As representatives from Bournemouth YMCA placed their cardboard shelter in front of the nativity backdrop of Bethlehem for their assembly this week, I was struck by the symbolism and poignancy of this act.
They had come to thank our Sixth Formers for taking part in their ‘Sleepout’ earlier in the term and for raising over £1500 to assist those in our local community out of homelessness.
The Chief Executive of the YMCA was struck by the warmth and character of the School and we talked at length about Talbot Heath’s foundations as a Church of England School with a strong belief in service to others. It is not by chance that our Christmas events include a fundraising pop concert for Amnesty International, a Christmas Jumper Day for Shelter, a Mission Christmas Present appeal for disadvantaged children in the area and a Cupcake sale for our partner initiatives in Rwanda.
The wish to help others, to reach out to local, national and international communities is firmly embedded in our School’s ethos. Pupils care and are aware of how fortunate they are. They anticipate the festive season with excitement but want to share their joy with others.
I spoke to the pupils about the fact that Jesus’s birth in a manger demonstrated the importance of caring for all in our communities and showing all love, care and compassion, particularly those who need it the most.
I am very proud of the fact that our compassion and warmth is evident to those who visit the School. Education has at its heart values and principles that will last a lifetime and shape how young people go out into society. I know that our pupils will be a ‘ force for good’ in a world that needs responsible, caring, reflective citizens more than ever.
The YMCA organised another successful Big Sleep Out recently which took place in the Junior School playground at Talbot Heath school.
The academic year finished with a flourish in the Food Department with the final of the L4 Master Chef Competition.