Agathos is an Associate Trust of Scripture Union England and Wales, which means we have a great network of co-workers to share ideas with and be supported by. SU also provide us with valuable organisational advice and great resources.
Earlier this week I visited SU HQ in Bletchley for a 2-day Schools Ministry Forum which was extremely valuable. It was great to hear from workers with decades of experience as Christians supporting schools, and also to hear the latest thinking and challenges that the ever-changing Education System presents. The session were creative, interactive and full of inspiration. Working in schools varies in so many ways from other Christian youth work, and it's very encouraging to be able to pray, discuss and learn with others who minister in similar settings and are familiar with the structures, regulations and needs of educational settings.
We discussed legislation, resource development, quirky ideas, successes and failures, the rise of chaplaincy and much more. Oh, and drank lots of tea and coffee, of course!
The only downside - over two hours of delays on the motorways!
written by Wendy Swan
As part of the school's Anti-Bullying week, I was invited to lead a Refuge space for three days at Bryn Gwalia school last month.
Each class in the school, from Nursery to Year 6, visited Refuge for a lesson. The lesson involved discussions about prayer, a craft activity and six interactive stations where the pupils could spend as much time as they wanted.
This week we led what is probably my favourite assembly - Samson and Delilah. I've added a line for the benefit of the staff - as Delilah begs the mighty Samson to reveal the secret of his super-human strength, he bangs his fist and cries 'Oh why why why Delilah, must you nag me so much?!'
Gets a giggle from the staff every time. One headteacher apologized after the assembly for laughing so loud - she had such a fit of giggles she had to bite on her jumper to get control!
This year, our volunteers Steph and Nia played the dysfunctional couple, and did a fantastic job too. Steph struggled a little with his comic timing, and we were shocked to learn that he didn't know the song at all, even when we sang it for him in the school hall!
What kind of music do they play down in London?
So here's the video, as part of Steph's cultural edication, and for everyone who now has the song playing in their head
Open the Book assembly
There's a lot to learn when it comes to working in schools. Knowing the Bible and being passionate about sharing the gospel is a great place to start, but the more skills we can develop as educators, the better we can engage learners with the material we deliver, and the more likely they are to develop their own understanding of God's plan for His world and for them individually. Using a variety of teaching and learning approaches is vital for effective work to take place.
If you'd like to read about we're applying some of our learning in this area from the Enable BTEC course, read on below.......
(check our Internship Programme for more info on Enable...)
It's time to Explore Easter again! Every year we invite schools to our walk-through of the Passion week story, which takes them from the streets of a packed Jerusalem as Jesus rides in to cries of Hosanna, through to the stunned reactions of Peter and Mary to the violent end of the one they loved, and with him all their hopes.
But that's not the end of the story..........
The event is always really popular with staff and pupils, and can only help with the help of our dedicated volunteers who get into character and explore the often confusing events as Jerusalem citizens with the pupils. Comments back from pupils show that taking part is what makes this event so memorable for them, tasting the bread and 'wine' (grape juice!), dressing up, moving from scene to scene and seeing video clips of Jesus' death and resurrection (huge, scary angel!!!).
We've found that most schools in our area really struggle to afford transport to come to events like this, so we've decided to go 'On Tour' this year. After two sessions in Mold, we're heading out and about next week to visit the outlying Welsh language primary schools. It's been a real challenge to think how to stage an event, which usually involves 5 large spaces, in school halls, but that's where teamwork comes in again. Arawn and Hannah have been great, bringing ideas for staging and props that we hope will make our 'On Tour' event as valuable as the last five years of residential work.
Hello there friends! If you don't know who I am, and If you're currently a bit gutted that this is not Wendy. Smile and move on, there are far more important things to worry about. For example how to pronounce my name. Just say Around with out the 'd'. There you go, you've learned a handy new thing today. It has been a great day.
While I'm currently writing this, I'm doing Wendy's work for her. The first thing I need is to send Hannah to get Judith's ruler. 'GO HANNAH'
(this is actually happening - Live Blog guys)
Some time passed - 'Thank you Hannah'
Right, I'm sitting in front of two pieces of cardboard ready to do sign posts for our Easter Event in the Welsh schools next week.
'Jerwsalem' and 'Gardd Gethsemane' will be written on the cardboard.
The first thing is to get your ready prepared before this blog pieces of card board at the ready with a pencil in hand.
Then try and remember how a sign looks. When that is done - your ready to start.
First make sure that you've consider the length of your words on the cardboards. Then you're ok to start painting white on. Then wait to dry (ideally when you're away doing an after school club)
Then start with your permanent marker, block out the letters. remember that it is permanent Maybe using a pencil first would be ideal, but If you're short with time just go for it! Colour in. then cut them out using scissors (be very careful when doing this - ask an intern)
I think if it looks good, you're finished. If it look rubbish then I recommend starting again. Poor quality signs means you get lost. And being lost is not good.
Thanks for reading!
I've been unwell for a few weeks with viral labrynthitis, which has left me dizzy and disoriented (nothing new there, many would say!) To my great frustration I had to take a week off last week.
It's such a relief to be able to rest and get better knowing that Arawn and Hannah are keeping things running smoothly in the local schools. Our resourceful intern Hannah Stephens has stepped up to the challenge and with minimal input from me, she's made sure all of the resources have been ready for our regular assemblies, which she has delivered with either our Welsh language Children's, Youth and Community worker Arawn Glyn or with trustee Olive Peters.
Our regular work in the secondary schools has continued too, with Arawn and Hannah keeping the two Welsh clubs going at Ysgol Maes Garmon, and Ben Evans intern with King's Christian Centre, helping out in the Alun. I'm hoping to get back into school myself this week, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. At the moment loud noises and large crowds are rather overwhelming, so I might have to be back-seat driver for a while longer.
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