6 resources to help with education
Churches and faith schools have much to say and impart about character - such as responsibility, honesty, generosity, accountability, perseverance and service, etc.
Many churches are already involved in schools in giving assemblies, etc., but what might be extensions to these efforts?
Here are six possibilities:
1. School Pastors
School Pastors is an initiative of Ascension Trust (Street Pastors). A school pastor cares for and supports a 'school community'. They promote safety and aim to reduce anti-social behaviour. School pastors are there to listen, care and help young people to become good citizens. As well as patrolling at the end of the school day, School Pastors teams are also involved in mentoring schemes, leading assemblies and running reading clubs. There are many opportunities, with school pastors finding that once a relationship with a school is established, schools often say to them, ‘We like you … what else can you do for us?’
2. TLG - Early Intervention
Early Intervention - One coach, one child, one hour a week
All over the UK, children are struggling in school for all kinds of reasons and many families are suffering without hope. Some children may be struggling with a lack of confidence, have no positive role models, or just need an adult to talk to. The programme enables trained volunteers to become coaches and work on a one to one basis with children, with the overall aim of improving a child’s behaviour and in turn raise their levels of learning. TLG's training will equip each coach to become a trusted support to the child, their teacher and their family. TLG Early Intervention gives the church a practical solution to support children, families and schools in their community.
3. TLG - Journey Makers
Journey Makers after school club provides consistent role models for children as they explore ideas of purpose, citizenship, identity, faith and their role within the community. In partnership with local churches, TLG train and resource teams of volunteers to make a lasting impact in schools. The club is packed full of exciting games, energetic songs, interesting activities and use relevant themes from the Christian faith, enriching a school's religious education. Teams visit all children at home every single week. This is vital in building healthy and positive relationships, creating a support network and bridging the gap between school life and home.
schoolsworkUK is a project that seeks to support, connect and resource Christian visitors to schools across the UK. It is a collaboration of schools and youth workers across the UK who regularly step into the world of education to offer their services and support. With the role of faith and spirituality in education changing, schoolsworkUK is passionate about facilitating a new and dynamic response to these challenges, developing and deepening the skills of Christians visiting schools, and fostering a new vision for the church’s contribution to education. It showcases; creative resources, therapeutic ideas, assembly ideas, lesson ideas, games, stories
5. assemblies.org.uk - school assemblies for every season for everyone
The Assemblies website aims to provide high-quality, instant access primary and secondary school assemblies for teachers and others leading collective worship. Our aim is to promote good practice and to help schools comply with the legal requirements for collective worship. The assemblies are Christian in outlook, but the site aims to provide a resource for use in a wide range of schools, and the material is designed for use with all children regardless of faith or cultural background. The Assemblies website is provided by SPCK , as part of its commitment to promoting the understanding of Christianity.
6. Sport - one of the extra-curricular activities associated with high academic achievement
Why not organise a regular free junior parkrun for local youngsters in a park or other public space near you. parkrun was established in 2004 with 13 runners getting together in a park in Teddington, UK. They have now grown into an international family of over half a million runners (and counting). parkrun runs every weekend in countries all around the world, with a 5km run on Saturdays or if you are a junior; a 2km on Sundays. Each event is based in a unique location like a park, beach or promenade and it doesn't matter how fast you go or what you are wearing, all that matters is taking part.
Or what about Higher Sports - a practical resource from Scripture Union to equip any church in any country make a difference in its community with the life changing message of Jesus. The coaching module and the teaching packages are designed in such a way as to enable church personnel to run them without any external help. Higher Sports is a 6-8 week course for churches and schools involving sports coaching and games together with Christian based teaching. The material for each of these three resources (rugby, football and games) allows for an hour of coaching followed by a ‘team talk’. The drills and coaching skills are clearly set out in the Higher Sports manuals with accompanying diagrams, teaching points and progressions. The implementation of these do not require the Coach to be qualified in the sport but rather to have an enthusiasm and enjoyment for working with young people in the sporting arena. The sessions can be presented in many forms e.g. as a course lasting several weeks culminating in an Awards Ceremony with a guest speaker, as a sports clinic week, part of a summer camp programme, etc.
I hope these give you some ideas as you seek to build relationships and transform your community.
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Geoff Knott, 03/05/2016