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"The good provision for pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is seen within the wide range of experiences offered. During the inspection, pupils were observed taking up the opportunities offered by the prayer room, run by members of the local church. There is a great deal of evidence of the wide range of cultural experiences enjoyed by all pupils."OFSTED Inspector (Oxfordshire)

It helped me let go of the pressure I was holding in.

In October 2020, PAIS Wigan ran a prayer space for year 7 pupils at a local high school. Despite the challenge of being in the middle of a pandemic, the team - Leonie and Chiara - were able to run the prayer space in year group/class bubbles. They divided each class across 2 classrooms and were able to run a Covid safe prayer space across the two rooms.

The team chose 5 different prayer activities to help pupils reflect on big questions, what they are thankful for, to help them process and let go of worries (they adapted the 'Fizzy Forgiveness' activity for this) and to consider how they can practically show kindness to those around them. Aware of the reality of anxiety in the midst of the pandemic, Leonie and Chiara laminated some prayers for anxiety and made them available for pupils could take home with them if they chose to.

“You don’t always think that [the pupils] will engage, but after a while, you see them changing and starting to engage and ask provoking questions. The kids didn’t want to go, they really enjoyed the time.” - The PAIS Wigan Team

“It helped me let go of the pressure I was holding in, and made me feel relaxed and at peace knowing I was safe.” - Year 7 Pupil

“It was a really good way to settle down, and appreciate everything around you, the cultures and other peoples religions.” - Year 7 Pupil

“I got to get out all of my feelings.” - Year 7 Pupil

The feedback across the year group was resoundingly positive, and Leonie and Chiara were invited back the following week to run a prayer space for Year 8 pupils.

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Posted on 21st January 2021

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