NEWS & EVENTS
We thought you would like to know what is happening to our schools workers now that all schools have been closed apart from a few that are providing childcare help for the children of key workers.
Our three schools workers, Andrea, Tina and Kt (who is covering Nicola’s maternity leave) are unable to run any clubs, assemblies or presentations in schools or churches nor are they able to engage directly with any of the children who are now at home.
The Government has introduced a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will meet 80% of the cost of salaries of any organisation so as to avoid making redundancies in the short term. The Trust will add the balance of 20% so that the three employees will, for the time being, continue to receive their normal salary. This will take effect from the 1st April and, to comply with the terms of the scheme, the schools workers will not be permitted to do any work for the Trust although they can engage in training and volunteering.
Over the forthcoming weeks and months funding for all charities and churches is expected to decline as fundraising events and services are cancelled or postponed. We understand that there are many worthy causes that will need support but we very much hope that you will be able to support us as you have in the past or, if you are able to make an additional donation, however small, to SVST it would be greatly appreciated.
Online donations can be made through or by a transfer to our bank account – sort code 20-17-35 account number 93400956.
We must all heed the advice to stay safe and healthy being given but, if any of you tire of singing Happy Birthday as you wash your hands try saying the Lord’s Prayer which apparently takes about the same length of time!
AN UPDATE CONCERNING COVID-19
Christmas Unwrapped is a workshop for year five pupils, hosted by local churches, which aims to help children understand why Christmas is so important to Christians. Each session is jam packed with games, activities, craft, quizzes and videos.
In 2019, we welcomed schools to three events, in Saffron Walden, Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth.
IT'S YOUR MOVE 2019
It's Your Move is a transition workshop which aims to help year six children to prepare for secondary school. We use role play to tell the biblical story of Joseph, to help pupils to identify and cope with imminent changes including; being in new, unfamiliar surroundings, meeting new people and making friends and dealing with conflict. This then leads in to an interactive discussion using a 'lucky dip' bag to cover some of the practical aspects of secondary school such as; uniform, personal organisation, homework and detention.
We have been working with local primary schools for many years now to deliver these sessions. This year, with the help of a wonderful team of volunteers, we have visited 27 schools, a total of 834 children.
Here's what teachers had to say:
"The children had lots of questions which were addressed comprehensively. They enjoyed the play - watching and acting"
"The presenters were very approachable"
"Thank you. Another lovely, engaging session"
[The children enjoyed] "the role play element, getting involved in character, the lucky dip and discussing secondary school"
[The children enjoyed] "the role play - they always do!"
CLUB FEEDBACK FROM STUDENTS
The lunchtime and after school clubs that we run in secondary schools are optional for students and open to all, of any faith or none.
Clubs provide the opportunity for students to share and explore their own views and the opinions of others, on a variety of topics and a Christian viewpoint is also offered. Discussion topics are mostly determined by the students themselves. We also play games and socialise, providing the opportunity for young people in different year groups to get to know each other.
Here's what students have to say about the clubs:
"I've definitely learnt a lot about Christianity and religion in general"
"It mostly gave me confidence in expressing my opinion and brought up many different moral lessons"
"I have been exposed to world views which are different to my own and it has been very interesting"
"Get ready for great discussion, games and food!"
"The fact that all ideas are accepted. I always felt safe and happy"
During the last couple of weeks of the spring term, we held Easter Cracked events for Year 5 pupils in Bishop's Stortford, Saffron Walden and Sawbridgeworth. Each jam packed session used quizzes, video clips, craft and upfront input to help the children explore what Easter means to Christians.
Starting at Palm Sunday and journeying through the Last Supper to Jesus' death and resurrection, we thought about God's love for the world and the unfolding of His plan from Christmas to Easter, to give each of us the opportunity to receive forgiveness for the things we do wrong and to be friends with God. One teacher commented:
"The children really enjoyed the window decoration and it gave them something to take home. [We] had lots of positive comments from the children. The Christian teaching was very relatable and interesting thank you so much, the children really enjoyed their afternoon"