Our school’s new ‘GROW with us’ motif, reminded me of something Martin Luther once said about the significance of education - “When schools flourish, all flourish”.
To flourish is to ‘grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment’ (so says the Google dictionary).
I particularly like this definition as it shows that for something to flourish or grow, that it is a result of the place where it is planted. In respect of a plant, the seed/plant requires nutrient-rich soil, appropriate amount of water, warmth and sunshine. A seed will not grow without the right conditions. So too the environment for children, they need a loving and caring environment where they have all the right conditions in which to learn and grow.
As you know, our school’s future plans use the acronym G.R.O.W. In chapel this term we are unpacking what this means for us in our school community each and every day. Remember G.R.O.W. means:
God in all Things – our spiritual purpose
Relationships – our community purpose
Ownership – our teaching and learning purpose
Well-being – our health and welfare purpose
At Wednesday’s chapel I used the analogy of students at our school being like young saplings. Saplings when planted out are often staked so that they can grow with some protection of the elements around them. I talked to them that our school and home environments are a bit like that stake which guides them and helps them to grow into the young men and women they are meant to be. The elements of the G.R.O.W. in our school, are like the soil, sun, water and the stake that help us to flourish.
St Paul uses this idea too, that to be strong and resilient people, we need to put our roots down into the source of where our life comes from.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness”. Colossians 2:7 (NLT)
God has provided our students with a wonderful environment at St Peters in which to grow and flourish. Our prayer is that each one will grow strong with the love and support around them, enabling them to, in turn, contribute to the wider communities in which they will find themselves to help others to flourish too.