In June I went to Southrop School to discuss with the co - head Mrs. McLellan how it would be best to link Luke’s Award with the work of the school this year. To give children support, so they are able to enjoy learning, has always been an important part of the ethos around our wish to remember Luke with great joy. Luke brought fun and laughter into many peoples lives so it was paramount that, in his memory, we should encompass a diverting way of learning that included merriment, jollity and laughter as well as some focused work.
Laughter sparks production of the ‘feel good’ brain chemical dopamine and cuts production of the stress hormone cortisol. Even the anticipation of a good laugh can boost levels of mood lifting endorphins. With this in mind, when I went to present the literary award in November, I started by saying to the children “I am going to say ‘good afternoon children of Southrop School’ and it would be lovely if you would say ‘good afternoon Elaine’ to me.” The children responded amazingly well so I suggested we didn’t need to do it again but that was greeted with a ripple of disappointment so I said “shall we do it again.” Oh my goodness I think most of Gloucestershire heard their enthusiastic response!!! And then everybody fell about with laughter. It was a great start.
The prizes were presented 1st - Bridget, - 2nd Jonty, - 3rd Niamh, - 4th Lucy, - Lexie 5th.
The winner wrote a clever story following the idea they had all been given “What if I fall? Oh but what if I fly? The story tells how a bunny escapes from danger, saves a squirrel by being brave, in a really creative way, from a badger who was a bully who lived in an orphanage. It ends with them all becoming friends. The story was charmingly told and very well conceived. The story had a satisfying completeness about it. I was delighted to give Luke’s Trophy to such a worthy winner.
This year we have been unable to show pictures of the children as not all parents wanted their children’s photograph to be posted on line. We must respect their request and hope in the future parents will have no fear of their children’s photographs being shown. It seems extremely sad. It is for all of us to strive to help the world become a safer place.
Thank you to everyone who remembers Luke. I really enjoy receiving your messages and wish you all a magical CHRISTMAS and may 2020 be a year where we all discover better ways to support each other and create the atmosphere for peace.