How to...

So you’re a Christian youth worker who’s just arrived in the area….or maybe you’re on the leadership team in your church. You’d like to approach your local school and offer some support. But whom do you approach? The Head Teacher? Another staff member? For some good advice, written by Scottish headteachers and others who know Scottish schools well, go to http://www.syls.org.uk/get-started/how-to-approach-a-school.html For some more detailed ideas, you could also look at http://www.schoolswork.co.uk/ineedto/start-from-scratch/P0/ Remember that this is written about English schools, so you will need to be selective in what you take from this article: we don’t have OFSTED, School Governors,…
  If you’re a schools worker just about to make your first contact with your local school, it’s easy is it to get off on the wrong foot – maybe without even realising what you’ve done! If misunderstandings arise, they can be hard to correct. So it’s well worth while investing in some high-quality thinking in advance. The following articles will certainly help – but do also discuss your ideas with Christian teachers or other schools workers. Seek out some contacts. Networking is what it’s all about! What are the do’s and don’ts you really need to know about? To…
  Go into your local school, and you’ll find it has changed considerably since you were a pupil. You’ll probably have heard about Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). You certainly need to understand at least some of what it’s about if you’re going to offer relevant support to a school. But go on the Education Scotland website http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/ and you can all too easily get lost in all the detail. Where do you start? Have a look at http://www.syls.org.uk/get-started/curriculum-for-excellence-cfe.html Want to find out what a Christian Head Teacher thinks about CfE? Then read “What's so good about Curriculum for Excellence?”
  Parents need to be confident that when their children go off to school in the morning, they will be properly cared for in a safe environment. This means that the school needs to check that everyone who volunteers in a school is a suitable person to be in contact with children. How will that affect you if you are volunteering support in your local school?     For an excellent guide to this, go to http://www.syls.org.uk/get-started/child-protection-pvg.html
  Like everything else, school assemblies have really changed since we were at school (well, yes, in some cases they may be frozen in time, but it’s almost definitely a lost opportunity if they are!) If you’re only starting to get to know your local school, you definitely need to find out their current practice – and if you’re going to be helping lead an assembly, ask what they do (and don’t) want from you. But there are also some good articles to read like http://www.syls.org.uk/get-started/a-time-to-reflect-or-religious-observance-ro.html The Schoolswork website has some good practical advice at http://www.schoolswork.co.uk/ineedto/plan-an-assembly/P0/ - but do remember…
  Best site to go to is definitely Serve Your Local School http://www.syls.org.uk/ Especially if you’re a Schools Worker/Youth Worker, don’t miss the Schoolswork site http://www.schoolswork.co.uk/home/ It is written for the situation in England and Wales, so you’ll have to adapt the material for Scottish schools, but it’s still a treasure trove of practical information and advice. And have a look at the Case Studies on this website too.
  OK, you’re a chaplain, schools worker or volunteer who has now developed a sound relationship with your local school. You visit fairly regularly; teachers (including the Head Teacher) know and like you; you understand what the needs are and how you can help. How can you develop a longer term relationship?   For some really practical ideas, dip into the "Keeping Faith in Schools" video. Make sure that you have shared a Protocol for your work with senior staff in the school, and that they are happy with it. Look at the “Partnership with Schools Protocol” on our website,…
  You’re a Schools Worker 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’m a Christian Youth Worker who wants to offer relevant support in a large local secondary school. Without thinking much about my aims, I head off for a meeting with a couple of the teachers who have agreed to talk to me. I find them very welcoming and positive and, before I know it, I’ve agreed to help in all kinds of activities. “We need an extra coach…
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.”1 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…
Jesus welcomed everyone, and frequently prioritised caring for those who had the greatest needs. He included everyone and excluded no one. It's really good, therefore, that our education system in Scotland is extremely inclusive: there is a presumption, in fact, that all children attend mainstream schools.  As a schools worker, there are many ways to support the pupils who have additional support needs, you can read more in this article. A Christian Perspective of Disability Inclusion is right at the heart of the Christian Gospel, for the good news of Jesus is open to all of humanity. Scripture Union (England…

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