All DSSO’s are former headteachers. Their role is to provide pastoral care, support, and affirmation for the heads and staff of church schools and academies in the Diocese.
Laura Sproston has been a DSSO for five years, and in that time, has visited many church schools. Recently, Laura visited Forncett St Peter where she was given the opportunity to talk to a group of children from across the school about their school values of perseverance, kindness and honesty within their own hopes and aspirations. Below she shares her visit:
We started by talking about their dreams for their future. An aspiring archaeologist, a vet, a Lego designer, and a business entrepreneur favouring opening a dog spa. It was just delightful to hear their reasons and interests. They talked about persevering in their own work at school and our Lego designer explained how he perseveres in his modeling and adapting of products if he wants to create another design at home. He also talked about sometimes simplifying things to learn in stages. This led to the other children talking about how things can be adapted and how you use your learning in different ways. They talked about the strategies that they learn at school like the four Bs and how this meant they were building resilience which they would need in the future for their careers. They also talked about how lucky they were in their families, about being loved and in loving homes.
“We are lucky because we have things that other people don’t have. Not everyone has a home, food, or family“. I was impressed by their sense of justice and fairness and of course their kindness. It was very moving when one of the girls talked about being lucky to be in school as this hadn’t always been the case in this country. And it still wasn’t the case for all girls in other countries. She was very passionate about this point.
In moving on to talk about their ability to engage in social action and challenge injustice we also crossed over and linked to thinking globally, the exploitation of the natural world, and how to challenge injustice.
The children spoke so knowledgeably about climate change, COP27, saving energy, dealing with the problem with plastic, and providing a better life for all animals and people. It completely took my breath away. Their awareness of the different areas where people and animals need support was very interesting. They talked about donating to food charities, finding ways to improve food supply, donating blood and supporting charities like the British Heart Foundation, writing to the King and the Prime Minister to ask for help, which some of them are currently doing and also getting Mr Richards to help them to make a difference.
It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to hear them voice their thoughts and share their opinions. They embodied the values that they spoke to me about. They are honest, they certainly persevere, and their kindness shone through.