On Wednesday 22 June, St Andrew the Apostle School attended and presented at the Barnet SACRE Schools’ Religious Education Celebration at Hendon Town Hall. This is an annual event which unfortunately did not take place last year due to COVID; however, it was a real pleasure to see the event reinstated and to have been invited to attend with a small delegation of our students from Year 9 and Year 10.
The event was a fantastic opportunity to mark the Religious Education achievements of schools in Barnet, which is one of the most culturally diverse boroughs within the country. Students and teachers had the opportunity to talk about their work in promoting Religious Education in schools across the borough. Our representatives from Year 9 and 10 spoke beautifully about what their religion – The Greek Orthodox faith – means to them as individuals. They also presented on our own efforts as a school to promote understanding of all faiths and traditions through religious education teaching at St Andrew the Apostle School.
After the presentations delivered by our students, one of the Barnet SACRE organisers and governor of St Andrew the Apostle, Mr Kevin McSharry, congratulated them stating, “Well done! You have done yourselves and your school proud.”
As part of the event, members of the SACRE and representatives of the diverse Barnet faith, religion and worldview groups within our local community were invited to exhibit in the Town Hall. Each religion and worldview group were invited to bring along artefacts, photographs or a text or item linked to their faith. We were most ably assisted in this by Father Kristian Akselberg, parish priest from St Andrew the Apostle Church in Kentish Town. Father Kristian accompanied us and brought along a number of beautiful icons as well as a gold leaf Bible and censer which made for an excellent display of our faith at this event. Father Kristian also assisted students in preparing for their presentations.
The event was attended by over one hundred guests and representatives from Barnet schools as well as the Director of Education in Barnet, Mr Neil Marlow.
We as a school were delighted to have been invited and above all it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our achievements as a school so eloquently expressed by our student representatives.

From L to R: Mr M Vassiliou (Spiritual Director at St Andrew the Apostle), Mr Kevin McSharry (Barnet SACRE and school governor), Ms Jan McGuire (local authority, RE Consultant), Back row, Mr Neil Marlow (Head of Barnet Education Learning Services), Father Kristian and students from Year 9 and Year 10. Ms H. Valavanis, Teacher of RP is also pictured in the front row.

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