What we offer
Our dedicated team of schools workers are happy to serve schools, inspire minds and explore faith in a myriad of ways. We have things that we do regulary, and things that we do as a one-off. Some of our most fun work comes when a teacher contacts us and asks us to create a new service, lesson, workshop or club to meet certain criteria. We are happy to have a chat about your requirements.
Our offer is completely free of charge to schools and mostly includes but is not necessarily limited to -
We can teach one off lessons or a whole scheme of work (subject to availability). Our RE lessons are planned by a qualified and experienced RE teacher and meet the requirements of the Redbridge and Havering Agreed Syllabus. We focus on topics within Christianity and children benefit from the opportunity to ask questions about belief and practice to visitors. We provide all equipment and resources and can also provide a copy of the lesson plan in advance. Some of the syllabus content we most often get asked to cover includes -
How do the stories of Jesus inspire Chrisitians?
Who is a Christian and what do they believe?
Justice and Poverty: Can religions help to build a fairer world?
What does it mean to be a Christian?
Why is prayer important to religious believers?
We are available to come and run workshops with your pupils. These are more informal than lessons and involve a range of activities.
Our most popular workshop centres on the Christmas tradition of Christingle. Pupils learn about the custom and its origins, the symbolism behind each aspect of the Christingle, and how these ideas may apply to their lives.
They then get to make their own Christingle to take home. Where sweets are used, a vegan/halal alternative is offered and if sweets are not allowed in schools we can bring dried fruit.
In 2021 we made over 3000 Christingles with local children thanks in part to generous support from Barkingside Tesco and Spitalfields Market.
Higher Things is our transition workshop for children in Year 6 as they look ahead to Year 7 and life in secondary school. The workshop is accompanied by a 40-page, full-colour workbook including, discussion points, puzzles, top tips, and activities for the children to finish off in school or at home.
Last year we gave out 2700 copies of Higher Things to pupils in 32 primary schools.
The workshop and books are available free of charge to schools. An inspection copy of the workbook is available on request.
Visits to places of worship are strongly encouraged in order to allow pupils to contextualise their classroom learning and gain a better understanding of sacred buildings, holy objects and the communities who use them.
We can help facilitate a visit to a local church: last year we did this for over 800 pupils. We can liaise with the church leader, assist with the risk assessment and do as much or little as you like during the visit. In recent visits we have demonstrated religious ceremonies, created a worksheet for the visit or simply served the squash and biscuits!
An excellent addition to SMSC provision in a school, our prayer spaces are increasingly popular and last year over 1300 pupils participated from across the key stages. Prayer spaces are areas set up in a hall or other large space where pupils and staff of all faiths and beliefs can come to consider and respond to the key questions of life. The space can stay for a day or all week. During a prayer space workshop, pupils move in a carousel between a number of tactile, interactive bases set around different themes. The prayer space pictured, at Glade Primary in 2021, was designed in conjunction with representatives from across the school in a pupil voice activity the week before. Some pupils showed particular concern for ecology and the base pictured focused on prayer for the oceans. Other prayer space themes have included Armistice Day, International Women's Day (in an all girls school) and Moving On.
These are energetic and enjoyable sessions, encouraging a broad range of skills. Typically, our team building workshops are booked for Year 6, as a way to start or end the school year although they are suitable for children across key stages 2 and 3. We can either bring car tyres and set up an ‘acid swamp’ challenge, run 'It's a Knockout' style silly teamgames or, if space is an issue, we can offer classroom based activities.
Mentoring and Pastoral Support
We are able to work with a small number of schools to offer weekly mentoring programmes or wellbeing groups. Here pupils can work either one to one or in small groups to promote self-esteem and wellbeing. Focus is on topics such as building confidence, managing emotions and growth mindset. This has been well received by both schools and students; there has been positive feedback from parents too.
We are able to support schools with their GCSE RE Christianity revision. Previously, we have hosted day conferences with expert speakers and interactive workshops. Keeping in mind your chosen exam board/specification and revision priorities, we can also go to schools to deliver bespoke revision sessions, either in class or for longer in the hall with the whole cohort.
On our YouTube channel are a selection of pre-recorded videos on GCSE RE topics to support students’ revision.
Extra Curricular Activities and Drop Down Days
We can support schools by facilitating some extracurricular activities, either for a fixed term or on an ongoing basis. We currently run a Christian Union at one Redbridge secondary school and before the pandemic led a weekly gospel choir lunchtime club in another.
If you teach RE as dropdown days at either primary or secondary level, we are happy to come in and support, running workshops or activities as part of a carousel.