Beating the drums for Ghana Day
At the end of January 2020, Langley Fitzurse Church of England School, near Chippenham, held a Ghana Day to raise money for the young woman they sponsor. It was bit different from the usual cake sale!
For 10 years, the school has sponsored Vivian, who lives in Ghana, through Plan International UK. This year the Pupil Worship Council was given the challenge of raising that money. Mindful that the school motto is to ‘Amaze, Excite, Inspire’ pupils in their learning, we wanted it to be a creative and engaging experience. The Christian Distinctiveness governor group also recognised that it is a challenge for a small rural school in Wiltshire to connect with global issues. However, part of the new SIAMS expectations for church schools is to look at the theme of Courageous Advocacy, encouraging pupils to deepen their understanding and develop meaningful relationships with the charities they support.
Prompted by a request in the village magazine, a parent introduced us to a friend who lived locally, but who was born and grew up in Ghana, and was happy to come and share. The school also has a connection with a local artist, Fi Redmond (she helped pupils design and make the cloth for the school worship table) who volunteered to lead a session creating a Ghana flag using Adinkra symbols (reflecting school values). A grandparent of a pupil also came in to talk to the reception class.
With the red, gold and green of the Ghana flag flying over the school, and the Ghanaian National anthem resounding, 30 January was a fantastic day, full of joy. Pupils and staff dressed in the same colours and had a taste of Ghana through drumming sessions, printing, tasting food, playing football (the sport is used to grow confidence in girls in Ghana) and singing songs. Our lovely guest, Barbara, came in national dress, answered many questions and talked about politics, Christianity, colonial history, slavery, cocoa, playground games, sweets, animals, the language, the climate and how she has found settling in to the UK. And we had storytelling about Anansi the trickster spider (the school value that term was truthfulness!).
Langley Fitzurse School and St Peters Church, Kington Langley (part of the Draycot Group of Churches) have an historic connection, both founded around the same time in the 1850s. Today there continues to be a strong church/school partnership, with the Ministry team and church members supporting staff, as they offer opportunities to explore their spirituality, and the Christian faith in particular. Small schools have a limited capacity to organise such a day without overloading the staff. With close liaison, perhaps you could support your church school to put on a special day and make lasting memories.
Church School Partnerships
Watch the video on the Church School Partnership Award or discover more about Church-School links here.