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School Leader Monthly Briefing

February 2021


Retrieving Your Joy

My children love theme parks, especially the rollercoasters.  Their dad hates them, so it’s a good thing that I love them too.  We haven’t obviously been to a theme park for quite a while, but when we next get the chance I will be there in the queue with my son and daughter, getting ready to do my most embarrassing screaming, followed by having one of those unflattering photos taken that you’re supposed to buy afterwards.  I never buy one of these.
Casting my mind back to the beginning of January 2020, I can honestly say, at that time, I had no realistic idea about what the next 12 months would have in store from a personal and school leader perspective. It was a bit like being in a queue for a rollercoaster ride, except I didn’t know it at the time.  Travel forward to January 2021 and we all continue to find ourselves in challenging circumstances that demand our resilience, courage, compassion and determination on a daily basis.  It truly has been a time like no other in the whole of my teaching career and this rollercoaster experience doesn’t seem to have finished yet.  Normal rollercoaster rides only last a few minutes!
Throughout this time there have been occasions where it has been easy to lose a sense of peace and when that happens it is much easier for worry, fear and all sorts of other unhelpful feelings to get a grip. Ultimately, when that happens, we can feel robbed of our joy.
I made some notes and jotted down some Bible verses in my journal from a talk I listened to last January, (while I was in the virtual rollercoaster queue without knowing it) by someone called Clio Turner.  She spoke about finding ways to ‘Retrieve Your Joy’.  Over the past year I have come back to these notes and Bible verses and they have really helped me to retrieve my joy and remind me that I can trust in God. 

  1. I am not alone, for my Father is with me.  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ John 16.32-33
    When things are tough - Jesus is with us.  Not only that, he knows how it feels and we can ask him to help us.
  2.  ‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest’ Exodus 33.14
    I have a walk that I can go on from my house, it’s up a steep hill but when I get to the top I can see the sea.  Sometimes on a cloudy day I can actually be above the cloud when I get to the top. It’s an amazing view and for me, a confirmation and reminder of God’s presence with me.
  3. Feed your spirit with the things that bring joyIn the Bible, experiencing joy goes hand in hand with experiencing peace.  Setting aside time to experience nature, music, creativity, reading for pleasure, or going for a run or a walk on a regular basis is good for our spirit and can provide us with those opportunities to experience peace and joy.
  4. Don’t journey aloneThe proverbial saying, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ isn’t actually that ancient and can be traced back to the 1930’s in The Morecombe Guardian Newspaper.  A fuller version of it actually is: ‘A problem shared is a problem halved and a joy shared is a joy doubled’ being first mentioned in American press in 1854.  Being able to meet, talk and share what is going on in our lives with others that we trust is good medicine. 

Father God
Give us willing hearts to serve others with joy and bring them help and comfort.
Give us humility to accept help and service from others with thanks and grace.
Remind us that when we journey through challenging times, we are not alone
And that you are there with us always.

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As you read through the following please do consider how you can support your school  towards a carbon neutral environment.  Consider how you are going to enable your children and young people to understand the complexities of our world today and the human impact on all life.  
Are there any opportunities for children and young people to get involved in school/community and world changing projects?  How are you going to enable their passion and understanding to grow?
The Church of England is committed to responding to Climate Change and sees this as an essential part of its responsbility to safeguard God’s creation. 
"Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation." 
Archbishop Justin Welby

The environment is God’s gift to everyone. And we have a responsibility towards each other to protect it. We cannot think of ourselves as isolated from others or from creation. Our impact on the planet is reducing biodiversity, changing the climate, and polluting the earth. Around the world, climate change is affecting food security, creating social vulnerability, and disrupting peace and security. There is no doubt we need to act.
The Church of England Environment Programe supports the following:
  • Reducing your carbon footprint
  • Working towards net zero carbon emissions by 2030
  • Biodiversity
Please click here for more information.
CEE Bill Alliance  - The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill - WHAT IS THE BILL ABOUT? In a nutshell, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill calls for:
  • the UK to make and enact a serious plan. This means dealing with our real fair share of emissions so that we don’t go over critical global rises in temperature
  • our entire carbon footprint be taken into account (in the UK and overseas)
  • the protection and conservation of nature here and overseas along supply chains, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we consume
  • those in power not to depend on technology to save the day, which is used as an excuse to carry on polluting as usual
  • ordinary people to have a real say on the way forward in a citizens’ assembly with bite
The children and students in your schools may be interested to learn more.  Please click here to watch a short animated film regarding the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.

Please click here for a summary of the Bill.
Tearfund – Environment and ClimateClimate change threatens the natural balance of the world. To tackle it, we must radically rethink the global economy and live within the limits of our environment. 
Tearfund work towards a world where every person’s basic needs are met, where all human beings have a chance to flourish and where we all live within our environmental limit. This means we are committed to relief and development that is environmentally and economically sustainable – finding effective ways to support sustainable livelihoods while at the same time protecting or improving the environment and reducing economic inequality.
Please here to find out further information and to access various resources.
A Rocha UK (ARUK) is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world and committed to equipping Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment.
A Rocha UK is part of the worldwide family of A Rocha organisation committed to nature conservation as an expression of Christian mission. We work collaboratively with others who share our passion for nature, a healthy environment and a just transition to a low carbon world, ever more critical in a time of climate and biodiversity crises.
A Rocha UK's Wild Christian scheme is a community of families and individuals exploring the connections between our Christian faith, the natural environment, and how we live.  Sign up and each month they will send you something to think about and some practical actions that you can take to help you enjoy, nurture and protect nature. 
Please click here for further details.
What Happened When We All Stopped by Tom Rivett-Carnac A new children’s book was released on EWorld Environment Day last year to share a positive image of hope.  Tom Rivett-Carnac has spent the last 20 years working on climate change.  He played an imrpotant role in helping to create the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015 which was signed by 195 countries.  Tom decided to use the lockdown as an opportuity to write a story about how to rebuild our environment and tackle climate change. 
Click here to watch an animated version of the book and to find out about more environment stories and to access other BBC Newsround items.
Extinction Rebellion Youth Guide – Challenge Everything
Challenge Everything. Act Now. Change the World. This book will show you how.
Blue Sandford was named by The Times as one of "Britain's Greta Thunberg" (Dec 2019)

The main concern of young people is climate change and how to combat it. This is the only official handbook from Extinction Rebellion Youth and will help you to change your life and change the world for the better. Written by a founder member of Extinction Rebellion Youth London, this is no greenwashing book - it's an important call to action. A manifesto for how young people can help to save the planet by questioning everything about modern life and acting upon their conclusions.
This book will ask you to challenge everything - challenge government (protest and take peaceful action where necessary), challenge business (decide who you want to support, decide who you want to boycott), and above all to challenge yourself - how can you change your life to make a difference. Filled with stories, essays, slogans and inspiring illustrations, this book will cover consuming, actioning, boycotting, campaigning, striking, questioning, rewilding, and reconnecting with our planet.
Environmental films for children and young people - Consider the following films to engage your children and young people in looking at the environment, its’ beauty, magnificence and vulnerability:
Wings of Life (for younger children)
Oceans – a documentary (for upper KS2/lower KS3 pupils)
Chasing Ice – (for secondary students)
Remember to ask challenging questions linked to how we are each responsible for the wellbeing of the Earth.  How we can work individually and collectively to make our planet a safe place for all living species to live and flourish? 
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National Literacy Trust - A Book of HopesAward-winning children’s author, Katherine Rundell, has launched The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown.
Completely free for all children and families, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon, Jacqueline Wilson – and Katherine herself.

The Book of Hopes aims to comfort, inspire, and encourage children during lockdown through delight, new ideas, ridiculous jokes and heroic tales. There are true accounts of cats and hares and plastic-devouring caterpillars; there are doodles and flowers; revolting poems and beautiful poems; and there are stories of space travel and new shoes and dragons.

Please click here for further information.
Black Lives Matter Virtual Conference Wells Cathedral are running a Black Lives Matter Virtual 6th Form Conference on 2nd - 16th March 2021. The event is aimed at students studying History, Politics, Law, Sociology, Philosophy and Ethics, RS, Geography, English, Art, Photography, Government and Politics, Health and Social Care. Click for Further information and booking. The event costs £3.60 per student (with free places for those in receipt of Free School Meals). They can take group and individual bookings and the deadline to book is 23rd February.
The British CouncilUnderstanding the big issues that shape our world has never been more important…
Issues like climate change, gender equality and how to live life sustainably affects us all – an
d connects us all – wherever we are in the world.  Teaching pupils about these issues is what we call Global Learning. 
Click here to find out more information and to download free and flexible resources to help deliver global learning in the classroom and at home.
Partners in Global MissionChurch of South India - Green Schools - USPG has been supporting the Church of South India (CSI) Green Schools programme since 2017. The idea behind Green Schools is to train students in environmental care; this the programme does by putting students in charge of conducting ‘green audits’ of their respective schools. Each school participating in the programme appoints 60 students to assess its performance in areas such as air quality, energy efficiency and waste management.
Please click here to find out more.
Poetry For Good A new national poetry competition is launching on Thursday 4th February to celebrate the UK’s Key Workers – a collaboration between three poets and a cleaning company.
Poetry for Good is a new national poetry competition to highlight and celebrate the UK’s many key workers and the hard work they do – from office cleaners and couriers to shop workers and nurses. The competition has been organised by Clean for Good, a social-purpose office cleaning business, as part of its wider mission to promote fair pay and dignity at work for cleaners. The competition is being judged by three established poets – Rachel Long, Cecilia Knapp and Katherine Lockton – who have each also written a new poem to promote the competition.
For further information please click here.
#LIVELENT : God's Story Our Story – what are you planning for lent? Why not visit the Church of England’s website to have a look at their resources for 2021. Last year saw challenges as to how we can be more eco-friendly and this year’s resources will build on this through this year’s reflections and challenges.
We would love to see what your school is already doing or even see new ideas as to how we can be good steward’s of God’s planet. Please send any pictures and stories to
DfE Remote learning self-audit tool A framework to help schools in England identify strengths and areas for imrpovement in their remote education provision.  Please click here.
If you have any School News, do send it in to Michael Ford and Rev Carole Peters King at Read about what other schools have been up to here.  
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Barnabas in Schools
“Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
How might you explore this Christian value? Barnabas in Schools have a Bible focused page of ideas to explore love.
Prayer Spaces in Schools are running ‘Prayer Spaces Sessions’. These will be monthly Zoom sessions for all those who are interested to learn together, hear from guest speakers, and be equipped to create and run prayer spaces both in these challenging times, and when school-based work can resume.
Is there someone in your school or parish community that might attend?
Click here for videos you could share with anyone interested and share this page for Covid-friendly prayer space ideas and here for ideas of a prayer space focused on Love.
Faith At Home have created video and associated pdfs on Love last summer for both primary and secondary schools. See them here. You can also see a series of video resources, including the iSingPOP! ones on the #FaithAtHome YouTube Channel here. Could some of your pupils be asked to watch a particular video, read the pdf and decide how they want to develop the themes with children in the school in a way that relates it to your Christian vision?  
The Church of England Digital Labs TeamA digital calendar of key national events and Christian festivals has been put together by the Church of England Digital Labs Team. It may be useful to add to your planning of collective worship, or to give ideas for events to support via social media. Do get in touch with if you have other resources you use for planning your school year that we can share with schools.
Home Learning Resources for RETen new Home learning resources in RE have been added to the suite of RE Today materials created last year. Five of these are ‘free to anyone’ and include a powerpoint and exploration of the ways in which some Christians worship – based on BBC’s ‘My Life, My Religion’ Clips accessible from the Religious Education Tabs on the BBC page. Do let us know what resources you are using for RE and whether there are any you would recommend are featured in up-coming HLP-led PSA RE training.
Bullying and BeliefSome young people don’t speak up in RE lessons about their own beliefs because they are concerned they may be exposing themselves to bullying from their peers. How can you help make RE/your school a ‘safe place’ for children and adults to share their own worldviews? Explore a rich, creative anti-bullying resource called ‘Bullying and Belief’ here. It includes videos, poetry and ideas for school assemblies/collective worship and PSHE. Anti Racist RE resources can be found here.
RE in Early YearsGill Vaisey – Some ‘favourites’ you may be able to adapt in these times: A Wedding Day Wish for Puddles - a big book to help explore the topic of celebration, family, friendship and weddings.  There are some school videos such as Longtown Primary School’s wedding role play day, captured here and available for you as a resource to share with your children. The Seven New Kittens story book and cross curricular resource pack encourages children to reflect on the beauty and the wonder of new life.  Children delight in counting the arrival of the seven different coloured kittens. ‘What will the Prophet Muhammad do when they all snuggle down on his soft and cosy red cloak?!’ Explore the free teacher resources and read about ‘Belonging and Believing’ a new resource coming soon.
Guidance for RE and Collective Worship created by advisers and Hub Lead Practitioners in April 2020, may be useful to review as you support home learning. Have a look on this page and also here.
The Oak National Academy has developed its online resources for teaching Religious Education in each of the key stages. You can search by the subject, or search by key stage.
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SDBE CPD for RE Leaders 
Do not forget to book on to the March RE Leader Training. Whist it had been hoped that these could be in person in schools by now, we have taken the decision to run another set of virtual sessions. Each Hub Lead Practitioner (HLP) is running their own course between 2nd and 17th March so please book on the one being run by your local HLP. To check which one it is, look at the table on this page of the website. Then book here. Do invite the RE leader of your local community schools to book as well. They are most welcome. And finally, do book your place at our fabulous RE Conference on 31st March. We’ve gone virtual!
SDBE training for New School Leaders 
A full day on 11th February 2021. The course content will include:
Reviewing and developing vision and values – how do I take my whole school with me?
How can I use Church of England ‘Ethos Enhancing Outcomes’ material with governors to bring about School Improvement?; What does it mean to be the ‘Spiritual Leader’ of my church school?; Sharing national and regional developments in church school leadership; SIAMS – the nuts and bolts!
Please look on the Salisbury Diocese website for further information.
SDBE training How Deeply Christian is your School? 
A full day on 16th March 2021
A Day Exploring What Leading a Deeply Christian Church School means for Headteachers and a Governor from each School What is it that distinguishes your school as a church school? What does it mean to be a spiritual leader in this context? What impact does your own spiritual leadership have in your context?
This day conference will enable delegates to reach a better understanding of what makes a church school deeply Christian and the role played by spiritual leadership in enabling this. 
Please look on the Salisbury Diocese website for further information.

EdTech: Drama to prompt writing during Virtual SchoolEdTech Demonstrator Programme: A 45-minute webinar looking at using drama to prompt writing during virtual school.  Please click here.

EdTech: Using Home Resource for Learning During Remote SchoolingEdTech Demonstrator Programme: A 45 minute webinar which looks at using home resources for learning during remote schooling.  Please click here.

The Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship (including NPQH) 
The Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship (including NPQH) provides rigorous preparation for senior leaders preparing for their first headship, heads leading both primary and secondary schools for the first time, and heads who have not yet completed the NPQH.
CEFEL writes: If you have staff that are currently working in a senior leadership position within your school and are looking to apply for a headship role within the next two years then we encourage you to speak with your head teacher or chair of governors about applying for the CofEPQH.
For further information please click here.
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Creator God,
Thank you for the waters of the Earth,
For the life- sustaining rains,
Lakes, and deep oceans.
Keep us mindful of how precious these are,
And how vulnerable they are.
Help us to work together for clean water,
And for the sharing of it with those who have need of it today.

Rt. Revd Christine Hardman Bishop of Newcastle

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We hope you enjoy this edition of the School Leader Monthly Newsletter and that this helps you gain further ideas as to how to engage your children and young people, and school communities, in looking after planet Earth.  If we all do one thing, the world is already changed for the better. 

Let’s take care of ourselves, our children, our friends, our families, and the planet we live on…

With our Very Best Wishes
Debbie, Emma and Nicola
Debbie Heritage
School Improvement Advisor & Strategic Lead for SIAMS
Tel Direct Mobile: 07469 859994
Emma Waters
Education Services Assistant
Nicola Coupe
School Improvement Adviser
Tel Direct Mobile: 07469 857 670
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Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) · SDBE · The Avenue, Wilton · Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 0FG · United Kingdom

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