The King's School Update
“After being bullied again in my old school, I was sat crying and for the first time prayed to God, ‘You’ve got to get me out of here...’ and the rest is history!” This is a quote from a ‘testimonies assembly’ where a 14 year old lad from a non-Christian background came to the front to share how he has found Christ having joined the school this year. He knows that God is real and has answered his prayer! We’ve had a huge number of applicants, enquiries and new pupils through this year and some of our year groups are to all intents and purposes full. There were 22 families at our last open day (!), mostly from beyond the OCC family of churches.
When visiting the school, the mayor of Witney was really impressed with what he saw as he came to bring some awards to our students. He stopped to talk about his Christian values for over 40 minutes after the assembly. Radio Oxford did a live morning at TKS as part of a tour of Oxfordshire, and this gave us some great exposure as we showed off the great community of parents, staff and pupils. We also had a ‘BIG SING’ where over a hundred primary chorists from surrounding state schools came to form a great choir and perform to scores of parents in our sports hall. This was a great witness as we hosted those from the local area. They all wanted to do it again!
Trips to Germany (Y9) and Zambia (Y11) are about to happen, and we have had Y10 and Y56 go to Wales. Y7 are gearing up for a possible residential to France next year. We’ve had Wycliffe translators take a lunch time club and inspire pupils for languages and unreached people groups. We also had missionaries from China, various parts of Africa and Columbia enthuse the pupils with incredible testimonies of how God is at work in the nations. As we continue to serve the community through ‘Besom’, our young people have made a huge difference to the lives of the struggling locally too.
We have new staff being added to the team next year, one of whom is an international sportsman, one coming from New Zealand and two wives of church leaders! The team of governors is small but strong and has helped us move forward with multiple new initiatives. The parent body (of whom 50 help out in the school day in any given week), have been active especially in organising and energising events such as a ‘Jazz and Movie Night’, the Witney Music Festival and meals at Indian restaurants!
We regularly have visitors to the school, touched by the presence of God and often end up in tears in my office as they experience him in the school. One FA football coach at the end of a session said he went home and ‘had a little cry’ as he was so blessed by the children!
We give glory to God for all he is doing in the school family. There is so much more to tell from a school that has over 180 3-16 year olds! In essence though, the lives and destinies of children and families are being shaped by the Holy Spirit, as teachers and parents work and pray together that we might train young people who will know God for themselves and who are disciples that can change the world!