365 days in my shoes Day 181

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Exploring core values of Church Schools – information collated from a variety of sources.

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HOPE

The Christian understanding of hope illustrates how trivial our everyday use of the word can be. We hope that it will not rain for the picnic, or that the car will start or that the plumber will come tomorrow.

At a deeper level, hope is a universal human phenomenon. People hope for peace in time of war; food in time of famine; justice in time of oppression. Where hope is lost there is despair and disintegration. Hope generates energy and sustains people through difficult times. For some people, hope is so strong that it inspires self-sacrifice to turn hope into reality.
True hope is much more than a general idea that things will get better. It is more than a belief in progress, which sees the world and people as getting better all the time, growing away from violence, ignorance and confusion. There has, of course, been genuine progress: in technology, in communications, in medical care and in the protection of people’s rights through the law. Nevertheless, terror and oppression, death and disease, greed and self-serving still govern the lives of millions. In the light of all this, belief in human progress looks facile and deluding.

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Christian hope is grounded in the character of God. Often, in the Psalms, the writer says to God: ‘My hope is in you’. It is a hope rooted in the love and faithfulness of God. Hope is not wishful thinking but a firm assurance that God can be relied upon. It does not remove the need for ‘waiting upon the Lord’ but there is underlying confidence that God is a ‘strong rock’ and one whose promises can be trusted. The writer to the Hebrews describes the Christian hope as ‘an anchor for the soul, firm and secure’. Even when experiencing exile, persecution, doubt or darkness, the Biblical writers trust in God’s ‘unfailing love’ and know that he will be true to his covenant promises. That is the basis of their hope.
Hope is not always spontaneous or easy. There is work to be done. As well as trusting God, we have to develop qualities of steadfastness in our own character.

Paul says: ‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ (Romans 5:3-4)
Hope is coupled with faith and love as one of the three most enduring gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Christian hope for the future has its guarantee in the resurrection of Jesus. The prophets always spoke of a time to come when the whole world would be restored to God. For Christians, Jesus’ death and resurrection has set this in motion.

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Christian hope means trusting in the loving purposes of God: trusting that the foundations of the world are good because they spring from God. It means believing that, ultimately, we are destined to share in that goodness because of what Jesus has done. He had to pass through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ but the victory has been won and our share in that victory is assured.

Psalm 62:5-8
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

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Psalm 130:5-6
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

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Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

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Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

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1 Peter 1:3-4
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.

Don’t Give Up

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.”

Anne Lamott

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What does that mean for schools?

Ethos

• What are the signs that your school is a ‘hopeful’ place? How could you strengthen
and celebrate this?

• What do you think the children in the school hope for? How does it relate to
Christian hope?

• How does the school offer the opportunity of a new start to those who need a
second chance? What does it offer to those who have already had a second chance?

Trust God

“If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that’s as obscene as the cross, He can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered prayer. I just have to trust Him.”

Anne Graham Lotz

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Worship

• What picture of Christian hope do pupils get through their experience of worship in
your school?

• What specific beliefs about God are fostered that can become a strong basis for hope
in the pupils’ own lives?

• How are pupils encouraged to bring their hopes and dreams to God in prayer and praise?

Don’t Worry

“Pray, and let God worry.”

William Law

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Curriculum

• Which curriculum areas encourage pupils to form a vision of a better future?

• How are pupils given the opportunity to express hope in the future through the creative arts?

• How are pupils helped to see both the potential and the limitations of science for changing the world for the better?

Door of Hope

“God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope.”

Catherine Marshall

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Leadership

• How do you seek to develop your role as a vision builder? How do you share your hopes for the school with all stakeholders?

• In what ways are your hopes for the school distinctive because it is a church school?

• How do you help people to rise above difficult situations within the school or local community and take positive steps to overcome despair? What support do you have in doing this?

God’s Grace

“What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.”

Rick Warren

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365 days in my shoes Day 180

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Kids love word puzzles.

Try getting kids to solve and then invent new word puzzles for their classmates to solve. Word puzzles also give children great ideas for phrases to use and apply to their writing.

Rebus puzzles part two

Answers to previous puzzles:-
For instance
Too funny for words
Back to square one
Once in a blue moon
Cut above the rest
Wrong end of the stick
Sideshow
Tickled pink
Smalltalk
Two left feet
Get up and go
Painless operation
Crossbreed
Too stupid for words
Half-hearted

Rebus part one here:-
https://highheelsandhighnotes.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/365-days-in-my-shoes-day-174/

New puzzles to solve – add your answers to the comments section.

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365 days in my shoes Day 179

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It’s Friday

How has your week been? These last few weeks just seem to be speeding by and yet so much happens in each one.this time last week I was on stage and today I’m heading to Cramlington Learning Village for their conference.

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Following a matinee and evening performance on Saturday, Sunday was a mixture of catch up time as well as beginning the mammoth task of reading reports.

If anyone has cracked it, share your tips. I seem to end up being chief proofreader too which is not what I expect.

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Monday – one of 4 mORR Mondays left before the end of term.

https://highheelsandhighnotes.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/365-days-on-my-shoes-day-175/

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https://highheelsandhighnotes.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/365-days-in-my-shoes-day-176/

Fabulous evening at George Stephenson High School Teachmeet with
@amy_leighd .

https://storify.com/RachelOrr/teachmeet-george-stephenson-high-school-25-6-13-tm

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Find my head in two places today – literally!

Interviewed for two posts in my new school as well as a st in my current school. Really good appointments made.

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Met several HTs and corporate director for my new LA and spent time in school followed by cracking teachmeet at Cramlington Learning Village with Martin Said. MORR of that to come as a blog in the next few days.

Storify and twitter playing up and not many tweets captured with the hash tag even though they are on the timeline.

https://storify.com/RachelOrr/cramlington-learning-village-teachmeet-27-6-13-tmc

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What a week! Friday! The weekend starts here with another five sets of reports to read over the weekend and then 15 days left to go.

Today’s kids’ shoe challenge has to be my twitter avatar – signature pink sparkle today!

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365 days in my shoes Day 178

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Nostalgia part four

MORR blasts from the past!

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“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.”

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“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: You find the present tense and the past perfect”

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“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

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“It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything.”

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The good old times — all times when old are good.

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“Remembrance of things past.”

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“For us, the best time is always yesterday.”

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365 days in my shoes Day 177

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Time for some mORR midweek grammar, wordplay, puns, quips and quirks etc…

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BECAUSE
Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants

ARITHMETIC
A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream

GEOGRAPHY
General Eisenhower’s Oldest Girl Rode A Pony Home Yesterday

RHYTHM
Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move

NECESSARY
Not Every Cat Eats Sardines (Some Are Really Yummy)

ARGUMENT
A Rude Girl Undresses; My Eyes Need Taping!

OCEAN
Only Cats’ Eyes Are Narrow

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Order of colours in the rainbow, or visual spectrum:
(Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.

Order of taxonomy in biology:
(Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)
Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach.

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Order of geological time periods:
(Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Recent)
Cows Often Sit Down Carefully. Perhaps Their Joints Creak?
Persistent Early Oiling Might Prevent Painful Rheumatism.

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The order of sharps in music, called the “circle of fifths”:
(F, C, G, D, A, E, B)
Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle.

And in reverse for flat keys the mnemonic can be neatly reversed:
Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles’ Father.

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The notes represented by the lines on the treble clef stave (bottom to top):
(E, G, B, D, F)
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.

And the notes represented by the spaces between the lines:
(F, A, C, E)
Furry Animals Cook Excellently. Or just the word FACE

The notes represented by the lines on the bass clef stave (bottom to top):
(G, B, D, F, A)
Good Boys Do Fine, Always.

And the notes represented by the spaces between the lines:
(A, C, E, G)
All Cows Eat Grass.

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The order of planets in average distance from the Sun:
(Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)
My Very Easy Method: Just Set Up Nine Planets.

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Pi

There once was a fellow from Greece,
Who forgot pi’s last decimal piece.
So he used electronics
To collect pi mnemonics…
Now he’s hooked, and there is no release.
Michael P. Masterson-Gibbons

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When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.”
This means that when there are two vowels in a row, the first usually has a long sound and the second is silent. That’s why it’s team, not taem; coat, not caot; and wait, not wiat. Remembering this rule will help you to put vowels in the right order.

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Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally is a mnemonic for remembering the order of operations when solving an equation.
P = Parentheses, E = Exponents, M = Multiplication, D = Division, A = Addition, S = Subtraction

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Stationary vs. Stationery
Here’s a mnemonic done in rhyme: Everything around him was scary so the canary stood stationary. Scary, canary, and stationary rhyme and end in ary.

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Complement vs. Compliment
Since by definition, complement means that which makes something complete, it may be helpful to associate the two e’s in complete with the two e’s in complement. Or, since the word compliment contains the letter ‘i’, it may be helpful to associate the ‘i’ in compliment with the word ‘I’ which you use when referring to yourself. Remember, people give compliments.
Here’s a sentence to help clarify things: I like to give compliments because they make people happy or I must pay you a compliment. The blue necktie you are wearing complements the rest of your outfit.

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365 days in my shoes Day 176

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Core values 5

Exploring core values in church schools.

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PEACE

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(Information has been collated from a variety of sources.)

The Hebrew term for peace, ‘shalom’, has a deep and complex meaning, encompassing much more than simply the absence of hostility or war.

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Shalom includes ideas of healing and health, wholeness and well-being. It means harmony, stability and security within a community. It refers to relationships based on truth and righteousness, where people flourish because they are nurtured.
The Biblical picture of the age to come is one of Shalom. ‘Swords will be beaten into ploughshares’ … ‘the wolf shall live with the lamb… no-one shall hurt or destroy…’
(Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9).

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Traditional enemies will live together contentedly and the people will be governed with wisdom, understanding and justice.
In Jesus’ message, peace is an almost tangible element. It is his gift to his disciples. Paul describes God as the God of peace, the Christian message is called the ’gospel of peace’ and peace is one of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’.

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It seems that humankind has to learn and re-learn the message of peace. It does not come easily or automatically. We constantly fall back into hostility and suspicion. Peter, quoting the Psalms, says we must ‘seek peace and pursue it’ (1 Peter 3:11). Jesus blesses those who are ‘peacemakers’ and calls them ‘sons of God’.

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It is noteworthy how often the word peace is used in parallel with the word ‘righteousness’. Peace cannot come by simply wishing it to be the case. Peace is founded on righteousness and justice.

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Christians are called to share in Christ’s work of restoring wholeness. The Christian vision in this respect is far-reaching and challenging: harmony between people, harmony between people and God, and harmony between humans and the whole created order.

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Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

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Isaiah 2:4
They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

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Isaiah 32:17-18
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

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Isaiah 48:17-18
This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.’

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Matthew 5:19
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’

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John 14:27
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’

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Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

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Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

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What does this mean for church schools?

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Ethos

• How would you define a ‘peaceful school’ or a ‘peaceful classroom’?
What contribution does your Christian ethos make to this?
• How are conflicts resolved in ways that are fair? What training is given to help this to happen skilfully and consistently?
• How are pupils encouraged to be peacemakers and how are they equipped to do this?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

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Worship

• In what ways are pupils enabled to experience peace during worship?
• What do you think is meant when the Biblical writers tell us to ‘seek peace and pursue it’? What part does the daily act of worship play in helping you to do this?
• What exactly is meant by the greeting: ‘The peace of the Lord be always with you’? How are pupils helped to reach an understanding of this?

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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Curriculum

• How does each curriculum area create opportunities to foster co-operation?
• In which areas of the curriculum do pupils learn about those who have promoted peace by their life, work and teaching? Does this include those who have used science and technology for peaceful means?
• How are pupils given a balanced understanding of both ‘just war’ and ‘pacifism’?

“Peace begins with a smile..”
― Mother Teresa

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Leadership

• What strategies do you use to promote a peaceful and harmonious community in your school?
• Christians are called to share in Christ’s work of restoring wholeness. How are you helping to restore ‘wholeness’ in your school and in your local community?
• Isaiah speaks of ‘peace like a river’ and ‘righteousness like the waves of the sea’. What do these images mean to you? How far does your leadership promote this vision within your school?

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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365 days on my shoes Day 175

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It’s Monday!

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Only 4 Mondays left for me.

4 weeks or 20 days for most of us.

For me, this means 20 different pairs of heels to go.

20 days = let’s make the most of them!

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“There are two ways of spreading light: to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
― Edith Wharton

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“An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.”
― Brian Tracy

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“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
― Ashley Smith

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“Positive thoughts lead to positive results.”
― Maria V. Snyder, Touch of Power

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“Always try and be a better person than you were yesterday, cause we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.”
― Tina A. Morgan

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“Only in the world of mathematics do two negatives multiply into a positive.”
― Abby Morel

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“Don’t ever say that you are nothing because you are the opposite of nothing. You are everything.”
― Sherri Lee Emmons

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“To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others.”
― Criss Jami

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“To be inspired is great, but to inspire is an honour.”

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365 days in my shoes Day 173

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Exploring core values of core values of church schools.

Core values 4

THANKFULNESS (collated from a variety of sources)

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Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people.

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Under the Law of Moses, there were not only sacrifices for forgiveness, there were ‘thanks offerings’ as well.

‘Songs of thankfulness and praise…’ are at the heart of Christian worship. Thankfulness is directed towards God who gives and sustains life. Seeing the world as God’s creation underpins the way we approach everything in life, seeing it as a gift and not as a right.

Thankfulness is important. Luke tells the story of the ten lepers who were healed and is probably challenging his readers to examine themselves when he tells of the amazement of Jesus that only one, a Samaritan, came back to thank him. (Luke 17:11-19).

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Jesus gave thanks to God (Matthew 11.25) and although the word ‘thankfulness’ is not common in the Gospels, recognition of his dependence on the Father infuses the whole life of Jesus. Thankfulness is a wholehearted response. It stems from a consciousness of God’s gifts and blessings. It is a joyfulness that erupts into praise. Paul frequently encourages us to ‘be thankful’ (Colossians 3:15), to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and says that our lives should ‘overflow with thankfulness’ (Colossians 2:7).

For Christians the greatest of all acts of worship is simply called ‘thanksgiving’ – eucharistia in Greek – thanksgiving for the death and resurrection of God’s Son and the way of forgiveness that is opened up.

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2 Chronicles 5:13
The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’

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Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

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Mark 14:22-23
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his
disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.

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Luke 17:15-16
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.

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Ephesians 5:19-20
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

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Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
1Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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What should we be asking ourselves and our school?

Ethos
• In what ways are expressions of appreciation and thankfulness built into the life of the school?
• How do we enable pupils to see the good things of life as a blessing and a gift rather than a right?
• How do you enable your pupils to be thankful for more than just material possessions?

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In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Author: Albert Schweitzer

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Worship
• How can we ensure that thanksgiving in worship is genuine and not just a form of words?
• In what ways are the creative arts used in worship to express thankfulness?
• In what creative and imaginative ways might you use the Psalms to express thankfulness?

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A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.

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Curriculum
• How are pupils helped to understand and be thankful for the natural resources upon which we depend?
• How are pupils helped to understand how interdependent we are and to appreciate the skills and labours of others?
• How are pupils helped to develop the skills of expressing appreciation and thanks to other members of the community and visitors?

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Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.

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Leadership
• How do you express appreciation of all that staff members do?
• How do Governors show appreciation and support of the headteacher?
• How do you lead the school in recognising and being thankful for all its strengths?

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365 days in my shoes Day 172

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It’s Friday!

What did you do this week?

I don’t think I could have had a busier week than this one at the moment.

It’s report ‘reading’ time for me and hoping not to be the proof reader for staff who have not checked their reports carefully.

I can predict which ones I need to scrutinise closely for spelling, correct child’s name, correct spelling of child’s name and grammar!

I’ve also managed to get myself roped into a show at the Gala Theatre in Durham. Last G&T was opening night. Such fun.

Saturday – world gin day!
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I spent the day planting in my garden, drinking the odd Hendricks and cucumber whilst soaking up the beautiful sunshine!

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Andrew Cowley just had to mention the word Pimms and this was the result!

Pimms jelly!

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Sunday – rehearsal for a fabulous show called Some Enchanted Evenings

http://www.dmtc.co.uk/current_production.htm

Monday

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Sorted my hanging baskets and persuaded friend to put the brackets up.

Tuesday

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Tonight was our last rehearsal before going to the theatre on Wednesday for a get in, sound check and dress rehearsal.

Wednesday

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Fab to be in a private dressing room. Entry of room to spread dresses and heels around.

Sports day this morning, too.

Having had to cancel sports day for the past 4 years, it seems fitting that my last sports day at my current school should have the best weather and be the hottest day of the week and month so far. ORRsome day and a great turn out from our parents.

Thursday

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Got to spend the day in my new school today. Lovely chatting with some staff in the morning and meeting all of the governors in the afternoon at my first full governing body meeting.

Only 21 days to go! So exciting!

Curtain up!

Dress rehearsal for ‘Some Enchanted Evenings’ with Durham Musical Theatre Group.

Pink fizz afterwards!

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Friday!

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It’s almost the weekend.

Off to Genius Bar tomorrow to try and get iPhone 4S fixed. It has really annoyed me this past two weeks by appearing to have a mind of its own. I have reset, booted with iTunes, tried to switch it off but it still won’t actually switch off completely and now the Siri man’s voice seems determined to make sure I ask him a question while he responds, ‘I didn’t quite get that, Rachel!’

However, it’s the weekend and a matinée and evening performance and then some well deserved chilling afterwards.

I think the reports can wait another 24 hours.