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Ethos Conference - Thursday 18th May 2017

On Thursday 18 May 2017 we held our second Ethos Conference. Our theme was ‘Values in Action’ and we explored how we use our Christian Values in school and in our everyday lives. We wanted to share with other schools the difference our values make to the life of our school.

We invited schools from across the diocese and in the end about 10 schools came to our conference. One school came from as far as Runcorn.

We had a brilliant day and made lots of friends. We had workshops on Love and Compassion, Honesty and Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Hope. We made Fairtrade smoothies, on the smoothie bike, and tasted Fairtrade chocolate which was very nice!

The day started with welcoming the different schools before going into the Hall for Collective worship based on the value of Friendship and led by ETHOS group. We reflected on what sort of friends we are and how we should always encourage others and build people up, not put them down.

There were four workshops so we split into four groups and moved around during the day.

Love and Compassion was in Year 3's classroom and we explored how Fairtrade showed these values. Using maths to work out how to spend the fairtrade premium and looking at lots of different things which are fairly traded helped us understand how our shopping can make a huge difference. There was a Fairtrade stall in the Hall so we could buy some things during the break times and everyone got a Divine milk chocolate bar in their goodie bag at the end of the day! On the stage was a smoothie bike so we got a chance to blend some fruit and taste what we'd made!

Thankfulness was explored in in Year 6 where we wove willow with ribbons and beads and spent time thinking about all the things we are thankful for. Bible verses and poems were included and each group that came added more to their school's creation which they took back to their own schools.

Exploring what Hope means was another workshop and this involved making a box and putting inside small objects which represented things we hope for such as an anchor to hold hope in our hearts, a  star to remind us to keep shining brightly, a heart to remember God will always love us and a candle to give hope to someone else - to be a light in their darkness. Bible verses about hope were stuck on the outside of the boxes and were taken from Romans 5 and 15. A poem helped to focus our thoughts around these symbols and we put these in our goodie bag too.

In Year 4 the values we thought about were Honesty and Forgiveness. Quotes from the bible and famous people were looked at and ETHOS group had devised a game which helped us think about our behaviour and how we react and to wonder if we are always honest. This made us realise that if we aren't honest and trust is broken we need to forgive, or ask for forgiveness. Prayers were written in response on ribbon  and they were woven onto a big frame which is now in the Hall.

The sun shone over lunchtime and some children said how lovely our playground was and we sat outside to eat our packed lunch and chat together. We even had time for a quick game of football!

During the breaks we could go on the smoothie bike or decorate hearts and crosses with divine wrappers to put in our goodie bags.

At the end of the day we gathered again and reflected on the day and tasted a little piece of chocolate by eating it slowly, smelling it, savouring it and making the moment last.

The day was a great success and everyone really enjoyed themselves and learnt about the importance of values in everyday life. Everyone also learnt a lot about Fairtrade and some said they would definitely use some of our ideas about becoming a Fairtrade school.

Planning the Ethos Conference

We are going to hold an Ethos Conference at our School on 18 May 2017. We have already started planning it!