More than academic performance at St Paul School – Milton Keynes

The new Year 12 Sixth Formers at Saint Paul’s School in Milton Keynes are exploring ideas for extending their personal development through curricular enrichment. This could mean many things,  for example volunteering for community service.

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Cathy talks to Year 12 students – St Paul School Milton Keynes

Cathy Stormonth, our CAFOD Education volunteer was very happy to talk to the Year 12 group and give them some useful ideas.  Some students are already working with the local primary Catholic schools helping with reading and supporting other areas of learning. The schools are also keen to see their  past students return to take part in CAFOD activities too. This could be leading an assembly, a pilgrimage, a class workshop or supporting the school’s CAFOD campaigning or fundraising activities.

The students were particularly interested in the ‘Power to be’ campaign and were concerned about the World Bank’s limited investment in sustainable energy (only 3% of its total budget). The Sixth Form Chaplain Sharon Robinson was enthusiastic about helping with more publicity and posters about the ‘Power to be’ campaign. She felt that students would be very keen to campaign and raise awareness of this massive global challenge, as one in five children globally lacks access to electricity.

‘Sustainable solar energy is such an obvious solution to improving the lives of the poorest in African countries.’

>> Sign the Power to Be petition here

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Cathy also told students about other CAFOD fundraising activities and advised them on how to get involved not just at the school but also in their wider parish communities. Cathy challenged students to be entrepreneurs and lobbyists, to raise funds for great global causes and to protest about injustices which keep people in poverty.  The reaction to these ideas was very positive and Cathy will continue to work with staff at St Paul’s to support students who want to get involved.

>> Add your voice to the thousands by signing the Power to Be petition

 

“Faith in Action” day at St Paul’s School

CAFOD Education volunteers Ged Nolan and Cathy Stormonth were excited to be attending the St Paul’s School Faith in Action Day with students from other Catholic secondary schools – Thornton College, St Thomas Becket, St Thomas More and Cardinal Newman and guests from Pax Christi, The Columbans, Young Christian Workers, Northampton Youth Ministry Office and of course CAFOD!

Ged and Cathy with Bishop Peter at the CAFOD stall

An exhibition stand was set up with all the latest information from CAFOD including information about CAFOD’s work using our Learning hub, the ‘Power to be’ campaign, how to run a Lampedusa Cross refugee pilgrimage, some general fundraising ideas and specific fundraising for Autumn Harvest and Christmas World Gifts and lots on Climate Change and about Pope Francis’ message to everyone – Laudato Si’.

Bishop Peter addresses delegates at Faith In Action day – St Paul’s School MK

The ‘Faith in Action’ day was opened by the Northampton Youth Ministry with a reading, prayer and time for reflection. Bishop Peter, who was in attendance, greeted everyone and was promptly asked some searching questions by the Youth Worker about why he was there and what he hoped to achieve that day? The interviewer also asked the students the same questions with much hilarity when students gave some frank answers such as ‘I’m attending because I’m missing lessons at school!’

Ged Nolan – CAFOD stall

The CAFOD stand attracted students who browsed the resources and took some away. Ged and Cathy were able to talk to students and give them some ideas about community service and fundraising.

The students left to go to their class-based ‘Faith in Action’ sessions and this left the teachers, other staff, Bishop Peter and Fr Tony Brennan for the ’Professionals in Attendance’ session with CAFOD. Ged gave some tips for the ‘Faith in Action Award’ and also explained how well the Power to be assemblies and workshops were going as schools wanted to learn more about the importance of sustainable and safe energy.  They described how having access renewable energy, solar panels, in a town in Kenya has helped transformed the lives of the community.  Children have the chance of a better education as they are able to study for longer periods and are empowered to realise their dreams and ambitions.  All agreed that they wanted to explore this powerful campaign further and adapt it to their schools’ needs.

>> Sign our Power to Be campaign petition

A discussion about the importance of Laudato Si’ ensued and the ongoing refugee crisis.  It was a useful discussion and it was clear that all schools attending wanted to work with CAFOD next year and praised the high quality of CAFOD resources.  Cathy and Ged were very pleased to hear this and are looking forward to working with schools in the year ahead.

A big thank you to St Paul’s for inviting CAFOD to be part of the “Faith in Action” day and to Schools’ volunteers Cathy and Ged for supporting the day and raising the plight of those living in poverty.

If you are interested in being a schools’ volunteer please get in touch northampton@cafod.org.uk