Glossary of Terms
If there are terms that have been used in the Session Plans that are not present below, do contact us.
Activities in rotation
In some Session Plans, children divide into small groups to take part in a number of workshop activities in rotation – i.e. groups move around from one base to another during the session and small group activities run simultaneously. Depending on the size of the small groups, you may have a total of six bases, running three activities between them.
It is important that leaders and volunteers running bases know where to send groups after the activity is completed.
A basic guide to how groups rotate can be found in the following table:
Some Session Plans involve activities in rotation where for one of the activities there is a single base with two groups at it, whereas for the other activities there are two bases for each activity. If you would value more guidance, do contact us.
Whole Group activity
We think of activities making up a session taking place all together or in small groups. ‘Whole Group’ activities are undertaken with one person, normally the team leader, leading from the front and all the children seated together on the floor or on chairs. All of our sessions start and end this way. It’s a good way to welcome, to introduce ideas, to sum up, and to hand the children back. It’s often the most practical way to show a film clip.
It’s good to deliver an RE session according to plan. But the really important thing is the difference it makes to children’s understanding of Christianity and to their own spiritual development. That’s why our session plans include learning objectives that we derive from our local RE syllabus or have been asked by teachers to achieve. They give us and the school questions to ask the children and things to listen out for that give some measure of the effectiveness of the sessions.
Session plans are important in the school world. They are used to promote shared understanding, continuity and accountability. Most session plans that teachers develop will be much less detailed than ours. Our session plans are intended to cover everything the teacher would expect to see but also be useful for our team.
Understanding: The session plan should ensure everybody knows what the session is supposed to achieve and their part in it.
Continuity: The session plan should describe the session in enough detail for somebody familiar with REinspired methodology to deliver the session and achieve the desired learning objectives.
The team leader is the person who brings things together on the day to deliver the session according to the session plan. Generally, though not always, this will be the person who plans the session and liaises with the school and the rest of the team delivering the session. There are 3 aspects to the role’s requirements:
- A team leader should be knowledgeable about the subject matter of the session, confident in speaking in front of a large group of children, able to engage with them conversationally as a group, and ensure that all the children safely enjoy the session.
- A team leader needs to be able to manage the team and the flow of the session – keeping to time and helping others keep to time; able to bring things back if they go off course both in terms of time and the points that are covered – but also open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- A team leader needs to be confident in dealing with teachers and able to make the teachers and other school staff feel confident in their ability to organise the session and control the children.
We think of activities making up a session taking place all together or in small groups. Small groups can vary in size but aim for 6-12 in a group. Any larger and it becomes harder to ensure all children have the opportunity to contribute or participate. Any smaller and not only does the number of volunteers needed become excessive, but quieter children may be uncomfortable – feeling too much pressure to say something.
For a small group activity, each group needs a leader. The leader is normally a volunteer who has some experience and aptitude for talking with a group of children about their understanding and experience of Christianity. The small group leader’s task is to understand and carry out the instructions for the small group activity. They do need to prepare beforehand by becoming familiar with the concepts being presented in the small group activity.
We use the term ‘volunteer’ loosely to refer to somebody on your team other than the team leader. The activities we ask of a volunteer should require no special skills or knowledge of teaching or the theology behind the session.