This term we've been meeting lots of new young people in our Secondary Schools and enjoying fun activities, including Nativity Photo Booths and Christmas themed games! At the Alun School and Ysgol Maes Garmon we're leading pop-up style activities using school halls and other spaces, with different themes and activities each week. Working with Lowri Mitton, our Welsh Prebyterian church partner, at Ysgol Maes Garmon we've explored identity, values and character using games and music / video (Lowri's great at creating video content around themes!). Throughout December we explored the Nativity story from the points of view of the shepherds, the bewildered young couple, the magi and the angels. The immaculate conception of Jesus threw up a lot of questions - some even searched Gooogle to check if we were pulling their legs! ("What do you mean Mary was still a virgin???? But that's just not possible!" "That would be a miracle birth....oh, wait!)
Tim Byram of King's Church came and help with what proved to be a very popular photo booth for Years 7 and 8 at the Alun - we were stampeded by camels, swamped by shepherds, awed by all the angels and left on our knees along with the Wise Men!!!
It was all a huge amount of fun - but also gave some fantastic opportunities for conversation about faith, how young people feel about the many pressures of our constantly connected culture and to explore some of their questions about God and religion.
As part of the school's Anti-Bullying week, I was invited to lead a Refuge space for three days at Bryn Gwalia school last month.
Each class in the school, from Nursery to Year 6, visited Refuge for a lesson. The lesson involved discussions about prayer, a craft activity and six interactive stations where the pupils could spend as much time as they wanted.
This week we led what is probably my favourite assembly - Samson and Delilah. I've added a line for the benefit of the staff - as Delilah begs the mighty Samson to reveal the secret of his super-human strength, he bangs his fist and cries 'Oh why why why Delilah, must you nag me so much?!'
Gets a giggle from the staff every time. One headteacher apologized after the assembly for laughing so loud - she had such a fit of giggles she had to bite on her jumper to get control!
This year, our volunteers Steph and Nia played the dysfunctional couple, and did a fantastic job too. Steph struggled a little with his comic timing, and we were shocked to learn that he didn't know the song at all, even when we sang it for him in the school hall!
What kind of music do they play down in London?
So here's the video, as part of Steph's cultural edication, and for everyone who now has the song playing in their head
Hello there friends! If you don't know who I am, and If you're currently a bit gutted that this is not Wendy. Smile and move on, there are far more important things to worry about. For example how to pronounce my name. Just say Around with out the 'd'. There you go, you've learned a handy new thing today. It has been a great day.
While I'm currently writing this, I'm doing Wendy's work for her. The first thing I need is to send Hannah to get Judith's ruler. 'GO HANNAH'
(this is actually happening - Live Blog guys)
Some time passed - 'Thank you Hannah'
Right, I'm sitting in front of two pieces of cardboard ready to do sign posts for our Easter Event in the Welsh schools next week.
'Jerwsalem' and 'Gardd Gethsemane' will be written on the cardboard.
The first thing is to get your ready prepared before this blog pieces of card board at the ready with a pencil in hand.
Then try and remember how a sign looks. When that is done - your ready to start.
First make sure that you've consider the length of your words on the cardboards. Then you're ok to start painting white on. Then wait to dry (ideally when you're away doing an after school club)
Then start with your permanent marker, block out the letters. remember that it is permanent Maybe using a pencil first would be ideal, but If you're short with time just go for it! Colour in. then cut them out using scissors (be very careful when doing this - ask an intern)
I think if it looks good, you're finished. If it look rubbish then I recommend starting again. Poor quality signs means you get lost. And being lost is not good.
Thanks for reading!
The office is often a warzone, Wendy has many projectiles, which when in the wrong hands could be lethal :P Arawn has previously added a tennis ball to the collection on the left. Luckily this isn't a daily occurrence. So the projectile of choice is the orange googly eyed object named Squishy, because he is so fun to play with and bounce about! Then for a more angry throw we tend to use the earth stress ball, as it has a greater impact. The balloon is often a failure , as we try to stretch it like an elastic band to try and watch it fly. This often leads to a sore hand or hitting yourself with the balloon! :P And finally we have the new addition of the soft rugby ball, which we are still testing for effectiveness! The latest threat to world peace is Arawn's wooden elephant named Calcutta, which he has been testing in a secret laboratory, he insists this will only be used in extreme break down of communication and that he can easily be pacified with a crème egg or spaghetti bolognese!
The elephant is more of a deterrent against any threats of a severe nature towards the nation of Arawn. A peace treaty has been formed between me and Arawn - because I'm baking him a cake this evening.
Hannah :) with comments from Arawn
From Wendy planking in the office to conversations at super speed, there's never a dull day in the office with Wendy, Arawn and Ben. We discussed the value of dunking chips into ice cream, earlier. We've decided from now on to record every word Wendy says, so everyone can enjoy the hilarity that we are blessed with. The first instalment is "WhatWhat?" in a questioning, high pitch voice! PS if you ever see Ben you should sing Blue by Eiffel 65 or One Direction both will have the same great effect! (Hannah )
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