"'Faith 2017 is a schools-community initiative consisting of events, talks, visits, workshops and social action projects. We aim to show how a school can be a force for the Common Good.”

The Launch of FAITH 2017 and #PilgrimEd

On Monday 27th February a group of Alsop students visited a cluster of small primary schools in the Eden Valley near Penrith, Cumbria.
This visit was filmed and a short video clip has been made to launch our Faith 2017 #PilgrimEd initiative.

Pilgrim Ed

“Pilgrim Ed involves a group of teddies on pilgrimage from Cumbria to Liverpool, building relationships between rural and urban schools and communities. Pilgrim Ed is an initiative running through Faith 2017."

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by Peter Bull 28 Apr, 2017

To commemorate Yom HaShoah students from Alsop High School attended a special service organised by the Liverpool Jewish community at King David High School. Yom HaShoah is the Jewish communities' time to reflect and remember the 6 million Jewish lives that were lost during the Holocaust.

Alsop sixth form students spoke movingly about their recent visit to Auschwitz as part of the “Lessons from Auschwitz Project” organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Also during the ceremony, Alsop students presented the Liverpool Jewish Community with a beautiful tiled mosaic memorial to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. The large tiled mosaic was produced by young people who participated in the Anne Frank Trust exhibition at the school.

“It was a privilege for Alsop to attend this special event. We are proud of the links forged between Alsop and King David High School. We were humbled Alsop students were able to stand alongside the Jewish community together as one to honour the memory of those who perished.”

Peter Bull, Co-ordinator FAITH 2017

Mrs October Wright, Assistant Headteacher spoke about her experience as being somewhat strange being one of only two Jews among a group of 250.

Mrs Wright comments;

“I now think however, this enabled me to experience Auschwitz on so many levels: as a Jew, as a woman, as a mother. The visit will stay with all of us for the rest of our lives and, it left me feeling very different than how I felt before the visit about many things, including my own cultural and spiritual identity.”

Eve Mc Ardle (18) participated in the visit. Eve writes:

“I do not really think anything can every prepare you for Auschwitz – I was shocked by the size – it serves as a haunting reminder of the extent of the hatred which fuelled the camp. I remember particularly being staggered by a sign hanging on the wall of the office where the final solution was meticulously planned out – it was a quote from the papers written and signed by the Nazis “Jews are a race which must be totally exterminated” – I remember grabbing Mrs Wrights’ arm – I don’t know why . I do know however that the overwhelming thought I left with that day is that this must never, ever happen again.”  

Gemma Cook (18) spoke about the recent visit our friend and holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper at an event in our school. She also spoke about meeting an inspirational Rabbi:

“The Rabbi also reminded us of the importance of not taking seemingly everyday things for granted – family for example – This was particularly poignant considering   we had heard harrowing tales of babies being ripped from mothers’ arms – sons being forcibly separated from their parents. I left with a renewed appreciation of those around me – a deeper love for my family – It seems strange that after experiencing so much hatred, I came away with a stronger sense of love.”

Harry Ellis (18) told the audience:

“Whilst the Nazis aimed to eradicate the Jews by accentuating their difference, on the contrary I was left being reminded just how similar we all are. Our visit to the camps in Birkenau made this concept all the more poignant; seeing such sombre and denigrating living conditions that Jews and other prisoners alike had to cope with certainly made the whole experience all the more harrowing for me.”

“…… and regardless of religion or faith, I think it’s important to remember that hate has no place in today’s society and should and MUST always be challenged”

Mark Reyolds (18) spoke about the importance of Holocaust Education

“The importance of lessons from Auschwitz, and holocaust education as a whole, has never been more paramount. While at dinner with Zigi recently he said: "You can lose everything in life, but not education." These are experiences and thoughts which will never leave me, and the lasting effect that this could have on societies across the globe is extremely powerful.

The most important lesson of holocaust education is to re-affirm the words of Jo Cox, that ‘we are far more united, and have far more in common with each other, than that divides us. My experiences at Auschwitz really reaffirmed that it is our collective responsibility to seek out these similarities and to challenge those who seek to divide us. It is our responsibility, to reach out across communities, and across religions, now more than ever.”

Mrs Wright concluded by speaking about hope:

“The hope one desperately searches for after leaving such a hopeless place like Auschwitz is a strange one. While it took most of us a long time to find it, hope was with us all along in the sense of human unity – the unity of experience , the unity which comes from the compassion and empathy one must feel for the victim (individually and collectively), the unity one feels toward their common man to ensure this never happens. I saw hope in the eyes of these wonderful young people who I shared the experience with – by the commitment to always challenge hatred of any description. This is a commitment the students have felt compelled to share with the other 1700 pupils in the school and staff through assemblies and staff insets and a commitment I know is shared by our whole school community.”

Which I am sure you can imagine is quite a daunting task for 17 years olds – but such was the strength of their conviction and I would like to day publically here today, I am so very proud of you all. When you hear the positive messages of the young people here today – about challenging hatred about collective responsibility, about valuing life and those around us. How can we not feel hopeful!

For more information about please contact: office@alsophighschool.org.uk or visit www.alsophighschool.org.uk

Read more about the article featured in the Jewish Telegraph below. 

http://www.jewishtelegraph.com/liverpool/

by Peter Bull 24 Apr, 2017

Term ended with a day of celebration for staff and students at Alsop High School as they heard that the school has been shortlisted in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) School’s Award. Alsop has made it into the Community Impact category with awards recognising and celebrating outstanding work in secondary schools across the UK.

The TES Schools awards, now in their ninth year, celebrate the innovation, achievement and dedication of the staff in schools across the country. The winners will be revealed at a sparkling awards ceremony and dinner in the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, on the evening of Friday 23 June.

The HOPE 2016 and FAITH 2017 initiatives were developed to foster cohesion and develop pride in the wider community of North Liverpool. The Hope 2016 initiative recently won the prestigious “WOW” Award at the 2016 Educate Awards ceremony.

Mr Joe Mangan, Headteacher, comments:

“In recent years Alsop has worked hard to build stronger links with parents and residents in both the immediate and wider North Liverpool community. We are committed to life-long learning.

As the school approaches it’s centenary in 2019 our core aim is to impact upon the wider community and contribute to the regeneration of North Liverpool. I believe it is this aim which has enabled Alsop to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.”

Peter Bull, Co-ordinator of FAITH 2017 comments:

“We are delighted that Alsop has been shortlisted for the TES Schools Community Impact Award. We are proud because it is the recognition of the hard work that staff and students have invested into our school and neighbourhood.”

The aim of the award is to recognise the excellent and reward the professionalism of schools making an outstanding contribution to and impact within their wider community.

The school has worked closely with Jenny Sinclair, daughter of the late Bishop David Sheppard, and Director of Together for the Common Good to develop both HOPE 2016 and FAITH 2017.  

Jenny comments:

"Alsop High thoroughly deserve to be shortlisted for the TES Schools Award 2017.

We believe that a school rooted in its community can be a force for the common good: Alsop High have shown how this can work.

It has been great partnering with Peter Bull and his colleagues. In Hope 2016, we wanted to see schools, community and faith groups working together, focusing on ‘hope' and generating a sense of local pride. It was moving to see the young people grow in confidence and talk about compassion in the classroom, and impressive to see them taking responsibility in their community.”

FAITH 2017 is now building upon the success of HOPE 2016. Schools in North Liverpool are working together for the common good and encourage collaboration between people of different faiths and cultures. This week Alsop has hosted the northern premiere of 84303, a film about an 87 year old Holocaust Survivor, Mr Zigi Shipper. The school has also facilitated a Hillsborough Justice Day. Mrs Margaret Aspinall spoke during a service at the school. This culminated with Alsop students releasing 96 balloons in memory of those who died at Hillsborough.

This faith based initiative is being delivered in partnership with Together for the Common Good, Liverpool SACRE, the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, Liverpool Diocese, churches of all denominations, fellow faith traditions and community groups

For more information about the FAITH 2017 please contact: office@alsophighschool.org.uk or visit www.alsophighschool.org.uk
by Peter Bull 03 Apr, 2017

On Sunday #PilgrimEd joined the congregation at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

He opted for his Lenten waistcoat. Doesn't he look smart.

He met the "biscuit woman". Actually this woman is the Canon Chancellor and Director of Social Justice at Liverpool Cathedral. Her name is Ellen Loudon. Pilgrim Ed listened carefully to her sermon. A sermon is a special talk where the preacher tries to help you understand the bible reading.

Pilgrim Ed could not believe the size of this building. It is the largest cathedral in the uk. He loved the music which was played during the service. He even joined in the hymns.

At the end of the service there was tea and coffee - and even biscuits!!

The people were really friendly and they made him feel welcome.

Thank you to all at Liverpool Cathedral.

by Peter Bull 03 Apr, 2017

This week #PilgrimEd has been staying at the Tsedaqah community which is located at Liverpool Cathedral. He has been well looked after by Emily and Kate. Infact, we think he has been a little spoiled!!

 

Tsedaqah is a missionary community created by the Diocese of Liverpool, located at Liverpool Cathedral, where young people from around the world become members as they seek to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with their God (based on Micah 6:8).

 

The community serve in a variety of ministries across the Diocese and offer hospitality to those traveling so that they may find a place of retreat and rest. Currently the Tsedaqah residents are Kate Jewett-Williams and Emily Kirk. Kate works with Hope+ Food Bank and helps local communities with welcoming new neighbors. Emily works on various Social Justice projects for the Diocese and also does work with St. Luke the Evangelist in Walton.

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