How we started

Our story arises out of a moment of spiritual inspiration. One of our local schools had taken a decision not to invite in any outside speakers from faith communities. Such visits had seemed ‘too difficult’ to attempt. However, under pressure from school inspectors, an approach was made to a local church to see if some input could be offered to the teaching of RE.

A meeting followed between two probationary teachers and a local minister. The school was initially uncertain how we might help. However, it was open to receiving two visits in the autumn term, which was when the block of teaching about Christianity took place for their classes. In search of a good place to begin, the locally agreed RE syllabus was pulled out and it was decided that we would look for ways to support the teaching on the first three subject areas: ‘Why do Christians think Jesus is special?’, ‘Jesus’ baptism’ and ‘The story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert’. In addition, we agreed to lead a session about Christmas.

The inspirational thought occurred that it would be far more creative for pupils to visit local churches than for a church leader to go into the school. There would be an exciting learning opportunity for year 4 if they were to explore their RE teaching on Christianity in the atmosphere of a building used for Christian worship. The possibility of pupils being engaged by a team of Christians rather than a single church leader would be far more interesting and especially the team delivering the sessions should be ecumenical.

This has been our methodology ever since!