Two Secondary Schools in the Diocese of Durham have been featured in the Oak National Academy’s Assembly through the Church of England’s Faith@Home programme.
The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy in Sunderland and the Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy in Stockton-on-Tees, part of the Dayspring Trust, were approached by The Church of England Faith@Home team to take part in the national assembly following their pioneering work with Prayer Spaces in the Diocese and their contributes to Faith@Home.
The Archbishop of Canterbury led the first Oak National Academy ‘collective worship’ Assembly. Now in episode five, students from the two schools talk about the importance of developing patience in our everyday lives. The Assembly video is focused on secondary school-age children and uses a blend of young presenters, topical video and youth culture to gets its messages across to the audience.
The Oak National Academy was set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis to provide high-quality online materials for students, parents and teachers. Some of the assembly content comes from the Church of England’s Faith at Home programme which supports the faith development and pastoral care of children and young people.
Mrs Gill Booth, Executive Head for the Daysping Trust said: “We are thrilled to have been asked to contribute to the Faith@home resources and the national assembly. This week’s theme is Patience – a timely topic in the current environment!
“Preparing the production was quite a challenge as we had to do all the filming ourselves, carefully considering the rules around social-distancing. However, 10 of our pupils jumped at the challenge and volunteered to come into school to be filmed, each taking a key role in the production.
We were asked to write and present the closing prayer. As a trust, we wanted to show how we work together so each pupil presented one line, alternating between each academy. For the prayer activities, pupils demonstrated 3 different tasks that can be used at home to develop patience, using gardening, timepieces and pebbles as inspiration.
“I am extremely proud of our pupils and their achievement, especially their confidence and the way they demonstrate our Christian values, putting others before themselves and giving up their time to inspire others. We all need to develop patience at the moment and we hope that the activities show young people a way to do this.”
Both schools are part of the leadership team for the Faith@Home programme, contributing specifically on the theme of Wisdom and producing resources for teachers and pupils to use at home during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Andy Wolfe the CofE lead for the Faith@Home programme said: “We’re thrilled that student leaders from Sunderland and Stockton-on-Tees could play such a great role in this week’s films – they’ve done a wonderful job of leading, and will be an inspiration to other students and families across the country as part of our national Faith at Home campaign.”
The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham and the CofE’s lead bishop on Education said: “I am delighted to see these two schools from my diocese take part in the Oak National Academy’s collective worship assembly this week. It is great to see young people engaging in this way and helping to deliver such vital messages of patience not only in this time of COVID-19 but also for us all hear and reflect upon. They can be very proud of the work they have done on the assembly and in helping lead the Wisdom strand of the Faith@Home programme.”
The video can be viewed here: Patience (Secondary)