“The calm and quiet environment allowed children to feel safe and open up to their emotions."
During May we had the honour to host a prayer space at St Mary’s Primary School. The space allowed the children to think, reflect or pray around several topics and was set up with a variety of activities to guide them.
To avoid the space becoming to busy classes were divided into two groups, whilst one group visited the prayer space the other stayed in the classroom where they completed an activity. The activity enabled the children to explore how we are all unique, that we all look different and we have distinct likes and dislikes. It was explained to the children that we have fingerprints and these are unique to each individual. The children could then place their finger- print on a piece of card and collect the fingerprints of their peers.
The children really enjoyed the prayer space and engaged with the activities around the room. One teacher commented that it would have been nicer if the children could have had more time in the space. Another said, “The calm and quiet environment allowed children to feel safe and open up to their emotions and to feel confident enough to participate in the session.”
The children thought the space was “amazing”, with some commenting that it was peaceful. The engagement with activities varied from group to group showing a diversity in preference towards the choices available. We had Fizzy Forgiveness, Sorry Sand, Thank You, Mirrors, Global Prayers, Prayer Wall and Be Still. All the children that visited participated in some form. One child was able to share their extensive knowledge of countries by identifying countries from around the world on the map.
The prayer space that was set up in the Year One hub and was visited by all the children at the school including those with additional needs and for who English is an additional language. On Friday we were able to welcome in the parents as they picked their children up from school, it was wonderful to see children so eager to share with their parents what they had been up too over the two days. One parent said, “I was so delighted this afternoon when my 5 year old son came home with the "prayer spaces in schools" leaflet.”
Lois Blakely, prayer space host.