THRIVE MORNING

What a THRIVE Morning we undertook in Marden this year.  The focus of our activities was community, the service of others and inclusion of all. We commenced with a short liturgy from Fr Gerry who reminded us why we were about to embark on the day and encouraged students to throw themselves into the challenges ahead.

Year 7 worked alongside support staff in order to appreciate better the work they assume and to thank them for all their efforts behind the scenes. Some of the girls took up gardening with our groundsmen who allow us to live and work in this beautifully maintained valley. Other girls decorated cakes and made presents for support staff before their efforts culminated in a tea party for them as a gesture of thanks for all that they do.  Tea and coffee were served by some, Anjali gave a short thank you speech, and all of Year 7 sat amongst their guests in order to get to know these members of staff better. The latter part of the morning entailed creative writing workshops where the girls wrote a letter each and some poems to the Sisters of Duchesne House about their Woldingham experience so far – a lovely way to make a link with our former nuns of the school.

Year 8 embarked on an ambitious collaboration with The Orpheus Centre, a local specialist performing arts college for disabled young adults, who came into school to help produce a short showcase of James and the Giant Peach.  Girls worked alongside twenty Orpheus students in six groups: drama, shadow puppet making, filming, dance, performance poetry and music.  After working in small classes, a group rehearsal took place before we were treated to the final performance.  What an outstanding showcase it was.  The girls threw themselves into what they were doing and really embraced our Orpheus friends so that everyone was able to take part in the production without fear of judgement.

Marden genuinely thrived on Tuesday and it was an absolute delight to witness.

Years 9 and 11 gave their time and talent to local primary schools.  Year 9 helped teach pupils at St Francis’, Caterham, about road safety, talking about it in assembly and making it the theme in other classes – including a road safety bingo session!  Year 11 split into two groups and visited The Hayes, Kenley, and Godstone Village. All girls were assigned to a class, ranging from Nursery level through to Year 6, helping in the classroom, creating collages, listening to the pupils read, leading PE activities, helping paint, helping with Maths and English, especially on the topic of sharks! It was a great experience and the girls were fantastic and really threw themselves into the morning. Some girls have come away with little friends for life.

Students in Year 10 visited four local churches to help with tasks that ranged from cleaning, to inventory to gardening.  The churches rely heavily on volunteers and the girls worked hard, with good cheer and goodwill, and were wonderful ambassadors for Woldingham.

The Lower Sixth spent the morning immersing themselves in African arts and wholeheartedly threw themselves into all the activities, producing some highly decorative prints, incredibly energetic dancing and powerful musical beats. The sessions were filled with much energy and laughter and the girls had a wonderful time being enriched in a world outside academia!

Upper Sixth students took part in workshops, led by Foresight Careers, designed to help them with their transition through higher education into work.  They discussed the key skills employers look for and how to identify them, both in their academic and personal life; how to make the most of social media and how to create their own clear-cut personal ‘brand’ that will help them when looking for jobs.  They now also have the opportunity to use Foresight’s Graduate Network to get answers to their questions about fields they’re interested from people who are already working in them.

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