Many schools follow a programme of key values throughout the school year. These values can be an important framework for helping to define and validate the work of the school ‘beyond the curriculum’. Each value can be used as the theme for collective worship, the focus for classroom reflection and the subject matter for main hall or quiet corner displays.
The Bible has so much to offer in this area of positive personal, relational and community values, and its timeless wisdom can help all schools pass on to the next generation the qualities of life that are most valuable and which, as Christians, we believe are not only God-given but also can be God-energised in our lives.
What follows is a series of ideas linked to the value of ‘Caring‘.
It includes: key themes to explore, a key Bible verse to use, key concepts to unpack, ideas for displays and reflective corners, as well as Bible story links with further connections to material on the Barnabas websites.
- Key themes to explore
Caring for ourselves – keeping safe, keeping healthy, keeping fit, keeping prayerful
Caring for others – pets, friends, all members of the school community (staff and children), visitors, neighbours, others in the outside community
Caring for our world – the environment, the neighbourhood, the school, the classroom, the earth and its harvest
Caring for those in need – homeless (caring charities), the sick (hospital or hospice care), the bereaved (care groups), the lonely (community care) and the elderly (care homes)
- Key Bible verses
Jesus gives the great commandments in Mark 12:29-31:
Jesus said, ‘The most important commandments are… love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength… and love others as much as you love yourselves’ (= love God, love your neighbour and love yourself) (my paraphrase).
See also The Message version of this passage.
- Key concepts to unpack
Caring for someone or something else is part of becoming the best we can be.
By focusing our care on another person/animal, we become better people.
Caring turns us from self-absorption into a healthier ‘me’.
Children are introduced to the idea of caring through:
- caring for a pet
- caring for a baby brother or sister
- caring for a friend
- caring for their own room
- Display and reflective corner ideas
Collect together pictures of pets; some friendly faces and friendship pictures; some lonely people pictures; an untidy bedroom; an unkempt garden; a messy classroom; a crying baby.
Use handprints to be a connecting theme in the display because our hands are one of the most important ways we can show care for others: through handshakes and hugs; a hand on someone’s shoulder when they’re upset; holding the door open for someone; lifting up some heavy shopping for someone; or by picking up litter somewhere; and helping someone over the road.
Key questions to have on the display:
Who do you care for? Who cares for you? Who needs some care today? How many ways can you show that you care? How will your hands show that you care?
Invite ideas to be written on hand shapes to be left near the display.
Include pictures of the caring professions possibly – nurses, doctors, police, and so on.
Have the Bible open up at the Bible story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10.
- Bible story links
- The creation stories in which God gives human beings the job of caring for the world – see Genesis 1: 27-30 and 2:15. This is the idea of stewardship and caring.
- The story of David and Mephibosheth, who was Jonathan’s son with a disability – see 2 Samuel 9:1-13. This is the idea of kindness and caring.
- Jesus gives the great commandments in Mark 12:29-31, which is care towards God, others and ourselves; this is followed by the story of the Good Samaritan – see Luke 10:25-37. Who should we care for? The story suggests that it is anyone in need, even our worst enemy.
- Jesus calms the storm – see Mark 4:35-41. The disciples call out to Jesus, ‘Don’t you care?’ Caring means doing something to show it is real.
- Charity caring – collecting money for others in need is seen in 2 Corinthians 9. This has some links to harvest too. It defines this caring as doing ‘good things for others’ (verse 8, CEV).
Ideas for collective worship and the classroom