This morning, we began the week with a worship in the hall where we talked about Holocaust Memorial Day – the 27th January. We joined together with every school across the Diocese of Portsmouth and Winchester to mark this terrible chapter in our world history, and to ensure that our children were able to think about the power of words to do good (and bad) in the world. The worship is being followed up in classrooms across school during the day, and today we have added another 6 copies of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ to the school library – three abridged versions for younger readers and three full versions.
We used Anne Frank in the worship as an entry point to try and understand what it must have been like to be persecuted in Nazi Germany, and to remind ourselves that we are all different and all very much the same. That we must use our words to stand up for those who are weaker than us, or who are being picked on by others because they are different. We also watched a film that has been made especially for today with famous footballers who encourage us to stand up, to stand together and call out behaviour and attitudes that are prejudiced, bullying or discriminatory.
At the end of the worship, we all prayed with a prayer that is being said across all of the schools in our Diocese today – more than 160 schools comprising more than 40,000 young people and adults. The children were very thoughtful and reflective. Below is a link to the slideshow (if you click on the image) we used to help the children understand, including a link to the film clip we shared. You may find that your children are interested in discussing this a little more at home this evening.