At the very front of the school hall next to our worship table sits our prayer tree. It is not only a literal focal point for our school but also metaphorically, it provides a reflective space to encourage calming thoughts and quiet time with God. Throughout religious festival of the church we decorate the tree with prayers, Biblical verses, poems and art which the children have made in order to celebrate their achievements and to give thanks to God. The tree was decorated by the children and the children take great pride in it and pleasure in seeing their work displayed on it.
As part of our return to school in September 2020, we are asked families to be involved in creating a ‘Museum of Hope’. Each child had brought a wooden heart home and we asked that the pupils and family used it to record how Coronavirus had affected their family. The heart was then returned to school and these were joined together to create our ‘Museum’. Some pictures were something as simple as drawing the members of their family at home together and some have chosen to write about a significant memory. By joining these together, we are unite as a school family.
At St Augustine’s, we are one big family and consistently show one of our core values LOVE. We are also a part of God’s loving family! For Valentine’s Day, we worked collaboratively as a whole school creating some wonderful hearts for our prayer tree. We discussed how love is not just about being ‘in love’ but about love of one another.
Mrs Walker read the passage from the bible; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8;
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Our beautiful prayer tree, full of love…
At St Augustine’s we have many reflection areas in the classrooms, outside in the prayer area, in the teepee and under the prayer tree in the hall. We believe these quiet areas for the children give them time to reflect and explore their thoughts. As a church school community we are responsible for providing the setting, the opportunity and the example for everyone to reflect.