The past month has been a most enjoyable one for our pupils. Some of our Sixth Formers have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear firsthand from some of the most influential leaders on a national and indeed a global stage at the ‘Leadership for Future Generations’ event held at the University’s Great Hall. Pupils listened to panel discussions with former US President Bill Clinton, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford. This part of the conference followed a programme of leadership-focused activities and the event as a whole brought together some of the city’s most talented young people – many of whom will undoubtedly be leaders in the future themselves. We look forward to seeing the ways and sectors in which they will choose to lead – especially since, amongst those attending, there are those who are passionate about politics, climate change, their faith and much more besides. They represented the school exceptionally well, as always, being wonderful ambassadors of our values and priorities as a community.
Many of those same pupils returned straight to school from the event, with just a very short time to prepare for their input into the Sixth Form Information Evening, in which we welcomed current Year 11 pupils from our own school and from externally to learn more about what our Sixth Form offers. Once more, the Head Prefects spoke articulately and with conviction and warmth, and once more those supporting the evening in any way were really exceptional role models to and shining examples of what we strive, as a community, to instil in our pupils. We congratulate them and thank them for the time that they invest in supporting younger pupils, not only in events such as these, but every day in so many areas of school life.
As our parents and carers are aware, all schools have in place a school improvement plan to shape their work across the year and in the longer term also. This should encompass the key areas of its work. Our plan has recently been re-shaped, as we saw the potential for our existing priorities to be organised under the acronym ‘PEACE’. We feel that this brings together the key strands of our work in a way that can be readily referenced by staff and pupils, as well as genuinely reflecting the principles that underpin our work.
The key components of our three-year plan remain unchanged, therefore, but they are grouped into five areas under this particularly apt word for us as a community, because peace – in all its forms – is entirely central to all that we do in Bishop Vaughan. This may be through promoting and celebrating our extremely diverse cultural heritages, through exploring the conditions for peace as we do in our annual festival, through living in accord with our principles in terms of the peaceful and ethical stewardship of creation or through holding the words of the scriptures at the heart or our work, such as those in Colossians 3: 14-15 –
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”
Our ‘at-a-glance guide’ to our existing improvement plan is therefore shown as follows:
This by no means covers all of our priorities, but we hope that this distilled summary of some of our key focus areas is of interest to parents and carers.
While ‘peace’ as a concept may be central to us here at Bishop Vaughan, that in no way means that it is always (or even often!) peace-ful here at the school, and that was certainly evident this evening. The Main Hall was absolutely filled with visitors for our Christmas Fair! It was just about possible to hear the wonderful choir amongst the chatter from the stallholders and visitors and above the laughter (anyone who visited the human fruit machine stall will be able to explain that!)
It really was a most enjoyable and festive evening with lots of fundraising for projects and charities close to our hearts as a community. Visitors returned to their homes with bags full of lovely handmade items such as the wax melts and hand-sewn items from the Junior Legion of Mary’s stall, with bird feeders and handmade decorations from the Eco Club, with baked treats, with purchases from our external stallholders and much more. Though the weather was cold, the frosty evening added to the festive atmosphere, and the warmth of the event as a whole certainly overcame the temperature! We now look forward to our carol services – the Parish Service of Benediction and Carols at the Sacred Heart in Morriston on Thursday 7th December at 6pm, and the Annual Cathedral Carol Service at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Monday 18th December at 7pm. Please do join us for these!
As we move into the first weekend of Advent, I wish you and your families a blessed and peaceful Advent season on behalf of all in the Bishop Vaughan community.