You’re a Christian parent or a Volunteer who wants to support your local school. But is what you’re doing actually having much effect? Remember: busyness doesn’t equal effectiveness.
For example, imagine I want to offer relevant support in a large local primary school. Without thinking much about my aims, I contact the school and to my delight I find them very welcoming and positive. Before I know it, I’ve agreed to help in all kinds of activities. “We need an extra coach for the P7 football team… would you help?” “There’s a young girl with Special Needs in P4 who’d really benefit from having someone to read with her… can you work with her on Thursday afternoons?” “Would you like to accompany a school trip? We really need an extra pair of hands."
I could be doing all sorts of things. But how do I work out what I should be doing?
A good school should welcome relevant suggestions, so it's important to work out your ideas in advance:
- Do some thinking about what Christian Values in Education is all about. As a starter, read our 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
- Use the Serve Your Local School website http://www.syls.org.uk/ to develop your thinking – and your practical ideas
- Look at "It's Happening!" for examples of how churches have supported local schools (e.g. "School + Charity = Better Learning", "It's Free - Bible Resources" and "World War I Rich Task")
- If you possibly can, first talk informally to people who know the school - teachers, other volunteers, chaplains, maybe a Christian schools worker or chaplain. Find out what's going on in the school, what their needs are...and what new ideas they might welcome.