St Saviour’s and St Olave’s is proud to be a Church of England school and in the best tradition of that heritage we celebrate many key events in the Christian Calendar.
2014-15 Key dates:
This years Carol Service will be on the 10th of December at 2pm.
This years Commemoration Service will be on the 12th of March at 2pm.
Both at Southwark Cathedral.
Each year we celebrate Harvest with huge support from the students, parents and staff who donate and bring in gifts of food and drink. Everyone is encouraged to bring in at least one item to school. The food is then collected by local charities such as the Manna Centre who can use them to help those in need in our community.
The whole school walks to Southwark Cathedral for this annual Carol Service. This is a joyous occasion which bases itself loosely around the traditional lessons and carols service, with a theme chosen by the school. Recent themes have included ‘gifts’, ‘angels’ and ‘love’. Every form are represented in the liturgy with readings, candle processions and incredible music filling the Cathedral in celebration.
In March the school celebrates its birthday and consequently we hold a service of commemoration and thanksgiving.
In recent years, we have celebrated other notable anniversaries such as that of the King James Bible and the birth of Nathaniel Woodard. Each year we have different themes, chosen to reflect important events or emphases in the school community. These often focus on our diversity, our faith and our opportunities, and are joyful, colourful affairs.
Commemoration Service 2015
Identity, nationality, roles, age and faith: Five areas of diversity within the school of which we are all part. These five areas were celebrated by the school in the annual Commemoration Service where we gave thanks to God for the community in which we learn.
It is always a special occasion gathering the whole school - along with governors and special guests - into the Cathedral and once again the service was a wonderful occasion. The outstanding singing of the senior and junior choir gave us great opportunity for reflection as we listened to their words of worship. The piano playing of Nika in year 12 was phenomenal, filling the Cathedral with a beautiful piece by Ginastera. And alongside these, a broad and diverse range of staff and students came and spoke of their experiences of diversity in the school. These readings, individual and honest, reminded us how lucky we are to be in a school which encourages such diversity and celebrates the individual's uniqueness, as one made in the image of God.
As a celebration, the Cathedral was decorated with balloons and themed bunting, and images linked to them were brought forward as a visual stimulus. Finally, these were turned to reveal the words "We are SSSO" - a school we all represent and of which we are proud.
Many thanks as ever to the whole school for their conduct, the participants for their professionalism, and the Art, MRO and DT departments for their support and help with the visuals!
The readings - Commemoration 2015
Reading 1: Head Girl
Our service today celebrates the school community, giving thanks for the diversity with it.
Growing up in South Africa, I have not always encountered acceptance of diversity. I was very aware from a young age that I was a minority. I was also very aware of who was black or white, rich or poor, and who lived where. When I filled in a form there were only four boxes I could tick and it was more often a case of someone else deciding which one fitted me, despite how I myself felt. You’ve all heard the term ‘rainbow nation’ I’m sure, and it’s a wonderful phrase, creating the image of something quite beautiful. But the sad reality is that it still remains a dream for the future. This is because South Africa remains a country where red doesn’t always want to be next to orange; green and violet think blue is greedy and yellow doesn’t feel it’s getting a fair share of anything. All this means that no one will ever see the beauty of a rainbow. Whether you believe God put them there or not, people, just like the colours of the rainbow, are wondrous in themselves, but remarkable together. Desmond Tutu was right when he said: "Every human being is precious. We are all – all of us – part of God’s family."
So it was a great happiness when I came to a school that instead of seeing race, wealth and religion, encourages and takes pride in diversity.
Reading 2(i): Y7
As the youngest girl in school, I represent the diversity of age in our school community.
It is interesting for me because it is a special privilege to have lots of role models around me, and I feel secure.
I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity.
For in the Bible it states: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity”
Reading 2(ii): Joe Harrison
As an older member of St Saviour’s and St Olave’s, I represent the diversity of age in our school community. am in fact the oldest man on the staff!It is interesting for me because I have had the privilege of working with many, many great people over the years: teachers, support staff, governors and students from all walks of life, which of course includes everyone here. am more than happy to work in a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “Grey hair is the splendour of the old”…. but they must have been talking about someone else…
Reading 3(i): Year 10
As a student with a background of Islam and Christianity, I represent the diversity of faith in our school community. t is different for me, as growing up as a child I attended both mosque and church and as I grew older I realised I wanted to be a Christian, and so did my Dad as he married my Mum. I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity.For in the Bible it states: We are all created in the ‘image’ of God
Reading 3(ii): Year 13
As a Buddhist, I represent the diversity of faith in our school community. I is interesting for me because I can interact and learn from people of different faiths whilst discussing my own faith as well. am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states 'love your neighbour as yourself.'
Reading 4(i): Year 8
As a student with a loving, accepting Turkish family, I represent the diversity of nationalities in our school community. It is interesting for me because not many students have the same background as me therefore I am able to share my culture with people. I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “There is neither Jew nor Greek… for you are all one in Jesus Christ”
Reading 4(ii): Year 12
As a student with roots back to Paraguay and Cameroon, I represent the diversity of nationalities in our school community. It is a valuable experience for me because this allows me to develop my knowledge and view of the world, leading me to grow as a person. I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “God does not show favouritism but accepts people from every nation”
Reading 5(i): Year 9
I represent the diversity of identities within our school community. Many of these are intrinsic parts of us, such as sexuality and race, whereas others we are born into, such as class or culture. Other parts of our identity are shaped throughout our lives, such as our likes and dislikes. It is interesting for me because I come from a large family of mixed ethnicities, nationalities and sexual orientations. This means it is easy for me to accept people entirely. I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “Do not judge, for you will be judged”
Reading 5 (ii): Year 10
As a student with autism. I represent the diversity of gifts in our school community. It is interesting for me because we all have these special abilities, yet there is more to discover about ourselves. When I found out I was autistic, I finally understood more about myself and boy, was I glad! I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
Reading 6(i): Year 11
I represent the diversity of roles available in our school community. I am a Sports Leader, Tutor Group Leader, and part of the team planning the trip to Malawi. It is interesting and enjoyable because I am developing as an individual but am privileged to give back to others. I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “God has put the body together - there should be no division in the body. Its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.”
Reading 6(ii): Julie Allain
I represent the diversity of roles available in our school community.I am a Teaching Assistant, a First Aider, Lunchtime supervisor and drive the minibus. This is interesting because I get to spend time with the students and listen to their problems. I am happy to be at a school which encourages diversity. For in the Bible it states: “Whenever we can, let us work for the good of all”
Once a month we have a voluntary Eucharist in our school chapel, which happens during lunch time. It is a moment for us to gather as a school community, share bread and wine which remind us of Jesus’ body and blood, and celebrate the presence of God with us at the heart of our community. This also creates a moment for us to stop, find some space, and become aware of the things which are really important in our lives, and bring them to God. Everyone in our school community is welcome to join us.
Every other year we hold a baptism and confirmation service in our school chapel, which is led by our Bishop. Confirmation is an important step in the life of an Anglican where they declare publically that they are committed to living as a Christian. In preparation, there is a programme to follow over several months where we discuss the Christian faith, reflect on how it relates to our lives, and pray together. The confirmation service is the joyful conclusion of this where friends and family of confirmation candidates are invited to attend. All members of our school community are welcome to consider confirmation. Our last service was held in March 2013, and we look forward to another confirmation in 2015.
Once a year we hold a Whole School Eucharist. From five distribution points around the hall visiting clergy, as well as some staff (past and present), provide blessings, and bread and wine for the students and staff of the school. This is a large operation which brings a huge sense of identity, not just as a specific school, but as part of the wider Anglican community.
In 2011 we also celebrated Nathaniel Woodard’s birthday with a whole school Eucharist. From five distribution points around the hall visiting clergy, as well as some staff (past and present), provided blessings, bread and wine for the students and staff of the school. This was a large operation which brought a huge sense of identity, not just as a specific school, but as part of the wider Woodard community.