View this email in your browser


21st January 2022

This week's message from Andrew Teale, Diocesan Director of Education 

A Joyful Week
 It has been one of those energising weeks for me where I have traversed our incredible diocese and visited some of our fabulous schools (having done countless lateral flow tests) and talked with lots of our inspirational school leaders and staff.
+Richard talks about the differences between joy and happiness this week in his message, and though this is meant to be a dark and fairly depressing week in the annual calendar, I have found it to be anything but. Our schools are almost always a great place to find joy and our children and young people are where it is so easy to see God’s amazing grace, right in front of our eyes.
On Monday morning, I went to Orleton CE Primary and then St James’, CE Primary in Kimbolton. It was certainly a joy to experience whole school worship, once again. Though I felt a little rusty and a bit nervous. Executive Headteacher, Adam Breakwell, kindly settled my nervous and all went well. We explained and acted out the Parable of the Two Sons and I didn’t use the word ‘Prodigal’ once.  Later, I called at St Thomas Cantilupe CE Primary and Headteacher Claire McKeown and I headed to The Hereford Church of England Academy for a meeting with Headteacher, Michael Stoppard. We found him busy as always, this time in the dining hall, ensuring everything was running like clockwork. The swirl of purple jackets, buzzing purposefully through the cathedral-like atrium, with so much obvious promise and potential, is one of my favourite scenes in the whole diocese.
On Tuesday, I was in Hereford again. A short frosty walk across the close to morning prayer in the cathedral, set me up for the day and I later had a wonderful visit to The Brookfield School. I spent some time with headteacher Michelle Pickering who helped me to better understand the work of the primary and secondary parts of the school. I think the whole education system owes a huge debt of thanks to Michelle and her staff and governors for the work they do with children and young people who have such incredible potential. If schools were planes, this one would be supersonic.
On Wednesday, I headed to the southern edge of the diocese to Whitchurch CE Primary for a meeting with headteacher Beth Stevens and her dedicated governors. A few miles further and I would have been in Monmouth and well on the way to Newport and South Wales, where I could have called on my mother-in-law for a cup of tea. I learned that the youngest child at Whitchurch is just 2 months old, as they are one of the first schools in the whole country to offer care from birth to year 6. Beth was passionate about how crucially important, early years provision is in enabling children to flourish. Inspirational work.

Click here to continue to read Andrew's message.

This Term's Headteacher Briefing Reminder

Thank you to those who have booked their place on this term's Heads Briefing Online Session on the 3rd February 2022, from 1.30 - 3.00pm. If you have not already let us know you plan to attend, please complete the online booking form.

The first hour of the session will be an update for all our church school headteachers, but an additional call is going out to the Heads of our VA church schools.  In the final half hour (2.30 - 3.00pm) we will be discussing critical aspects of property management and School Conditions Allocations (SCA) applications and your input is very important to us.

Independent Admissions Appeal Panellists 
for the Diocese of Hereford Multi-Academy Trust

The Diocese of Hereford Multi-Academy Trust is looking for interested parties to take on a role as one of their Admissions Appeal Board Panellists.  For more information please follow the link.

Bridge Builder Network - Next Event Reminder

An open meeting for any churches supporting schools in the region.  An opportunity to meet together, to pray, reflect and share ideas and resources to aid your churches in ministering to local schools. 
Guest speaker for 9th Feb: Jake Drake, from the iSingPop team, who will be sharing their new ‘Pop Box’ resources to help churches run children’s and family events that follow on from schools ministry.   

Meetings are held on Zoom once a half term, please click on link to register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom containing information about joining the meeting (do check your spam boxes).

Forthcoming Diocesan Online Training & Development Highlights

SIAMS Training and Support

RE & Christian Ethos Governance

If you would like to talk through any of the support and training on offer from the Education Team, please contact us via email at or call on  07539 372748.

Collective Worship Video 

Collective Worship: Praying for Unity  
The week of prayer for Christian Unity started on the 18th January, so in this weeks; worship we explore the theme of unity. We reflect upon Jesus’ prayer that all would be ‘one’, and think about how much more we could do if we worked together with others.  The take away worship sheet gives some further ideas for reflection and prayer.
If you would like your school community to benefit from our weekly Collective Worship Videos, please contact the Education Team at or call on 07539 372748 and we can talk through the Partnership Agreement options available to you.
RE:Online Pupil Blog Competition 2022
  • Which lesson changed or challenged your pupils’ thinking?
  • Which lesson made a difference to your pupils?
  • Which lesson had the greatest impact on your pupils’ learning?
  • Which lesson inspired your pupils most?
Children and young people are challenged to write a 500-word blog or record a 2-minute audio or visual file about a Religion and Worldviews (or RE) lesson that has made a difference to them. The lesson could be one which takes place in the classroom or could be an out of classroom experience. Closing date: 14th March 2022. Find out more on the Re:Online website
Experience Lent

Many schools have partnered with their churches to offer the Experience Easter and other spiritual journey resources published by Jumping Fish. They have just published their new Experience Lent resource.  We have attached a sample page for you to see how this could work with your school this year.

Andrew Teale's Message Continued...

As I drove to Lydbury North CE Primary School on Thursday, I opted to avoid the A49 for once and took the A4110 from Mortimer’s Cross (from where all journeys really begin), through some very old haunts in Wigmore, then Leintwardine and crossed the border from Herefordshire into Shropshire, never more than a few miles from the Welsh border. This journey reminded me of the incredible, everyday beauty of our diocese. With a few miles to go, I rounded a corner and was gifted with a close-up view of a low flying red kite that swept with its huge wingspan, right in front of my car. Around the next corner a large buzzard was perched on a gate post next to the road and turned its head to follow me as I drove past. The Shropshire Hills loomed larger, as I parked opposite the Powis Arms and walked into the school, where a warm welcome awaited me from Executive Headteacher, Vicky Reynolds. Rev Stephanie Fountain was leading worship with the children in the hall and I played a few notes on the piano, as they led back to class. A real family school in a very close community.
In the evening, I spent a few hours with the governors at St Michael’s CE (Bodenham) and Burley Gate CE Primaries. There were no children in school by the time I arrived, but I did find real joy in working with a community of long serving governors and loyal staff with a deep love and dedication to their school communities. One had been in service of the school for four decades. Incredible. This was juxtaposed by the arrival of the newest headteacher in the diocese, Mrs Mish Lewis, who was attending her very first governors meeting as Executive Headteacher of two of our Church of England schools. Rev Stephen Baggs gave prayerful book-ends to the meeting.
The technological miracle of Zoom and Teams, meant that on top of the travelling, I could also attend the latest national SIAMS briefing this week and attend an OfSTED inspection feedback session at Long Mountain on the same day I was at Whitchurch. The working week will draw to a close with a Friday meeting with my DDE colleagues from across England. Most dioceses will be present from Newcastle to Chichester, Truro to Norfolk. Though we don’t necessarily agree on everything, there is always a strong bond of unity, united in name and missional purpose, helped by colleagues in the national Church of England Education Office who do incredible work on behalf of the whole sector. It is always real honour to be representing our diocese on these national calls and I like ensuring that the voice of Hereford is heard, alongside the wisdom from London, Canterbury, Leeds & York.
So even with covid complications continuing this potentially darkest of weeks (Blue Monday 2022 is now done) I found our diocese to be full of light and joy, around every winding lane and behind every school door.

Paul’s Prayer from the Ephesian Church
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

It has come to my attention that there have been some very big birthdays this week. I will name no names, but you know who you are. A very happy birthday from me and the rest of the team.
Well done to Long Mountain and St Leonards Primary Schools who have had visits from our friends from OfSTED this week. Prayer and best wishes to headteachers Beth Rowe and Mrs Kay Ferriday, staff and governor teams who have been under such inevitable pressure this week. St Leonards is in the TrustED Church of England MAT and I know that the CEO Sarah Godden and MAT senior staff have given great support to the school this week. Sarah was on site at St Leonards, with inspectors next door, when we met on Zoom on Tuesday.
On a personal note, my little brother Matt, reads his last bulletin on ITV Central News at 18:00 today, after many years of work in our region. He is moving to the Meridian Region in the south of England, and will be based in their studios in Southampton. It has been a huge help to have a link into regional TV news, when trying to promote the many good news stories from schools around the diocese. I can tell you, there have been many schools over the years whose wonderful achievements made it onto the telly, to the delight of their whole community, thanks in part to a little helping hand from our man on the inside, Matt Teale. I’d like to thank him for all his backstage media support for the work in our schools and to wish him well with his new role (which is still essentially reading out loud).
Thank you for all your efforts in the second full week of the spring term. Blessings and best wishes for a restful weekend.
Kind regards,

Canon Andrew Teale
Diocesan Director of Education

For further information and updates from the wider Diocese please see the regular bulletins issued by the central communications team.

Copyright © 2022 Diocese of Hereford Education Team, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp