In warm sunshine Bishop Luffa School today came together for their first assembly of the school year. This assembly is a tradition of our school and it is fantastic to have everyone together – the whole Bishop Luffa family in one place. The assembly was led by Mr Hindman, with the opening prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester read by Ms Sutton, our longest serving member of staff.
It was great to see our new Year 7s and Year 12s (this is a record Year 12 group with 58 external students joining us), and to welcome back all our students after their summer break.
Mr Hindman spoke to the students about something this summer that really reminded him of our school and what we are about.
“It was during the women’s football World Cup. I saw Bishop Luffa values when the football had ended. For those of you who didn’t watch, we played Nigeria in the quarter-finals, it was a tense match that was ultimately decided by penalties. England were cool and clinical and beat Nigeria. Can you imagine being one of the goal scorers for England? The feeling of elation, knowing that this is what you had trained for, that you were going to be a hero to your whole country…
“And the England goal scorers did feel like that. But their first thought was for the Nigerian goalkeeper, who was lying crushed on the floor, wrongly blaming herself for her team’s fate. The England players surrounded her, consoled her and gestured to the tv cameras to leave her alone.
“When I saw that, I felt even more proud of the England team. And it reminded me of you. Because every one of you makes me proud in that way. You do amazing things, and you do them the right way. I regularly get emails and letters from members of the public who want me to know how polite you were in the street, in shops and on the bus: believe me, you have to really impress someone for them to take the time to write to me. But that is who you are, that is who we are as a school. That belief that everyone in our school community matters is part of us, and I think it will stay with you through-out your lives.”
Mr Hindman then spoke about the fact that this is the School’s 60th Anniversary – our diamond year. “60 years ago this week students of this brand new school in Chichester were going to the cathedral for a service of thanksgiving. Work had started on the building but they were in borrowed rooms in Orchard Street…so 60 years ago this was a building site…
“So what does it mean to come to Bishop Luffa? What is the difference? Well, the people who set our school up believed that there was more to life than eating, sleeping and playing Xbox – and not just because Xbox hadn’t been invented yet. They thought that God has a plan for each of us, a plan that we are free to reject, to grumble about, fight against and try to get away from, but ultimately a plan that will make our lives better in every way. By building a school on those values, they thought that they could give students a more meaningful life – the full life that Jesus told us about.
“I think that our school proves them right. We have values here that I think are in every single person that I’ve ever met, but sometimes these values are hidden. At our school those values are front and centre: they are who we are.”
We hope to have many more celebrations during the course of the year to mark our 60th year.