Connecting in a new way

CAFOD Primary School Volunteer, Dee, shares her reflection on her first virtual visit to a school and getting to grips with this new way to communitcate.

I must admit to a feeling of some trepidation leading up to my first virtual visit to a primary school to deliver an assembly for Lent 2021 as I am not very confident in my technical skills. 

Find out more about our Lent resources for Primary and Secondary schools

Dee with her Lent Fast Day presentation script at the ready.

In the event the school set up the Zoom invitation and shared screen to allow the PowerPoint to be shown and it was no different to joining all the other Zoom meetings we have become so accustomed to over the last year.  There were a few glitches at the beginning from the school’s end but they sorted it out quickly and the assembly went ahead with each class of the children who were in school watching from their own classroom. 

The advantages were that I could do it from my own sofa with no travelling and getting lost trying to find the school for once.  Also it was slightly easier to concentrate on the script and be word perfect when not in front of a live audience.  However it is not so easy to be interactive and each time I asked a question our contact had to ask a year group to unmute themselves to answer the question.  She felt the children who were in school enjoyed it as it was something different from what they have been doing. 

On balance I am looking forward to returning to in person visits to allow for better interaction with the children and staff, but virtual visits are a great way of maintaining contact when this is not possible.

Book a Virtual visit for your School, contact us at southwark@cafod.org.uk

Bromley school pupils serenade Christmas shoppers

It is officially the ‘season to be jolly’, and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with carols!

Led by Deputy Headteacher Barbara Burns, pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School in Bromley gave shoppers in The Glades every reason to feel festive, with the young school choir singing a selection of well-known Christmas carols.

St Joseph’s School choir singing

Raising money for CAFOD, the St Joseph’s Church CAFOD group had their collection boxes at the ready, taking donations from a very supportive passing public.

Mrs Burns said: “The choir perform in The Glades every year to raise money for CAFOD and really enjoy it! The children have been working really hard practising their carols, and if we can get shoppers into the festive spirit, feel a bit jollier, and donate money to CAFOD, then we’ll know we’ve done a good job.”

St Joseph’s School choir

Whilst on the subject of Christmas, CAFOD’s World Gifts (which are on sale all year round), are well worth checking out at Christmas time! As a unique way to give to those who are most in need this Christmas there are a range of World Gifts to choose from, including: supporting a child to go to school; providing training and equipment so people can grow their own food; and giving life-saving treatment for mums and babies.

World Gifts can be bought for as little as £4. Orders can be placed at cafod.org.uk/worldgifts. The 14th of December is the deadline for posted cards and gifts, but e-cards are available for instant delivery from the CAFOD website at www.cafod.org.uk/worldgifts.

Anyone who buys a World Gift online or over the phone receives a personalised card to give their friends or family members telling them how their gift is helping people overseas.

Pupils dress-up for school Fun Run to support Typhoon Haiyan appeal

There has been an enormous response from communities across the Southwark Diocese in light of Typhoon Haiyan. Most recently, St William of York School in Forest Hill arranged several fundraisers to raise money for CAFOD’s Philippines Typhoon Haiyan appeal.

The children, staff and parents, organised a ‘Christmas Fun Run’ where (and this is an exact figure), 239 children ran around a circuit in Blythe Hill Fields Park dressed as Santa, Rudolph, a snowman or a Nativity character! As you can tell from the pictures, it was quite a hill to climb, but the children seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and the costumes definitely struck the festive chord! The school has already managed to raise £600 through the sponsored run, but a final total is yet to be announced…

St William of York School Christmas Fun Run

St William of York School Christmas Fun Run

Headteacher Mrs Sharon Lynch said: The school has a number of families with relatives and connections to the Philippines, and the children have a real ‘first hand’ knowledge of how important their contribution is to improving the lives of those affected.”

The school also raised a phenomenal £1,972 for CAFOD through donations from their Non Uniform Day and school disco.To make a donation, and support CAFOD’s Typoon Haiyan appeal please click here.