A final round up from Mr Schumm

Dear Parents/ Carers,

A final message from Mr Schumm – https://youtu.be/jfWJ5VB3fj8

We made it! We’re all here together and that is all that I have literally prayed for the last few months. We did it all – the leaver’s BBQs, the school production, auction nights, summer fairs and the list goes on! But I could never have done this without our amazing staff, who have literally gone several extra miles to get the St Stephen’s train into the station. I also couldn’t have done it with our superb parents, who have walked alongside the school supporting us and of course our fantastic children whose smiling faces keep the show on the road. I think we can safely say that this is one school that knows how to ‘look sharp and get on with it’.

This morning we said good bye to Year 6 from our latest venue – the school playground! It was a very moving service with the whole school gathering together for the first time since March 2020! We sang, shared memories, cheered for them and all had a jolly good cry. They have been a wonderful year group and all our good wishes go with them on this next step of their journey! Denis spoke brilliantly and ‘I Give Thanks’ echoed around the streets of Shepherd’s Bush – I keep thinking the neighbours will be saying’ well at least we know they will be inside next year’ – famous last words!

Over the last three evenings, the whole school has literally given their all to our school production of Bugsy Malone. They were stupendous and I think we can safely give Regents Park Open Air Theatre a run for their money. It was hard not to feel a tad emotional on the last evening as the evening’s air filled with the strains of ‘Is this the way to Amarillo’ and we all came back together again – along with so many old St Stephen’s pupils who still love a dance!

Last Friday, I got out my trusty gavel for the FOSS Auction Evening. Fine dining and comedy from the one and only Rich Hall, one of our dads no less, made for a spectacular evening of fundraising for our children. I would like to take a moment to thank our FOSS team who have done amazingly by continuing to fundraise during what can only be described as a challenging year! Thank you Sylvia, chair of FOSS, for your zest for life, your drive and your imagination! That goes for everyone – be it those who organised an event or just stayed late to clear up! And if you are reading this thinking ‘I really should do more with FOSS’ – look sharp and make September the start of a new FOSS beginning – I am more than happy to show you how to fold the tables!

A massive thank you to Alex Legge and Clare Howard Vyse for organising the school versus the church cricket match – what a glorious day it was! It was lovely to watch so many old students come back and take part in the match – we have the most amazing alumni who we should be incredibly proud of. After a tense match, which saw me being removed from my comfort zone and having to field (don’t worry, I still managed a few cartwheels and chats on the boundary) the school won the cricket match! With parents and students, old and new, a perfect afternoon was had by all!

On Thursday, the Parent’s Prayer Group joined us for a series of assemblies based around the Bible verse Philippians 4:6-7. Through the assemblies they explained that instead of worrying we should pray and God will make us feel peaceful instead of stressful. When we pray, we realise we’re not alone – Jesus is holding onto us. And that gives us peace – because Jesus is so loving that he never lets go of us. And he’s so powerful that nothing can ever snatch us out of his hand. The children went on to make a shield, which is all about themselves with a prayer on the back. The shields will be displayed in the hall from September. If you would like to join them, the prayer group meet on Friday at 9am outside the main entrance – all are very welcome.

On behalf of the staff, can I say thank you for your generous cards and gifts as always they are very much appreciated!

On a personal note, thank you for your words of encouragement over the last 17 months. It has been challenging but you know me – I love a challenge! In the words of my mother ‘you either have to shape up or ship out’ and I think we, as a school community, with a little help from God, do ‘shaping up’ splendidly.

So thank you and have a lovely summer!

Mr Schumm