The serenity to accept the things we cannot change

This morning’s assembly opened with Terra Nova’s Headmaster asking each class to talk about the main occurrences in current affairs this week. The dominant subjects being the second lockdown and US election. With the advent of the second lockdown, Mr Stewart urged everyone to accept the inevitable disappointment of having day to day aspects of life curtailed but equally encouraged everyone to remember how lucky the Terra Nova community is in being able to attend school, being able to play sport and be with one another. His words called to mind the words of the Serenity prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

With this positive and upbeat tone set for this week’s virtual assembly on this beautiful Autumnal morning, Mr Stewart introduced Charlie C in Year 6 who is calling on the school community to support an initiative he has been inspired to set up. Last year Charlie travelled to Likamoa, an island in Lake Malawi. Charlie observed that the children, who are passionate football players, are playing barefooted and realised there might be something he could do to help. It also struck Charlie that the children, who don’t have very much, are very respectful of what they do have. Charlie has encouraged his home friends to donate anything they have grown out of in terms of spare boots and football strips. Overwhelmed by the positive response to his request, Charlie is now appealing to all at Terra Nova to donate anything football related that is no longer used. Charlie’s family have secured free transportation of four box loads from Fedex so a plea from Charlie to get donating and support the12 football teams of Likamoa!

Next on this morning’s assembly agenda was a letter that Mr Stewart received from Age UK in response to all the letters and pictures Terra Nova pupils sent to elderly people during the first lockdown. The letter stated how huge and positive an impact the letters and drawings had had on their elderley recipients with the confirmation that receipt of the letters ‘had brightened up (our) day’ and how happy and grateful these people were to not have been forgotten.

Thomas BB, Terra Nova’s Head Boy was then on camera introducing the fund raising concept the Year 8 pupil leadership team have devised in support of this year’s Children in Need. All children in Year 5-8 will donate in order to participate in a Tug of War! Thomas went on to talk about Christmas jumper day, bearing in mind Lawrence B’s bid last year to raise awareness of the potential extra landfill created by buying and throwing away a jumper worn on just one day. The Year 8 pupil leadership team, in support of Lawrence’s points are going to facilitate an in school sale of Christmas jumpers so that pupils can pass on their too small Christmas jumpers to the younger pupils for a nominal sum. All funds raised in this initiative will go towards improving the lighting in the Performing Arts Centre.

As is traditional in assemblies the camera then panned to Miss Deighton who spoke about the house system and how older pupils are relishing the opportunities to achieve house tokens for exceptional work, exceptional attitude or behaviour which are placed in a house specific collection columns. This move to collecting house tokens as well as house points keeps the ongoing competition between houses as hotly contested as ever!

This week’s assembly then drew to a close with the usual inter class competition but this really was better seen than read about! Suffice to say, it was wonderful, as always, to learn about all the fantastic things happening at this virtual gathering of the whole school. Everything happening also serves as a reminder of how thankful the TN community is that our pupils are physically attending school as we begin this second lockdown.

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