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
One of our main reasons for being involved in local schools is to help fulfil the desire of local churches to support our local schools.
Volunteers in educational settings can offer support to schools in a variety of ways, the best place to start is to talk to local school leaders and discuss where the volunteers' skills, knowledge and training overlap with the needs of the school.
At Agathos we focus on offering our support within the Christian elements of the curriculum, including Religious Education and Collective Worship, as well as Pastoral Support. Examples of Pastoral work we undertake are
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...)
"I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:22-23
Hannah and I travelled down to Luton on Monday, ready for our fifth training day as part of the Enable BTEC course in Schoolswork. We've really been getting a lot out of training - even though I've been working in schools for over 5 years I'm learning new strategies and skills, as well as a much deeper understanding of the Education System in England and Wales.
There's a lot of self-guided learning between the training days, and the assignments are challenging but very relevant to our work. It's been good to exercise the ol' grey matter, though homework deadlines are no more enjoyable than they were many moons ago when I was last in formal education!
We've heard from sector leaders in Christian work, as well as great insights from experienced teachers.
This course is the first vocational qualification for workers who visit schools; in the ever-changing world of Education training and accreditation is increasingly important and gives schools increased confidence in the work and support churches and organisations can offer.
So, cheesy hotels, long journeys, homework...all are worth it to help equip us to share the Good News of Jesus and demonstrate the Kingdom of God in our local schools.
See individual post