Reflections of a GCSE Student

Tuesday 26th May 2020

Time seems to be moving on quickly. The weeks are flying by, and already we are on day 68 of the lockdown.

One thing which I have prominently noticed during this time, is the relationships which many of us are strengthening and even discovering with the church. The power and the love of God is always abundant, and yet never changing, one constant in this time of unprecedented change.

For me personally, over the last few years I have found it a challenge to find the right balance between being able to attend church services and events, with my many other commitments, particularly school and exams. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly where God needs us to be in that moment, a struggle to appreciate his plan for our lives, when we cannot yet see the future and do not know quite where we will go next. During this time of quarantine, I have been able to embrace God to the extent which I would always like to. I have had the opportunity to attend many more services, talks and social events in this online world, praying and listening to God. For me this has been an eye opening, and much needed experience in my journey of Christian maturity.

I wonder how you have been able to use your faith in this time? Perhaps its been having something to guide you through the darker days, being able to be part of a supportive community and staying in touch with familiar faces, or if, like me you have been able to use this opportunity to build and strengthen your relationship with God?

The sea is slowly calming and slowly the restrictions on our lives are being eased.

Tuesday 12th May 2020

A few weeks later and slowly life is starting to feel more normal.

Bit by bit I am beginning to find new ways to fill my abundance of time, and finally completing many of the small tasks I’ve always been meaning to do. From learning new instruments, and doing daily workouts to completing online courses and acquiring some British sign language, time is moving quickly. I am certain my family have appreciated the plentiful supply of cakes in the kitchen!

Many people are struggling during this period. A completely new way of living which no one was prepared for, with demanding new sets of rules to comply with. Everyone has been affected, whether a close relative may have contracted the disease, they are even a key worker on the frontline, or even just overwhelmed with the prospect of having to stay inside. It is more important than ever to check up on friends, to see how they are coping in these times. I wonder how you may have done this?

For me personally I have found it a challenge to be unable to see my friends every- day and so I baked cakes for lots of them, and went on a long bike ride to deliver them, hoping to make them smile, and cheer them along. Small acts of a kindness go a long way, a bit of light in a prolonged period of darkness.

Gradually the sea is calming. Soon the ship will be able to sail free.

To be continued…

Monday 20th April 2020

I feel so lucky to be a part of an incredible school. The powerful underlying community creates something to look forward to every day. A home from home.

This could not have been felt more following the unprecedented news announcement of school closures. Within moments we were recipients of reassuring emails – everything was going to be ok.

Our last day of school was hard, having to unexpectedly say goodbye to teachers and classmates, without any real knowledge of what was going to happen and when we would see each other again. It began to hit home that we would never have some lessons again and most likely never be taught by the same teachers.

We gathered together as a year group, with cups of tea and biscuits, and had an opportunity to ask questions and share our feelings. Not one person said they were glad exams were cancelled, it just wasn’t like that.

Our b

Time seems to be moving on quickly. The weeks are flying by, and already we are on day 68 of the lockdown.

One thing which I have prominently noticed during this time, is the relationships which many of us are strengthening and even discovering with the church. The power and the love of God is always abundant, and yet never changing, one constant in this time of unprecedented change.

For me personally, over the last few years I have found it a challenge to find the right balance between being able to attend church services and events, with my many other commitments, particularly school and exams. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly where God needs us to be in that moment, a struggle to appreciate his plan for our lives, when we cannot yet see the future and do not know quite where we will go next. During this time of quarantine, I have been able to embrace God to the extent which I would always like to. I have had the opportunity to attend many more services, talks and social events in this online world, praying and listening to God. For me this has been an eye opening, and much needed experience in my journey of Christian maturity.

I wonder how you have been able to use your faith in this time? Perhaps its been having something to guide you through the darker days, being able to be part of a supportive community and staying in touch with familiar faces, or if, like me you have been able to use this opportunity to build and strengthen your relationship with God?

The sea is slowly calming and slowly the restrictions on our lives are being eased.

iology teacher gave each student a leaf of a plant, which we could all go and away and grow individually. Like the plants leaves, each student will find their own different ways to guide themselves through the empty days we now find ourselves in.

A final walk around the school engulfed a small sense of closure, despite the eeriness of so many students and teachers absent.

Currently we must wait patiently as the ship is still jolting over the stormy sea, but think, soon it will still.

To be continued…

Wednesday 8th April 2020

Boris Johnson - “Schools are shut. Exams in May and June are cancelled” .

Unprecedented shock. Devastation. A muddled mess of emotion.

Endless questions encased my mind. Endless questions that had no definitive answers.

In the space of a few, short minutes, a life that had the sole focus of succeeding in my GCSE exams disappeared in the blink of an eye.

The hours slumped at my desk, studying my hardest for my exams have very quickly vanished. The endless stacks of revision materials have been boxed away. The pens which indented my hands, pushed into a drawer, the ink run dry.

I had worked tirelessly for these exams. Years and years of preparation. The countless lessons seemed a copious waste of words. I was never going to be able to show what I was capable of. I was never going to have that sleepless night before opening a set of results with trembling hands .

Trepidation for my future. The following months were suddenly blank, a feeling of stepping into unknown territory. Ordinarily, a life is notably busy, often without moments to slow down and think. The juxtaposition of this with what was to come filled me with apprehension.

Without a shadow of a doubt, year 11 had been my very favourite year of school. Friendships flourished and our year group thrived together as one. Every single lesson put a smile upon my face surrounded by hugely supportive teachers and mates, always able to have a good laugh or cry when thinks were a little tough. The pain of an abrupt ending was heart-breaking. We all loved school and it hurt to the think our school lives could just come to an end this way.

At present, the storm is defying our version of normality, but stop, and remember this is just a storm and it will blow over.

To be continued...

Safeguarding: who to contact in an emergency

If a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention, call the emergency services on 999. If there are concerns about their immediate welfare, don’t delay: call Children and Adult’s Social care on 0345 050 7666 or the MASH Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833408

Also please inform your Parish Safeguarding officer, Alison, on 07884 074812 or her Deputy, Ness, on 07774 524756 or Pauline on 01993 648136 that you have contacted them.

Safeguarding: who to contact with concerns

For all safeguarding concerns please immediately inform your Parish Safeguarding Officer, Alison, on 07884 074812 or her Deputy, Ness, on 07774524756 or Pauline on 01993 648136. You can also email concerns to safeguarding@witneyparish.org.uk

If you need to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team, call 01865 208290. Alternatively the Safeguarding Adviser Lisa Wilkins can be reached via lisa.wilkins@oxford.anglican.org or 01865 208295.

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