Chaplains & Churches

Schools need Chaplains & Churches!

C. Overview P1Schools need your involvement like never before. Why?

But mainly because Curriculum for Excellence challenges schools to re-think what learning is all about – and in a much better way than ever before. Progressively all schools are realising what they now need to deliver:

  • Holistic learning: children and young people developing spiritually and emotionally, not just intellectually and physically1
  • Learning in partnership with the school’s local community2
  • Children and young people being actively involved in their own learning3

Skilled as they are, teachers can’t do this on their own. If you, as a Chaplain or Church Volunteer, offer the right sorts of support, most schools will only too keen to welcome you in – not just to school assemblies but to a much wider range of involvement.

Your time is pretty limited – that goes without saying – but if you can relate to pupils in other ways beyond periodic assemblies, you’re much more likely to gain an audience. The Chaplains and Churches section of this website offers all the tools to help you to do just this.

Open our Toolbox

If you’re already a School Chaplain or an experienced Volunteer, our Resources section is probably where you'll want to start. Are you involved with Assemblies or RME or a lunchtime club…maybe other parts of school life as well? There are 100s of resources to look at and download.

C. Overview P2What should I be doing (or avoiding)?

You can serve a school in lots of practical ways, but what should you avoid doing?

Of course we go into schools to be a blessing, not to evangelise. But what does that mean in practice? What are the boundaries you mustn’t cross? The Permissions and Boundaries section links to key guidance that every Church Volunteer or School Chaplain should understand and follow. For example, how does Curriculum for Excellence support your work? Have you considered the advantages of developing a Protocol to clarify with the school what you can (and can’t) do? What about negotiating an Agreement with the school? Even though you may have been a Chaplain or Volunteer for some years, discussing a formal Agreement with a school can be a great way to take stock of what you’ve been doing. It can also be highly reassuring for the school too – and will help them to demonstrate to parents or School Inspectors the worth of what you do.


C. Overview P3Curriculum for Excellence

Try to wade through the 1000s of pages of guidance for teachers published by Education Scotland, and you’ll lose the will to live! But you definitely need to understand the big ideas, so make sure to look at our Survey of Relevant Themes within Curriculum for Excellence

Once you show you understand where the school is coming from, they are much more likely to welcome your input. Scotland rightly takes pride in its system of liberal education: schools give children and young people the information, experiences and critical tools to make decisions and choices for themselves.

From the school’s perspective, your role is to help children and young people to

  • understand Christian beliefs,
  • see authentic faith in practical action, and
  • develop critical tools so they can make their own informed decisions.

 But let’s be practical: where do you go for new approaches? Get some new ideas from our How to…. Section. Or get a flavour of what others are trying out in It’s Happening!


C. Overview P4And if you'd like direct support, visit the Get Support area.....or go to CVE Community.





1 “I can expect my learning environment to support me to…understand and develop my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and social skills.” (Education Scotland: Health & Wellbeing, Experiences and Outcomes)

2 “A school is excellent to the extent that…There is evidence of meaningful community involvement throughout the school.” (Education Scotland: Journey to Excellence: Partnership)

3 “Children and young people are given encouragement to share their views and act as positive role models for others.” (Education Scotland: Journey to Excellence: Culture & Ethos)

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