2 Networking Volume 21, Issue 3 Autumn Term 2020
Supporting schools in a year like no other
Last academic year was surely the strangest and most challenging that schools in the UK have ever experienced. And the year ahead will have to respond to all that has happened.
How will this shape CAFOD’s support for Catholic schools in England and Wales?
When lockdown happened, like all teachers, our Education team had to adapt quickly to new ways of working. And we plan to carry into the new academic year the insights we gained.
1. Redesigned website
During home learning it was more important than ever that teachers, students and parents could easily find what they needed on our website. The strengths and weaknesses of our site became much clearer to us as we watched uptake of our various home learning resources.
So we spent the summer reworking our webpages. We hope that our academic, collective worship and other resources are now much easier to locate. Some resources have been updated, and some new ones have been added.
This work is ongoing, so please let us know what works for you and where we can improve things further: email@example.com
2. New prayer resources During lockdown we began monthly coffee catch-ups on Zoom with school chaplains. These were very popular and will continue. They are a chance for chaplains to share with each other and with us some of the challenges that they experience and the resources, initiatives or support that they find most useful.
If you are a chaplain and would like to join the next catch up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
One thing the chaplains highlighted was the constant need for new, easy-to-use prayer resources. So, as part of our mandate to promote understanding of and engagement with global justice, we will provide new prayer and liturgical resources in the coming year. We’ve begun with a collection of twelve prayers. Each fits a different global justice theme and is on a PowerPoint slide, ready for assemblies or classroom prayers. Prayers for young people: cafod.org.uk/youngpeopleprayers
3. Online assemblies
We have always provided assembly material for schools, particularly during Lent, Harvest and Advent. In the past, these have been in the form of an adaptable PowerPoint and script, often with an accompanying film showing our work alongside poor communities around the world.
During lockdown we felt that something more was needed. With most students at home, normal assemblies and acts of collective worship - those reassuringly regular parts of the school week - had become impossible.
So, our first ever online assembly “Hope in the time of coronavirus”, premiered on Youtube on 18 June. The response was incredible. We received many photos of students watching together in class and messages saying how uplifting the experience had been. Some followed up by supporting CAFOD’s Summer of Hope, fundraising for our Coronavirus appeal. Thank you!
We will offer more online assemblies in the coming academic year. We held one to start the year on 10 September, “The world you want”, and will run another on 8 October in anticipation of Harvest Fast Day.
Watch the previous assemblies and find out about the next one at: cafod.org.uk/schoolstogether