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A School Family

When I walk into a building, be it a café, an office, someone’s home or a school, I get an instant feel, a gut feel for the place; I believe many of us do. So, what is it about the building that provides this sensation? The warm, comfortable welcome or the uneasy, I don’t belong here? For me, 100%, the people!

It is the people who make the building and it is the people who make our schools what they are. The staff, the children, the families and the community.

Katie and I were recently invited to visit St Nicholas CE Primary Academy, Boston, and from the minute we stepped into the building, we became part of their school family. Every single person: the people in reception, the caretaker, teachers, support staff and children, greeted us, they welcomed us, they smiled. It was honestly incredible.

It was only later when we were chatting to headteacher, Fiona, and deputy, Tom, that we realised how significant this welcome was and the journey they had taken to get there.

To me, the school is so clearly the centre of the community it serves. They need it. Not just the children but their families too. Many changes had happened with huge amounts of blood, sweat and tears building up to where they are today and what was so wonderful to hear, so remarkable, was that Picture News had played a part in it.

The school begins the week using Picture News resources for a whole school assembly, which they describe as their whole school family worship. School family – so important.  During this time ‘everybody is given time to consider, think, reflect, respond, pray (if they wish), hope, dream, imagine, make connections. It is making current events more real, relevant and easier to comprehend.’

The following day, class-based worship takes place ‘where every single member of our school family can dig deeper into their own thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the focus topic, gaining a greater understanding of how these impact on the way they live their own lives.’

Whilst touring the building, we could just feel we were part of this special place. Their motto ‘Let your light shine’ underpins everything they do and I could see how they had used Picture News to help their school family to do this. ‘It is helping to develop a level of emotional literacy across our entire community that has the power to change lives; to heal; to bring hope. Making explicit the links to FBV and UN Rights of the Child is empowering children (and adults) to believe that they have the ability to colour the world … one act of kindness at a time.’

I have always felt so passionate about what we do at Picture News. I know our resources can be used to impact children’s lives, give them a voice, connect them to the world, help them learn more about themselves and others and to not only manage emotions but to empower them to have them in the first place and share them.

‘I don’t even have the words to describe the profound impact Picture News has had on the levels of empathy, compassion, connection, integrity, reflection and understanding across our entire St Nicholas CE Primary Academy family! We LOVE it.’

BUT it is the people in the building that do this, that make the resource come alive. Having the opportunity to visit this school family was monumental. They have certainly had an impact on me and I left the building with my light shining too!

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