This month, we were truly delighted to welcome the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, and our Assembly Member, Mike Hedges, to Bishop Vaughan. It was both a pleasure and an honour to host them and to celebrated our school’s actions to deliver the Minister’s National Mission on curriculum reform.
During the visit, our guests toured the school site speaking to staff and pupils about pressing education issues, such as pupil wellbeing and mental health. The Minister and Mr. Hedges spoke at length with Sixth Form pupils studying A-Level Government and Politics, some of whom have carried out work experience in our Assembly Member’s office.
Our guests ended their visit in the school Chapel where our exceptional school choir performed a beautiful and breathtaking version of ‘Adiemus’ by locally-born composer Sir Karl Jenkins. Our Head Boy, Ethan, and our Head Girl, Brejeeta, did an excellent job in their central roles in this visit and all of our pupils thoroughly appreciated the visitors’ time in visiting the school and the interest that they took in all aspects of school life.
On a very different note, it was with the greatest sadness that we learned this week of the death of Mr. Nigel Williams, a former teacher of the school. Mr. Williams was held in the highest regard by all that knew him: he was a very dear friend to countless staff, and universally popular because of his infectious humour, kindness and unwavering loyalty towards all in the school community. He worked at the school for a long period, and held pastoral roles in addition to his teaching ones, and through this became as well-liked and deeply appreciated by pupils as he was by his colleagues.
Mr. Williams was a true gentlemen with a deep sense of compassion for others and he had a tireless commitment and dedication to Bishop Vaughan School. I am aware that there are very many former pupils and colleagues who will deeply affected by this news and we keep the, Mr. Williams’s family and Mr. Williams himself in our prayers at this very difficult time.
In addition to our Lenten prayers, following our Ash Wednesday service this week, we have resumed our practice of the Examen in the last part of each Friday afternoon. As explained in the blog post for the start of Advent, this reflection encourages us to:
Become aware of God’s presence
Review the day with gratitude
Pay attention to our emotions
Choose one feature of the day and pray from it
Look toward tomorrow
This reflection has now become established as part of our Lent and Advent preparations and it is certainly nurtures spiritual growth and wellbeing. As we are reminded in 1 Peter 5, we can “Cast all [our] anxiety on Him, because He cares for [us]” and He “Himself will restore, support, strengthen and establish [us]” This knowledge, and the stillness and reflection of the Examen, together promote a sense of peace and offer support in uncertain times.
During the month ahead, we have our Eisteddfod and World Book Day to look forward to. We look forward to updating you on these in next month’s post!