How to…. think more deeply about why I work with schools

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?

P.3.5 image 1A good school should welcome relevant suggestions, so it's important to work out your ideas in advance:

  1. 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
  2. Use the Serve Your Local School website to develop your thinking – and your practical ideas
  3. 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")
  4. 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.

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