You’re a Chaplain or a church volunteer who wants to support your local non-denominational school. But is what you’re doing actually having much effect? Remember: busyness doesn’t equal effectiveness (and you're not exactly short of competing priorities!)
For example, imagine I’m a Chaplain in a large local secondary school who wants to go beyond simply leading periodic assemblies and to offer other types of relevant support. I secure a meeting with the Head Teacher. I know he/she is keen to build up links with the local community....and also to have another adult working for even a few hours per week in the school at no cost to his/her over-stretched budget! The problem therefore is not about getting involved with the school; rather it's about agreeing ways in which I can support effectively, relevantly....and within the small amount of time I have available.
I could be doing all sorts of things. But how do I work out what I should be doing?
- Use the Serve Your Local School website http://www.syls.org.uk/ to develop your thinking – and your practical ideas
- Work with others. The modern school is all about team work, and that means pupils, teachers and adults from the community all working together. We strongly recommend suggesting to the School that a Chaplaincy Team is set up, involving equal numbers of committed pupils, teachers and chaplains. For a model policy, look at Anytown Shool Chaplaincy Policy. It was written for a secondary school, but can easily be adapted for a primary school. Another useful reference document is Religious Observance and Chaplaincy.
- Do some thinking about what Christian Values in Education is all about. As a starter, read A Place for Christian Values in Scottish Education. This rationale was developed by the CVE Project in conjunction with most of the Christian organisations and churches that support Scottish schools.