The education volunteer team from the Northampton Diocese as well as those from the deaneries of Oxford North and South (Birmingham Diocese), met on Friday 9 September from 10.00 – 3.30pm in Bletchley – St Thomas Aquinas Hall, for their Harvest term refresher training session. Debbie Purfield (CAFOD’s local Coordinator) welcomed two potential education volunteers from Luton and Milton Keynes. This day was led by David Brin (CAFOD’s Education volunteer co-ordinator)
The day began with an activity using the CAFOD resource for the new GCSE and 11-14 RE which is focused on Catholic Social Teaching – one of the Church’s best kept secrets! It was very thought provoking and all felt they learnt a lot more through the exercise. It was also great fun to see which team got there first – but of course we are not at all competitive!
Debbie showed us some statistics for the academic year 2015-16 and we were thrilled to learn that 44% of all schools in the Northampton Diocese and 42% of those in Oxford N & S had a CAFOD visit. This apparently is one of the highest scores in the country so we were all really delighted.
Margaret Wellington (volunteer coordinator) explained her role and gave feedback on the evaluation from schools and volunteers. We all shared ideas about what worked and how to go about increasing our uptake in schools. Workshops in schools had increased over the previous academic year and we discussed future plans for Education volunteers in the dioceses.
It was great to see the materials for a Harvest Fast Day focusing on Bolivia, and the assembly for World Gifts very cleverly incorporates in the Christmas story – really not to be missed! Over lunch we had the chance to mingle with each other and share experiences.
In the afternoon we were shown more inspirational materials developed by CAFOD for key stage 1 and 2 focusing on the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ and which helps students to see how they can respond to its call to Care for our Common Home. Pope Francis’ encyclical has been a fantastic document which supports CAFOD’s work.
It was such an interesting day and it was great to meet the other volunteers and to see the team grow in numbers. Thank you.
Written by : Felicity M Harrison – Education Volunteer team