SERVING THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Building a relationship that serves the whole school community.
A PRAYER SPACE IS FOR LIFE... NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS, OR EASTER, OR EXAM-TIME, etc.
Prayer spaces work best when they’re not one-off events, but part of the ongoing spiritual and pastoral life of a school, part of (and sometimes a catalyst for) an ongoing rhythm of involvement in assemblies, subject lessons and lunchtime or after-school clubs, etc. Our aim is to encourage more local churches and Christian communities to partner with, or ‘adopt’, their local schools, to serve and support the spiritual life of the whole school community.
Consider what local links you already have. If you are part of a local church or a Christian organisation, do you know any of the school staff? Do any of the students, or their parents, attend your church events? Do you know any of the school Governors? Are any local churches or Christian organisations already involved in the life of the school? Always work with these existing relationships if you can. Maybe you could arrange to meet with these people first and ask their advice about how to approach the school leadership team?
MEETING WITH THE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM: THINGS TO TAKE
When you arrange a meeting with the school, it’s likely to be with the Head teacher, the Head of R.E., or maybe some of the school’s Senior Leadership Team. Think carefully about what will be best to take along with you - here are some suggestions;
- A few Prayer Spaces in School brochures. You can get these by contacting our team.
- Copies of the relevant Prayer Spaces in Schools Education Guides.
- Copies of any relevant Prayer Spaces in Schools Good Practice documents or Policy guides (see webpage footer).
- An iPad/tablet with the Prayer Spaces in Schools promo video, or YouTube videos from other local schools or similar schools where prayer spaces have taken place, or videos of Head teachers or senior staff from other schools talking about prayer spaces.
- A couple of print-outs of story-reports from prayer spaces.
- Contact details of staff or Head teachers from other local schools or from similar schools where prayer spaces have taken place.
- A short, single-page summary proposal for how the prayer space could work, who would be involved, and maybe some suggestions for how it could be followed-up.
MEETING WITH THE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM: THINGS TO TALK ABOUT
If the meeting is positive, and the school are keen to work towards their first prayer space, it’s important to try and agree some of the key details - here are some suggestions:
- The dates and duration of the prayer space. One day? One week? You'll need a few weeks to recruit a good team and to plan everything well.
- The room, or the room options. How and when this will be decided? The room you are given will probably influence what prayer activities you use, and the size of team you’ll need. The sooner you know this, the better.
- The general format. Will the prayer space be open during break and lunchtimes only, or will there be a series of classes coming to the prayer space for their lesson times? If classes will be coming to the prayer space for their lessons, is there any expectation that the team will deliver particular content to any of the classes?
- Themes and content. Are there any key themes that the school would like the prayer space to include (e.g. exam stress, hopes and ambitions, forgiveness)? Are there any seasonal themes that could shape the style and content of the prayer space?
- The team. What policies, guidelines and other expectations will the team need to be aware of and prepared for (e.g. DBS, safe guarding)?
In preparation for these conversations with the school, you might find it helpful to watch some of the keynote presentations from our 2013 and 2014 Day Conferences, where our speakers included the Editor of RE Today, a senior Ofsted Inspector and an ex-Head teacher.