The Year 6 School Leavers Services are hosted by the Diocese of Liverpool and are designed to help their students reflect and give thanks for their time at primary school and to look forward to and celebrate the move to secondary school.
More than 3500 children and staff attended over the four services, representing schools across the entire Diocese.
The theme for this year was ‘Moving on’ told through the story of Moses and Pharaoh. It was the brainchild of Annie Spiers, from 'In Another Place', who worked with the Education Department and Cathedral events team to produce an exciting and active worship experience. Education packs were sent to each school in advance so they could explore the Story of Moses and the plight of the people. This links to the Diocesan Primary School RE Syllabus ‘Questful RE’ and explored why the story of The Exodus is such a significant event.
David Thorpe Diocesan Adviser for RE, Collective Worship and Christian Distinctiveness said "As an education team we are delighted that over the four services, 3,500 Year 6 pupils, along with parents, staff and clergy joined together in worship at our Cathedral. These services give us the collective opportunity to celebrate in worship and give prayerful thanks for the children as their time at primary school ends, and they prepare for moving on to their respective high school. It is wonderful to witness Jesus being at the heart of our schools and acknowledge the love God has for each and every one of his children.
The traditional elements of our Year 6 services, such as the banner procession and presentation of children’s prayers remained central to the worship but by adding a more Biblically dramatic focus to the service made it more accessible to the pupils. One pupil commented, “I’ve never known an hour pass so quickly before”. Rev. Paul Robinson used the story to help pupils reflect on their time in primary school and to assure them that God, unlike fads, is always with them."
This year the schools were invited to support a local charity of their choice. All schools once again donated very generously to their chosen charity, examples include Trewan House (a local care home), NSPCC and Sepsis UK.
Music for each service was provided by choirs for each day. Monday 11th June featured music from the choir of St Andrew’s Orford. Tuesday 12th June was St Anne’s Stanley choir. Monday 25th Wargrave school choir provided the music and Tuesday 26th June was led by St James’ Worsley Mesnes choir.
A number of schools also took part in transition workshops at the Cathedral lead by the Cathedral Education team and Bootle charity Ykids. These included drama performances, time for reflection and celebration and an opportunity to discuss their mixed emotions leading up to the transition to secondary school.