Posted by Crys on 07.10.2013
"Spring Lane Primary School is located in the most deprived area in Northamptonshire.Two thirds of the students are of ethnic minorities and 30+ languages are spoken; there are students from multi-faith backgrounds, many Muslims and those of no faith.
We were asked to call the prayer space a reflective space instead so we did and we set up in the outdoor area where students visited at break times. You could see the children were having fun, which was great, but we had hoped for more for them and they were getting it. They were really thinking of real prayers and real questions.
The feedback from staff included:
“Thanks for organising yesterday’s event. I thought it was really successful; you had really put a lot of thought into the activities. The children were really engaged.” - Head Master
“Fantastic idea.” - Deputy Head
The feedback from students included:
“Are you coming back tomorrow?”
“Are you coming back every Wednesday?”
One boy at the Fizzy Forgiveness activity said, “it’s sick, it’s sick!” (which means it’s really cool).
I also got some feedback from one team member who had joined for the first time:
"The pupils enjoyed the creativity. The area used was good. Changing the word to reflective space made it harder for some children to understand. It should just be called a prayer space because thats what it is. I feel it is better to say the truth and let them have a choice. A lot of the young people were proud to say that they prayed at home."
Prayer Spaces are inclusive of all nationalities & religions: during the activity where the children had the option to pray for different countries, they prayed for family and homes in other places including Asia, Europe, Africa the Americas, the Muslim children were also happy to participate.
There was a lovely boy who came and wrote his prayer down. Then he sat on the bench, closed his eyes and began to pray. There were so many children playing and buzzing around making noise but he didn’t even notice. And despite the noise, it was a very peaceful picture."
Ellen Rufus is a youth worker at Duke Street Evangelical Church.