Pop Connection Dr. Peter Blunsdon - Headteacher What has been the best thing about St John's CE VC Primary School involvement with Pop Connection? It would be difficult to pick out one aspect of the visit of PC as the 'best thing'. The whole experience was wonderful. It was great to see the engagement of so many lads. The two evenings in church were really special. Emma's incredible energy. The informal singing of the songs around school, including on the playground. The engagement of some families that we rarely see.... All of these, and much more, made the experience a wonderful one. Has the schools' involvement thrown up any surprises/unexpected outcomes? Perhaps the most unexpected outcomes are referred to above: the impact on the boys and the engagement of some unexpected families. In what ways has the school benefitted from doing this in partnership with the church? Working with PP alongside church has helped develop our burgeoning relationship further. Regular meetings with Anne our vicar, Kate and Lois our two foundation governors helped us keep everything on track. The invaluable help of key people at the church also assisted in ensuring all went well. The active participation of the local scouts group in providing the hot dogs was an excellent, and not necessarily obvious, brainwave. Clearly, getting the involvement of all of our children and their families was marvelous. The fact that all of our teaching staff, TAs and numerous governors, as well as many past pupils and parishioners, attended our two evening performances, helped reflect that the whole of the local community had been mobilized. If a school wasn't sure about embarking on such a venture what would you say to them? Without hesitation, 'go for it!'... It has been hugely rewarding for us. The children are already asking about when we are going to do it again! Anne Stratton – Vicar at St Peters church Would you agree that PC is a good use of church money and church members' time? Can you say why or in what ways? Or why not? Pop Connection is excellent use of Church time, energy and money. It is a way of bringing church and school together and to The final concert was so well explore the meaning of faith in a different supported that weway. had to children put on and non-threatening Both two just toloved accommodate theand parents it and wantedall more which can't often be saidto about the parents that wanted attend Christian message in school. and yet again the Christian The team worked really hard and messageeveryone was clearly given. impressed and really made contact with the children of all ages in the school. What has been the impact that you are aware of so far on the church, school, parents? It brought church and the but school Some staff the were initially wary much together andwhen widened this wascloser quickly overcome the contact justofthe they saw thefrom quality thegovernors work that tobeing a huge range ofand people was produced the in the Church as they helped steward and enthusiasm of the children. Children provide refreshments. It gave with a wide range of skills and me as Vicar awere real opportunity to geteven to abilities able to take part, knowwho the children in a different way some didn't usually take active frominjust doing the usual assembly parts activities were drawn in and orthe occasional enjoyed process.RE lesson. What would you say to a church thinking of holding such an event? I would encourage any church to work together with their local school to put this event on. The rewards of getting to know the kids and knowing that they are hearing the Christian message, not just at the concerts but afterwards from the CD, is just fantastic. Kate Gough - Foundation Governor What made you decide it was worth persuading the church to get involved with Pop Connection? When Peter told us about Pop Connection we were immediately excited as we were actively looking for ways to strengthen the school/church relationship and this appealed to us. We could see the potential straight away and loved the idea of young Christians going in to school, teaching funky songs and being role models. What has been the impact on the church and school partnership? Around 30 people from church were involved in the two concerts in various capacities, mostly stewarding and the feedback from them has been extremely positive. They were overwhelmed by the exuberance of the music and the message that came across so powerfully and thrilled to have the church full almost to capacity. Pop Connection is being talked about and has given us all a taste of what can be done. Is there a key piece of advice you would like to give to a church which is planning to hold such an event? Go for it!!! You won't regret it!