It’s Your Move 2019

It’s Your Move is a programme that our Schools team have been running for the last 3 years to support year 6 students with their transition from primary to secondary school. The aim is to dispel fears and get the pupils to think positively about the changes they will face and how they will tackle some of the challenges of secondary school.

This year we wanted to refresh the material to enable more interaction between pupils. We start by asking the pupils to reflect on what they have enjoyed about primary school and what they are looking forward to in their new school. We then look at the top 5 fears students identify about moving to secondary school and get them to discuss ways of overcoming these fears. We want pupils to realise that by talking about their fears they can come up with solutions to tackle them.

Using a re-enactment of the Bible story of Joseph, we highlight some of the problems Joseph and his brothers got into when facing change. The story allows us to talk about God and, as Christians we believe that, God is with us in all situations and can help us with positive and negative changes. We facilitate the pupils in designing a self-esteem shield to encourage them to feel confident about their own abilities, skills, and talents, which they can use to defend themselves against lies that make them feel insecure about change.

We finish our sessions with a series of dilemmas that students in year 7 are likely to face. The pupils have the opportunity to choose how they would respond. We encourage them to explain their decisions to enable them to think about the consequences of reacting in certain ways. This is the most popular activity and pupils are always keen to share their opinions and thoughts.

Pupils in year 6 have either forgotten what is like to be the new kids and can be over confident or are really fearful of moving to secondary school. We feel our role is to make pupils aware that it is a big change that they are facing, however it is not one that they need to be fearful of. Responses from the pupils across the schools have been so different. It is interesting to hear the teachers talk with the pupils. They are best placed to know how to challenge and support each student in their class.

Change Assembly 2019

This term our Schools team wanted to help children face the changes of a new school year by telling them a parable – an everyday story with a heavenly meaning.

We began by thinking about why people don’t like facing change. Is it because it is too scary, fear of getting hurt or that things may not be recognisable after the change has happened? We then thought about what might persuade people to change. We concluded that we can’t grow as people or enjoy new things without change, it is part of our lives, and God is watching over us and looking after us throughout all the changes we face.

We needed to find a creative, but recognisable setting for the theme of change. We landed on the idea of the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies and what it would be like if a caterpillar was either excited, undecided, or scared about becoming a butterfly. During our assembly, we creatively transform ourselves into caterpillars. We look ridiculous as we argue with one another about whether or not to become a butterfly until, finally, even the most anxious caterpillar is persuaded to make the change. We draw out that becoming a butterfly will be okay because the Gardener is always there to take care of us throughout every situation is our lives.

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We hope that by telling a parable it will allow the children to reflect on how the story applies to their own lives. We conclude our assembly with some questions, enabling the children to see the deeper meaning behind the parable, and a prayer or time of reflection. We pray that God will work through our story in the way He works through the parables He told, provoking the children and teachers to think about where they are in the story and how God is involved in their lives.

A new addition to our Rest Homes Team

Our Rest Homes team now visit 26 homes across Brighton and Hove with a monthly service and to befriend individual residents. Our relationship with several homes has grown over the past year and we have been invited to offer befriending visits throughout the month, as well as a service. In January, funding was secured for an additional part-time member of staff. The main focus of the role will be to develop the befriending service, alongside assisting with services, where necessary. Having advertised the job this year we are so happy to have appointed Aaron for this role.

We asked Aaron to introduce himself:

Havinglived in Brighton all of my life, I refer to myself as a Brightonian. I am a very creative person, I sing, play drums and guitar, and I love drawing and photographing events, particularly weddings. I worked for many years in the area of furniture and flooring, before putting that aside to follow a path more in line with my passions; most of all I am passionate about theology. Coming from a family who are not particularly interested in the Bible, the last 15 years of learning about things that were completely alien to me has been an incredible experience. For the last 8 years, I have been a member of a church where I teach the Bible and play music. I love meeting people and hearing about their experiences. My hope for the future is to help, love, and care for people, especially the elderly.