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From the Chaplain

Welcome to The Chaplains Corner!

 Rev Dominic Hubbuck

My role at the Federation involves supporting the spiritual input, faith development and the pastoral care of everyone in the school community.

My background before being ordained was working with children, young people and families. It has often included play, creating safe spaces for families and supporting people to explore faith as they do life.’

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  • Hands

    Published 21/11/23

    The Future is in Your Hands.

    It’s a funny thing to say really and I wonder what comes to mind when people say that to you or about our community or our world.

    My initial action often is to look at my hands. 

    I wonder when was the last time you looked at your hands and really took notice of them. What story do they tell about you? Sherlock Holmes believed that hands could tell someone’s occupation, their lifestyle choices and their history. Some people look at hands and try to tell stories of the future based on the lines and marks upon the hands.

    I wonder if you look at your hands and consider whether the future is within them?

    Many of our students are about to take assessments, mock exams and tests. What words or figures they write, what art they create may determine the next part of their future. As adults - what we write, how we create our online selves and what we work at - may also form parts of our future.

    The Bible also talks of hands – we are held in the palms of God’s hands, the safest place to be. Jesus uses caring hands to heal and to hold, to break down barriers. At the time of the crucifixion, his hands hold him to the cross in order to show his love for the world and all those within it.

    Take a moment just now. 

    Hold your hands out in front of you and consider:

    What will I achieve with my hands today? 

    What kindness can I do, what help can I offer?

    And then offer a prayer to God:

    Into your hands O Lord, I put my trust.

    In your hands O God, may I feel the strength that I need.


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  • What is it about names?

    Published 08/11/23

    What is it about names? What’s so special about them?

    In centuries past, names described us – either the family we belonged to or the role, the skill or the part we played in our community.

    Names like Smith, Fletcher, Cooper and many more described our skills in the community.

    Titles were then added to our names according to the status that were given – Lord, Esquire, Lady, Countess. Some of these can still be found in online ordering systems – especially shops like Harrods and Liberty!!

    But what about our names – the names were given, the names we choose for ourselves.

    Whether it is a professional name, a personal name or nickname.

    In the deaf community people also have sign names that are special and unique to them.

    Maybe there is a story behind your name?

    Our names speak of our identity – to ourselves and to others.

    Maybe you have considered what your name means to you.

    Maybe you’ve considered what you want others might call you and what that means.

    I am Dominic to my parents, Dom to friends and Rev Dom to hundreds of children locally.

    A friend at school used to call me Donamic, whilst an adult friend called me Damien for ages.

    Maybe you’ve been at a meeting or a conference when they’ve got your name wrong, or written it wrong on a badge, or introduced you in a way that you wouldn’t have chosen.

    What is it about names?

    Jesus called people by name. He used their names to speak to them about deep things.

    It feels like he knew everyone’s names.

    He spoke confidently to Zaccheus in the tree who needed to be forgiven.

    He spoke calmly to Mary in the garden when she discovered his resurrection.

    He spoke clearly to Peter to set him on a path to begin something amazing.

    Names speak of belonging. Of knowing people and addressing them with respect and value and concern. Names help us feel known and heard and understood. They convey safety and trust.

    In a moment of stillness let us recognise our own name and the names of those we love – those who come to mind instantly – those who need to be seen and loved.

    In a moment of prayer let us be reminded of those who God created this world for, that Christ died for, and that the spirit seeks to bless.

    O lord you search me and know me. You know when I sit or stand, my work and my rest, my words and thoughts and deeds.

    Where I go, you are there, your strength and protection and love and care are with me.

    I am wonderfully made, I am made in your image.

    Remind us of our identity that is blessed by you.

    Support us to see the amazingness of others and know them by name.

    Bless us with your spirit that we might offer your blessing to others in our care.


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  • Stepladders

    Published 08/09/23

    This week I have been talking to staff and students about stepladders.

    I even dragged around some ladders for staff to look at and reflect upon.

    I encouraged them to think about us all being on a stepladder in life. Some are starting on the bottom step, whilst others have got to the top and are changing the ladders that they are on.

    Our Nursery and Reception children will be taking their early steps on their Primary Ladder. Our Year 7s will be stepping onto their Secondary Ladder. Our older students will be stepping into GCSEs or stepping onto Post 16 and Post 18 courses and apprenticeship ladders.

    Even us as adults are on career ladders, life ladders, health ladders or property ladders.

    As we reflect on this, maybe consider where you are at the moment and if you are able to offer others a hand up or encouragement to keep climbing. Maybe you could be supporting and praying for your family members who are starting new things, ending certain stages or finding the climb tough.

    Our God reaches out to us. Whenever God sent messages they were reassuring messages of ‘Do not be afraid’. God strengthens us and guides us when we have faith.

    My prayer for you is that wherever you are on Life’s ladders, you understand that there are a great cloud of witnesses, in heaven and on Earth, cheering you on and willing you to succeed and find joy in all that you do.

    Remember too that if you or your child or young people, are having a hard time – there are people around you (me included) that can support you and pray with you if you would like that. Seek them out or contact me in school and I will be happy to help where I can.

    Take it one step at a time. We can do this.

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  • Hope

    Published 08/06/23

    I was enjoying the weather recently and after enjoying a lovely sunny afternoon and a warm evening, I watched the sun go down. 

    A small part of me was sad that a beautiful day had ended but I was hopeful as I knew the sun would rise in the morning.

    There are times when we are enjoying life, when the sun is shining and things seem to be going well. We enjoy these times but often spoil our own joy by worrying what the next season will hold. We forget that come what may, the sun will come up again in the morning.

    It is important too to remember that when the days are gloomy and that life, like the clouds, are grey and heavy – the sun will come out again soon.

    In the Bible – Jesus asks us to consider the birds of the air and the flowers in our gardens and reminds us that if these are well kept for by God, then so will we. If they don’t need to worry about tomorrow because of God’s love, then God’s love will be there for us way more than the flowers and the birds.

    The night may feel long, cold and endless. But the sun is coming.

    The stars may be covered and the light be clouded. But the sun is coming.

    Lord God, 

    As we enjoy the sunny days of life and the warmth of your love in good times, we thank you. As we work through grey days and long nights, remind us that the sun is coming and we can have hope. As we look for the light to dawn, may we look for you in our lives. May we have faith that you hear and answer our prayers. 


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  • Testing Times

    Published 15/05/23

    So last week saw the SATS for year 6 children. This coming week sees the SATS for year 2s and the beginning of the exam season for year 11 and 13: GCSEs,  ‘A’ Levels and BTECs.

    It is a testing time.

    For our students, there are moments when they have to dive into the depths of the knowledge they’ve received in order to make some sense of it on paper. For our staff there are moments of questioning of themselves – did we do enough, did we remember everything, will they remember everything, will they be ok? Our parents too will be worried about their young people’s performance, they will worry whether they have had breakfast, are they well rested, are they calm and relaxed, have they remembered to take a pen.

    During our lives there are testing times but maybe not like the exams that are being set for our young people. There are decisions to be made, judgements to call, choices to pick. It reminds me of the lines in Ecclesiastes 3 about there being a time for everything and everything has its opposite – maybe there should be a line which says ‘there is a time for testing and time for resting’.

    But through out all these things – whether we are a child, a young person or an adult – there are things we can do to deal with these testing times in the best ways possible.

    The first is to PRAY – spend some time in quiet, not speaking, just breathing and listening for God. Offer up to God your stress and your anxieties, offer up the confusion and the impact of what you are facing. Imagine leaving your test with God, imagine being given the answer.

    The next is PREPARE – think through what you have to do. I find it helps me to draw or write what is on my mind and make some lists. Have the conversations in your head about what you need to say. Often a sense of being well prepared helps us to reduce our stress levels and be clear about what we want to happen next.

    Finally – and this is not an exhaustive list of everything – PARTNERS. Feeling alone is the biggest thing to make us feel powerless and unprepared. Partner with God and ask God to walk with you through whatever you face. Partner with someone who understands you and can support you, who you can talk with and who can ask you questions that make you think. Partner with someone who doesn’t know the details but is there for you regardless. Someone who just wants to see you supported and safe.

    Lord God,

    As our young people prepare for their testing times, we pray that they feel supported, that they feel well prepared and that they are surrounded by a crowd of supporters encouraging them.

    As we go through testing times – whether in work, family, financial, relationship or otherwise, may we remember to pray for your peace, your guidance and your support. May we feel strong enough through your spirit to tackle what lies ahead.

    And as we journey through life, send us faithful partners that support us, help us and pray for us as we do the same for them.

    May the community support those who need it most. Amen 

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  • What a Weekend!

    Published 09/05/23

    It’s been a very unusual weekend.

    Set aside the weather – from pouring rain on Saturday to bright warm sunshine on Sunday and then warm drizzle on Monday.

    I wonder how the weekend was for you?

    Did you watch the Coronation? Did you find yourself caught up with the celebrations, were you following the news, looking at the pictures or did you venture into town?

    Did you celebrate at home? Did a street near you close for a party, did you see the bunting and the flags?

    The Coronation was an interesting moment for the nation. Although people were divided over the need for it, the cost of it, the reason behind it – it did do something that not many other events achieve: It inspired communities to celebrate together.

    In neighbourhoods near us, dining tables and chairs were brought into the street and food was prepared for neighbours as if they were friends. In Churches, tea parties were organised and doors opened to the wider community. 

    When do we do that normally? When do we go to that extent to celebrate? Christmas and Easter are celebrated as families, Summer barbecues encourage friends to get together, but not a lot of other events encourage us to share with neighbours and encourage those we live near to come and meet the street.

    Maybe we should do this more often? Maybe barriers would be broken down? Maybe communication and community cohesion would grow between us? Maybe our streets and neighbourhoods would benefit it ways that we couldn’t dream of?

    When we meet together and eat together, something special happens. Jesus knew this, Jesus encouraged this and Jesus encourages us to keep doing this. Set out a space and invite people in. Treat them as special guests regardless of who they are to other people. Show care for others and watch as community, fellowship and faith grows.

    May you be inspired to plan for the future something that brings people together in a positive way. May God bless you as you seek to know and show love for your community and your social networks. May the Holy Spirit encourage you in all that you do. Amen

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  • Look around you..

    Published 20/04/23

    Look up from the screen you’re reading this on and look around you.

    How many sounds can you hear, how many colours can you see, what smells can you detect?

    As Spring races towards summer, we see the trees bud and blossom, we smell the grass being cut, we hear the twittering of birds and the chatter of people walking in the sunshine (at least while the sky is blue and the sun is out).

    It is a perfect time to give thanks for the beauty of the world around us. Regardless of how low we have felt through the dark months, seeing the blossoming trees turn white and pink and seeing the speedy birds flitter from tree to tree connects us to the amazing creation that is around us.

    It is also worth remembering that feeling connected to nature can also reduce our anxieties and slow our heart-rates enough to breathe and regain our problem-solving skills. Can you detect 2 smells, can you see 3 colours, can you hear 4 things? Can you feel the seat underneath you and the floor that your feet are on? Can you breathe slowly for 5 breaths and slow down your thoughts.

    Lord God, as we consider the beauty of nature and the wonder of your creation, 

    Grant us the ability to be calmed in our most stressful moments.

    Help us to feel your loving Spirit hold us, care for us, guide us.

    In His most fearful moments, Jesus turned to thought and prayers – 

    May we follow in His example today and everyday.


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  • Empathy Week

    Published 28/02/23

    Hello Everybody

    This week is Empathy Week in schools.   

    Empathy is a skill we can all try to learn to help us get close to understanding someone else's point of view. A way of considering the things that are going on in their lives before making judgements about how we would act, what we would say, what our attitude would be in the same situation. 

    This week we will be encouraging our students to consider what Empathy is and what it might look like in their school days. For the younger ones, it might involve how we can act kindly and think of others before ourselves. For our older students it might be how we react to other people's words or behaviours in a more mindful way. 

    Here's what the Empathy Week organisation say about it:

    Empathy is a vital skill that allows us to:

    • navigate, communicate and work alongside others.

    • understand another's perspective.

    • connect emotionally with others and the world around us.

    • better understand ourselves, our own backgrounds and bias.

    • navigate an ever-changing world.

    • increase our own personal and professional wellbeing.

    • avoid and resolve conflict - something we will all encounter whether we like it or not.

    As a final thought from me, I have read a lot of the work of an American Researcher - Brene Brown. In some of her work, she challenges people to think of others like this:

    Imagine the person you are cross with, frustrated about, disappointed in. Imagine for a moment that they are trying their best today. That they are doing what they can to get through today. 

    It might not be your best, or what you would choose, but it could be their best today. 

    Given that it's their best today, how can you respond to them in a more patient way, a more generous way, a way that gives them the benefit of the doubt. They are not maliciously trying to ruin your day, they might be doing the best they can today. 

    This week, let's encourage our young people and their parents this week. Let's show skills in empathy when we can. Then let's give ourselves the benefit of the doubt too, that we're trying our best today and that we can do what we can do - we don't have to be perfect. We just need to try our best. 

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  • Surprises

    Published 26/01/23


    Some people love surprises, others hate them. 

    Some want to know exactly what’s going to happen, others enjoy spontaneity. 

    As January settles down and we get used to seeing 2023 written down, I wonder whether you are hoping for some nice surprises in your year or if you have things planned that you hope will happen. 

    I am always struck by God’s big plan for his wonderful world. A big plan that expresses his love and concern for those he has created, but enough love to let us work it out in our own way and in our own time. 

    Some people ask the universe for good things, others challenge themselves to work real hard to see changes in their fortunes. I like to pray. 

    I pray for the plans I have, the hopes I have, the people I might meet who could help me on my journey. 

    I pray about the surprises that might come my way, the things that feel like obstacles and the things that bring joy and celebration. 

    My prayers extend to those who face the world and can’t imagine what the year will hold, either because they are fighting through each day or because the present time stops them from making plans. 

    Please join with me in praying at this time. 

    For those in need and those in joy. 

    For those who plan and those who are stuck. 

    For those who sense God beside them and those who have no one to turn to. 

    God, like a caring father for us all,

    Hear our prayers and surprise us with your love. Provide for us so that we may make plans that bring you glory. 



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  • Advent

    Published 12/12/22

    Advent is a time of preparation.

    We count down the days, we ready our homes and we change things.

    We change our decorations, we change our mood, we change our focus – often to family and friends and fun. 

    As you prepare for Christmas – 

    What will your focus be on? 

    What do you want your Christmas break be like? 

    What changes do you want to make?

    In church our Advent candles help us prepare – for us they represent Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Jesus.

    Why not consider what you are hoping for in the year to come, why not practice for a few minutes every day creating a moment of peace, why not do something that brings someone else a moment of joy, why not consider who you can tell how much you love and appreciate them. The love of Jesus is in all of these things.

    Lord God, 

    Send your spirit of HOPE into our lives.

    Bring us PEACE – in our world and in our hearts.

    Spread JOY in our communities.

    Help us to share LOVE for each other.

    And may JESUS be seen in everything we do this Christmas. Amen

    Have a good Christmas, and see you in the New Year.

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  • Light in our lives

    Published 23/11/22

    There are times in our year where we all need some more light in our lives.

    The evenings are getting darker quicker, the mornings are getting less bright, and the days are getting shorter.

    Add into that the bad news we see in our country, the violence and loneliness and poverty we see in our communities, and the sadnesses we sense in our families.

    What brings us light? Not the temporary, passing light that the world offers. A quick fix, a brief hit of happiness, a candle in the wind that easily goes out.

    Faith, hope and charity are things that last longer, have a bigger impact on us and our mental health, and often cost less than a retail spending spree to make us feel better for a while.

    Faith in a God who cares for us – regardless of our situation.

    Hope in our community – through the ones who love us and encourage us.

    Charity or generosity in our hearts – a smile shared, a meal offered, a drink given.

    And if we have these and share them, then the light grows brighter, if we have faith then we will weather any storm – even the weeks and weeks of rain that we’ve had recently. If we have hope then these seasons of darkness will be seen as fleeting. If we gather with others, share the happiness we have and inspire each other to find joy, then the light of Christ – that darkness can never put out – will be seen even on the dimmest days.

    Give thanks for faith and community.

    Seek moments of hope and joy.

    Pray for light and the courage to shine. Amen.

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  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    Published 10/09/22

    In this past week it feels like the world has changed. 

    We are surprised by the reaction of so many, we are saddened by the death of the Queen. 

    As a school we are thinking about belonging this term. As we explore what it is to belong to our school and community, we will think about belonging to our Federation of schools and to the nation. 

    As a country we will gather to give thanks for the life of Queen Elizabeth II, we will pray for her family and the new King and we will consider the future. 

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