiet area near the hall/music room stair doors.
  • Resurfacing around the boat.
  • Playtime and lunchtime buddies. Inspired by Harry Banks' 'Fun Patrol'

Notes about lunches:

  • Have a pasta pot option, where you have plain pasta then add a sauce (3 options) and add a topping (2 options).
  • Somewhere to queue for lunches because it gets cold standing in the winter.
  • Outdoor shelter for eating packed lunches.
  • Many, many food suggestions (and complaints) – to talk to the man from Taylor Shaw who has been in to talk to Governors.

Sir Humphrey might suggest that, allowing the School Council to choose its own agenda, and to invite adults to attend to be quizzed, is, ‘very courageous, Head Master’. I think it is enabling the conversation to match the manifestos of the candidates.

I hope that they will be stirred-up with passion, and be warmly angry on the issues that matter to them. Here comes the next generation and their issues, for, eventually, the youth will inherit the Earth and they might as well have a voice that is heard as soon as they can put words to their thoughts.

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