December 1st is the day a number of our School community will enjoy, as it is the day we can open the first door on our Advent calendar! Look up the word ‘Advent calendar’ on Google and you will find several pages dedicated to enticing us to purchase such calendars with hidden gems behind the number doors, ranging from chocolate to beauty products, ink cartridges to pork scratchings. Gone are the days of a simple line drawing depicting a Christmas tree or bauble!
Whilst experiencing the delight once hidden behind the door, do we ever consider the word Advent? The word comes from the Latin ‘adventus’ meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. In the Christian calendar, it is the beginning of a new year and is seen as a period of fasting in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church, similar to Lent. In this country, churches will generally have an Advent wreath holding five candles; four coloured for the four Sundays before Christmas and one large white candle to be lit on Christmas Day. It is the period of preparation prior to the celebration of Christmas.
How is this period reflected in our School today? At this time of year, schools across the country are often busy planning and preparing for Christmas concerts, carol services or Nativities. Here at SVPS, it is no different, with carols being taught and learnt, Nativity lines recited and songs rehearsed in preparation for the many performances that will make our end of term such a wonderful celebration. It is often a time that we forget to think about the meaning of Advent. A period of reflection and waiting for the ‘big day’. So concentrated are we on the final product that the journey is often overlooked. It is in this period of deadlines that we need to nurture and look after each other in our School and to celebrate this time of anticipation. How easy is it to forget to greet our friends with a welcoming smile in the morning or to look out for someone who might be unhappy?
SVPS is a sharing and considerate community where everyone is valued for their individual qualities. It is important that, at this busy time of year, we do not lose sight of this aspect of School life but continue to work hard at making our community a vibrant and enjoyable place for everyone. It is only when we work together as a unit that we can be proud of the final outcome.
Imagine our School as a choir; everyone has their part to play whilst the sound produced is one of unity and quality where no individual voice is discernible. Our community is just that, a group of individuals who are bound by a common ethos and goal, moving along a road of discovery together.
Let us enjoy the journey before we finally arrive at our destination. Oh, and do enjoy the chocolates and goodies behind the doors!
Mr Richard Green, Senior Leader