At St. Gabriel’s we have a group of Year 6 children who choose to be ‘Beacons’ – they are required to be shining lights for our Christian ethos and values throughout school. They are expected to be role models and live out our values of Self-belief, Courage, Resilience, Ambition and Harmony. Small teams of Beacons are allocated to each class as mentors and they are given responsibility for termly prayer areas – which they will plan, resource and monitor. Beacons also support school worship by writing weekly prayers and leading or taking part in whole school acts of worship.
As a group of Beacons we meet every week on a Wednesday lunchtime, led by Mrs Mackley and Mrs Hilliard (our Vice Chair of Governors). We begin each meeting by sharing our thoughts for prayer; focusing on thanks, forgiveness and those in need both locally and globally. Initially the prayers are adult led but as the year progresses the Beacons become confident enough to lead prayers. The focus for our meetings is shared between school projects and ‘The Arch Bishop of York Award’ which enables the children to become young leaders and courageous advocates. Each week they discuss a ‘Big Question’ and reflect upon what it means and share their experiences and opinions. They ultimately have to think of a school action project, identifying a local need, and provide a solution to it. They also have regular volunteering challenges to complete within school, home and local community settings.
Children’s responses to: “Why did you want to become a Beacon?”
- “To spread God’s word through our love, actions and words.”
- “To help other children learn even more about God.”
- “I thought it would be fun to help others and I wanted to be a leader.”
- “I wanted to share my ideas and inspire other children in school.”
- “I wanted to help others in school, Guatemala and in other parts of the world.”