Many chaplains and church volunteers now support schools by helping them to plan and run conferences and other events for whole year-groups working together. Giving children and young people to explore a set of ideas and issues over a whole day or a half day fits 100% with what schools are now being encouraged to do.
• Flexible approaches to learning and teaching are strongly encouraged, as are opportunities for pupils to “meet people who show their faith in action.” Education Scotland: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/rme_principles_practice_tcm4-540203.pdf
• Such events are much more effective when they are linked closely with ongoing classroom learning, drawing together different strands of learning/subject areas in a culminating integrative event and/or launching a theme which will then be pursued in subsequent weeks within the classroom.
• The focus of such an event is very much on learning, so this is something you need to plan very carefully with one or more teachers. Remember to build appropriate assessment into your planning; the event must be about learning, not simply having an enjoyable experience (though that's good too!)
- When you've finished, get the pupils to evaluate the day. Feedback is essential in planning future improvements and providing evidence that the event is worthwhile.
For advice on organising such an event, see http://www.schoolswork.co.uk/ineedto/run-an-re-day/day/. The first couple of paragraphs (written for an English audience) don’t apply north of the Border, but the rest of this material is highly practical and usefully detailed.
Look also at our Case Study on "Big Questions" Conferences or Make a Difference Morning, for examples of how this has worked in a secondary school. For another excellent example, see http://www.syls.org.uk/grand-ideas/big-questions-rme-day-conference.html. Remember, though, that the format can equally be adapted for Primary.