How we're helping schools when pupils find friendships difficult

Agents of transformational change

The National Society, responsible for over one million pupils in Church of England schools, wants pupils to actively engage with religious education (RE). It believes that by experiencing and exploring values-focused RE, pupils can become agents of transformational change.

Our Barnabas RE Days contribute to this aim for pupils to effect change in their school communities.

A school recently asked Barnabas in Schools' Chris Hudson to explore forgiveness because pupils in Years 3 and 4 were finding friendships difficult.

The head teacher describes the impact that the day had and the difference it made in their school community:

The day helped all the children with their understanding of an abstract concept and gave them practical solutions to showing forgiveness, as well as allowing them time to talk about their personal experiences...

The children felt more confident when faced with a friendship problem as they had strategies to help them. They also were able to accept that it is okay to feel angry or frustrated, but the important thing is knowing how to cope with those feelings.

In addition, by modelling his storytelling skills, linking Bible stories to a theme and involving pupils in the drama of telling these stories, Chris was able to share and showcase techniques with the school’s teachers. This has the added benefit of giving teachers the confidence to bring Christianity alive in the classroom in engaging, new and exciting ways.

Chris Hudson

Helping schools creating a values-focused culture

Jane Butcher (Barnabas in Schools team leader) recently worked with a multi-academy trust to look strategically at its values. Jane worked with a group of nine (involving head teachers, governors, local clergy and the trust's chief executive) to help them think through Christian distinctiveness and values - topics that many schools across the UK today are seeking to explore and address.

Jane drew on a range of Barnabas in Schools’ in-service training (INSET) themes and techniques to structure the day:

  • Our Creating character session provided the opportunity for the group to agree and build its corporate values collectively.
  • Our Collective Worship (also known as ‘assembly’) training and resources were used to put the values into practice and to reflect these values through school life. The group looked at creative and interactive ways that they could take these forward in their contexts.
  • The range of drama and storytelling techniques that Barnabas in Schools uses gives the teachers ways to bring the values to life and illustrate them throughout school life.

The training enabled the team to create their corporate vision and values statement and a plan for implementing it in each school context.

What we offer to schools

As you can see, both our Barnabas RE Days and our INSET training provide powerful ways for pupils, teachers and schools to understand Christianity in the world today and to explore Christian values.

We're so grateful for the prayer and financial support of our donors and supporters who make all this possible.

Explore our work with schools

Image acknowledgements