To celebrate Lent, the most important date in the Christian calendar, we would like to bring together our academy community to share in our daily reflections. Every day we will post a thought from someone in the academy – 40 voices in total – on our Teams page and here on this news story.
I’d like to share some lyrics from a song called ‘Spirit Lead Me‘ that encourages us all to reflect on our faith and spirituality – Mrs Willmot.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour
In typical history teacher fashion, one of my favourite quotes comes from an important man in history, Abraham Lincoln. He said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” We talk here at QE about being the best versions of ourselves, living out our core Christian values, and in doing so, we create an amazing future.
One of our core Christian values is nurture. Maya Angelou (American poet and all round amazing woman!) said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Think about that today.
“It’s not just a lesson it’s an excellent experience”
In ‘Ulysses’ – a dramatic monologue detailing the Greek hero’s escapades – Tennyson offers his view that humans are shaped by a combination of all life’s experiences. He says: “I am a part of all that I have met.” Therefore, we are all part QEA. A beautiful reflection on our core value of togetherness.
This inspirational quote reminds us all that being brave enough to be yourself, to make your own decisions, to break from the norm, will make you stronger.
From ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost:
Two paths diverged in a wood, – and I
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference
One of our Governors would like to share with you a quote from Thomas A. Edison that reminds us how important it is to develop resilience, to learn from our mistakes and develop knowledge and wisdom.
“Our greatest weakness is in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
“What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked the boy.
“Help,” said the horse.
“Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse. “It’s refusing to give up.”
Charlie Mackesy, from ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’
“An interest in knowledge always pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin.
A perfect thought linked to our core Christian value of knowledge and wisdom and a great thought to end the working week.
Reflection on Philippians 2:14-15
‘Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.’
In this passage of scripture we are asked to think about what it means to be a child of God. For me it says that we shouldn’t complain and moan about things, but that God will work in us to find peace and joy.
It isn’t saying that things won’t be hard but that God wants us to share our concerns with him in prayer and entrust our worries and problems to him. He is with us even in the darkest times. If we can do this, we can shine like stars in the world and be a light for others to follow.
Trust in God and let your starlight shine out for others too.
“Reading through our parent newsletter has made me reflect on all of the fantastic work that is going on across the academy, even though we are all working at home. Students and staff have been working hard to develop their knowledge through live lessons, assignments and courses. We have seen lots of fantastic pieces of work shared with us, and our newsletter is a celebration of all of these. Seeing photos of staff and students enjoying ‘screen-free Friday’ was a joy, everyone looks so happy taking some time away from their screens doing things that make them smile. I am looking forward to what next half term brings.”
Our new SENCO, Mr Dunning has the following important quote to share on having a positive mindset.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Henry Ford
A thought from Mrs Marples about trying out new experiences and broadening your horizons.
“Taste every fruit of every tree in the garden at least once. It is an insult to creation not to experience it fully.” Stephen Fry
Lent is a time of self-examination and developing a stronger relationship with God. I often speak to God, to ask for support, to encourage me to trust and to be the best version of myself. A small Act of Random Kindness (ARK) can enrich and empower the life of a fellow human being.
Lord, I know how much you love me, I know your love is always with me.
Help me to use your trust as a way to persevere in my faith.
I am challenged, but I know with your help,
I can use the difficult times in my life to draw closer to you.
An inspiring quote suggested by Mrs Hill in RE.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
An important thought from Mrs Evans, that connects clearly with our vision and values of justice and equality
‘Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.’ Matthew 7:12
Thanks to Mr Perry for his geography related inspirational quote. Particularly relevant as we move forward through this pandemic.
“A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure,” Henry Kissinger.
Mrs Cardall shares song lyrics with us today. Listen to the whole song on You Tube. ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’, is about letting your past go, wondering about the future and enjoying the present.
Don’t be scared,
You’ll never change what’s been and gone
May your smile
Don’t be scared
Your destiny may keep you warm
‘cause all of the stars are fading away
Just try not to worry, you’ll see them someday,
Take what you need and be on your way
And stop crying your heart out”
(Oasis, ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’)
A quote and reflection from Miss Thomas for us all today.
‘Each person must live their lives as a model for others.’ Rosa Parks
This reminds us of our QEA way – we set high expectations for ourselves to allow everyone to thrive.
Mrs Pearson in the admin team would like to share the following with us today. Particularly important as we adjust to being back at school.
‘The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects the situation to change and the realist adjusts the sails.’
Thank you Mrs Bland for this reflection on what Lent means to us.
‘Lent gives us a focused time to take a deeper look at our relationship with God and others. It always offers us the path back to his eternal love.’
Today’s reflection comes to us courtesy of Mrs Langheld, one of our new governors. I’m sure you’ll agree, it really lifts the spirits!
Beside her desk, she has a copy of a quote that apparently Barack Obama kept by his desk in the White House: ‘Better is good – you may not be able to make a situation, a friendship, a piece of schoolwork, perfect – but if you can make it better, then that is good.’
We all share the value that joy matters to us, so on that theme Miss Shaw has shared the following thought.
‘”Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look a bit harder.”
We are currently focusing on the value of nurture in our worship cycle. Mrs Eastwood would like to share a quote from the famous Greek storyteller, Aesop, about the importance of kindness in our relationships. ‘No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.’
Our friend Jenny, from In Christ In Schools, has shared the following about finding strength through God in these challenging times.
‘But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.‘ (Isaiah 40:31)
Miss Gascoigne in Drama has inspired us today, thinking of the following.
‘”Always keep something beautiful in mind. Because there is always something beautiful to find.” Andrew Anabi
Thank you Miss Long for this inspirational quote from Barack Obama.
“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.”
Today, we hear from Mr Griffiths- reflecting on being a teacher at QEA.
“As a teacher in Mansfield over the last twenty years, I’ve heard many excuses that get in the way of teenagers succeeding. One of the motivational quotes I like to use is ‘Quit talking and begin doing’. During this lockdown I’ve been so proud to observe the motivation of so many of our year 11 pupils who have come into school to complete work so that they have every chance of succeeding in their GCSEs. For me they are living out one of my favourite quotes.”
Let’s start the new working week with an inspirational quote selected by Mr Gilmore. I love that this particular quote is not only inspiring, but also draws together all of our Christian principles.
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
A big thank you to Mrs Bland for sharing her favourite hymn, ‘Shine Jesus Shine’.
Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me
Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light
Mrs Vickers has chosen to share with us ‘Hebrews 10 verse 24-25‘ from ‘The New Living Translation’. It’s so important to meet, even if remotely, with people who are a positive influence and are part of our community.
‘Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.’
Mrs Graham would like to share a quote that inspires her from the scientist Marie Curie. Especially powerful in the current pandemic.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
Mr Millar showing his Christian value of wisdom has chosen this quote from Winston Churchill.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Our reflection today comes from art teacher, Mrs Long. This quote sums up the way I see my role in education and what I’m trying to achieve as a teacher – the better we educate our young people, giving them the tools to be imaginative and creative, then the brighter the future will be for all of us.
“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.” – Barack Obama
Miss Haywood would like to share some inspirational song lyrics by Gabby Barrett to start the working week.
It’s Everest, I know
It’s impossible, you’re too young or too old
That’s what they tell you
So that’s what you tell you too
So the light, it fades
When you figure out the rules, they change
When you touch it in your hands, it’s sand
Slipping through, but the truth is
Everybody says that you can’t ’til you do
Standing there, staring at the mirror in the room
Tell yourself “One more day, one more day, one more shot” (Hang on)
The voices in the night, in your head
Yeah, they’ll pay you to quit
He’ll tell you that it’s hard, ’cause it is
But you can do anything, anything you want to
There’s footprints on the moon
Mrs Taylor has shared this quote with us.
“My today was all right and my tomorrow will certainly be better. That’s the way I’ve always looked at life.” – Captain Tom Moore
An uplifting reflection from our Diocesan Director of Education as we approach our Easter celebration tomorrow.
What does ‘hope’ mean to you? I don’t mean the kind of hope where I might say, “I hope I’ll win the lottery” (even though I haven’t bought a ticket ☹). That’s not it. Someone once said, ‘Hope is to the mind, what oxygen is to the body’… that’s the kind of hope I mean. What does that look like for you?
During the pandemic, some people have lost hope. Or they’ve wondered where they might find it. I guess we’re all hoping now for better times ahead, that the second half of 2021 will be more normal than the first half. We hope for a better future.
One of my heroes is Martin Luther King. He said, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.” So he says two qualities of hope are courage and holding on to your dream. I really like that. Dare to dream. Have the courage to go after your dream. Hope.
Another of my heroes is Jesus Christ. He believes that all lives matter. In becoming fully human he had a dream. He dreamt of giving us freedom. He dreamt of clearing up the messes we’ve made that we can’t fix ourselves. He dreamt of giving us life in all its fullness. He had the courage to go after that dream, even though he paid a high price for it. He suffered. He did it for us. And he won.
So we can have hope. That’s what Easter is about. Have a hope-filled Easter.
Diocesan Director of Education
So this is our last Lent post! It has been a real privilege to share the voices of our staff and academy friends with you all. I’d like to end with our own Christian vision, which perfectly encapsulates why working at Queen Elizabeth’s is such a joy. Happy Easter everyone!
Inspired by Luke 10:29-37, we give our all to all in appreciation to God who gave His all in Jesus, offering learning without boundaries and care without limits so that all our students can experience life in all its fullness.