A day of thought and action
The traditional Lower V Retreat this year was held at the end of November and focussed on the theme of ‘The Child’. Here, Aditi Jadhav, Lower VA, tells us about the day:
‘The Retreat this year was an enriching experience. Firstly, we attended the assembly as a customary activity of our school lives. Then, as a year group, we gathered in the Chapel. To start off, Mrs McDermott led us in prayer, asking God to guide us on the right path. After that, we made “Gingerbread Girls”. Not literally. We had paper stencils of Gingerbread girls; on the outside, we wrote things about ourselves that people recognize us for – our skills, our qualities and our personality traits. On the inside, we wrote about what “we” recognize ourselves to be, regardless of whether it correlated to what we wrote as being our ‘outside’ characteristics. On the backs of the gingerbread cutouts, other people wrote compliments about us. This was a lovely self-evaluation activity and helped us to explore who we really are.’
Later, we did a guided meditation, which was overwhelmingly relieving. We began by relaxing our tense, stress-strained muscles and then our wild, restless minds. The meditation was all about control. To enable us to control and conquer the raging thoughts our minds always voluntarily produce. We were asked to imagine that we were in a peaceful, sunny, nature-friendly place and there would always be a tree to which we could go and get all our conflicting thoughts out of our minds. It was beautiful and a wonderful way to connect with God.
Next, we had our Liturgy, and our theme was “The Child”. The aim was to reconnect with the children we used to be – to slow down – and BREATHE – in this fast paced life. We heard readings from the Bible about Jesus welcoming children into God’s Kingdom. We also had some heart-wrenching poems written by students. We played music and danced along to it. The High School Musical-themed dance by some students was definitely nostalgic. We also had a PowerPoint slideshow in which everyone’s childhood photos appeared, which certainly was the showstopper for me. Rossy and Bianca accompanied the PowerPoint presentation by talking about their lives, their childhoods and how they made friends. This was a very sensitive and emotional part of the Liturgy and had a great effect on all of us.
On a piece of paper, we each had to write about a place that we find solace in and on another piece, we wrote all the worries that prevent us from seeking that place of solace; we then burnt these on a bonfire created in the meadows. We also ate roasted marshmallows – which was a delightful treat!
Finally, we left for Somerset House in Central London – to ice skate! It was really interesting to see everyone’s ice-skating skills! And to everyone’s amusement, we found out that Dr Atkinson was amazingly brilliant at it! With people stepping on ice for the first time to those who were definitely professionals, everyone collaborated well and this showed us the unity of our year group and how much we care for each other.
I would really like to thank Mrs McDermott, Mrs Murphy and everyone who was involved in making this day so special because it indeed was one of the best days I have ever had at school!’Faith Life Senior Whole School