“There is no doubt that this was an extremely valuable day”
One of the teachers invited us to run a prayer space in her school, she’d recently visited a prayer space we’d run in another school. We of course wanted to work with her as best we could to provide the space for students. We decided that we wouldn’t be able to facilitate a whole school space but would offer a prayer space to the year 6 leavers with the prayer space being designed to encourage students to reflect on the transition to secondary school.
We gathered volunteers from The local Methodist Church, the Church in Wales and Christian Organisation ‘Gobaith Mon’. Gaining Gobaith Mon’s assistance provided familiar faces and an introduction to the team before the pupils move to Secondary school, this was very valuable.
The students engaged well with the prayer space, like with any new activity it took some longer than others to settle but the overall engagement was really encouraging. The opportunity to sit quietly with their own thoughts was really valued by the students. Although the space was primarily for personal reflection some children independently invited volunteers into conversation about how they were feeling about some situations.
When students arrived at the prayer space they placed a token on an emoji depending on which one resonated with them that day, we repeated this again at the end of the session. This activity helped us to gage how the prayer space affected their mood/emotions. 30 students arrived and chose what we would label as a negative emotion (Nervous, sad, angry, anxious, worried) but when exiting the space there were only 13 who had this type of emotion. Compared to 29 entering in a positive emotion (Hopeful, Excited, Happy, Calm, Courageous, Relaxed) and 43 exiting in a positive emotion. Showing the value students found in the space.
The prayer space was invaluable and was reported to have helped the children with anxieties and their feelings of loss through bereavement.
Here’s some feedback:
- “It gave me time to think”
- “I enjoyed the time to think about the bad things that can be fixed”
- “I enjoyed this session because it gave me time alone with my thoughts”
- “I enjoyed being relaxed and calm by writing my thoughts on a piece of paper to send to God”
“Thank you so much for yesterday's prayer space. I have received extremely positive feedback, including references to the benefit for individual pupils who are experiencing anxiety or have experienced bereavement. There is no doubt that this was an extremely valuable day and we would be delighted to welcome the team back in the future.”
Kirsty Williams, Prayer Space Coordinator