Most schools organise a range of field trips for pupils. All field trips must: Significantly support learning Be practical to organise, and carefully risk-assessed Be attractive and motivational for the pupils (while all pupils like a day or part of a day outside the school building, they quickly lose focus if the trip is not very carefully organised, paced and structured) If a field trip can deliver all this and the destination is fairly close to the school, so much the better! As a result, a field trip to a church can be attractive, if it is carefully planned by the church and teachers…
  Schools are all about learning- and most learning takes place in the classroom. Most schools are keen for pupils to hear from people with “real world” experiences – and that includes chaplains and church volunteers. But there is a practical problem in secondary schools. In secondary schools, classes rotate through a range of subjects throughout the school day. This means that if you’ve been invited to work with a whole year group in a particular subject (RME, English, geography or whatever) you would normally have to make multiple visits to cover all the classes in the course of a week. Unless you have lots…
A Field Trip to investigate a church at work Many schools already have close links with local churches. With the emphasis in Curriculum for Excellence on real-life contexts for learning, on community engagement and on partnerships with other agencies, there are many opportunities to develop these links in new ways. This Case Study shows how one church has developed its partnership with a local school. Numerous churches now host community support programmes (e.g. Food Banks). Volunteers involved with these may well be able to make links with a local school, primary or secondary. The Soup Pot Initiative A Church of Scotland which already has good…
It is not uncommon for churches to support local schools by buying Bibles or other books. What makes this project significant is the way a town's Churches Together group mobilised a number of congregations and strengthened existing links between churches and schools. It is highly significant that the scheme was most effective educationally where there were existing vibrant partnerships between school staff and chaplains or church-based volunteers. Background Through involvement with the local Churches Together organisation, one of the teachers at a Primary School within the burgh was aware that they were looking for new local projects and worthwhile causes to support. She approached the Churches…
Sometimes it is possible for a Chaplain to make helpful links between the school and its local community. Teachers can seldom find time to set up meetings outside the school building, whereas you are better placed in this respect. If it is planned carefully with the school you regularly support, making a link between a school and a local radio or a local newspaper can be educationally most worthwhile. Such a link can offer a Primary School teacher or a Secondary School English or RME teacher some outstanding real-life contexts for learning – and a highly stimulating way of discussing issues around beliefs and values. One…
Chaplains and Church Volunteers who can commit 1-2 hours to helping to run a weekly opt-in lunchtime activity for pupils are likely to an especially warm welcome in many schools these days. Why? Talk to any teacher and (s)he will explain that time pressures are greater than ever before: new teaching approaches, paperwork, assessment etc. all take their toll. The result is less time available for lunchtime clubs, including Scripture Union and other similar groups. In contrast, more than ever before, Curriculum for Excellence is emphasising real-life contexts for learning community involvement (both visits to the community and community members visiting school) learning that…
Pupil-leadership is increasingly common in all areas of school life, in both primary and secondary schools. Chaplains can provide crucial support to Christian young people who are wanting to make a real difference in their school. In this short video, Gordon Stewart, (PT Development, Mearns Castle High School)  discusses some of the impact that Christian young people can have. See Permissions and Boundaries/ Anytown School Chaplaincy Policy for more on how a chaplain can support Christian children and young people as they make a difference in their school.            

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