Curriculum links

Schemes of work will be in place for each year group and these will identify possible parish church / clergy input. It is important that both school and clergy are aware of expected outcomes and that it is a quality learning experience for the pupils. Individual school schemes of work will depend on which RE syllabus the school is following. Clergy should seek to understand the context of the lesson involving the church within the larger scheme of work.

It is important that the church community is seen as a living and relevant expression of faith, and not simply as a place of historical interest. Social history can be discovered on the gravestones, in the registers and in the names and occupations of benefactors. Particular areas of history e.g. the Victorians, might lend themselves to specific study according to the age of the church. Local disasters,  e.g. pit disasters and how the parish was affected by wartime can also receive an added dimension if studied from the viewpoint of the church community.

Geography / Global Education
Many churches have global links and support famine and drought areas of the world. It is equally important not to stereotype countries and to see the richness of other communities. Many churches can offer insights here, as can members of the diocesan education team.

British Values
The Church of England is the ‘Established Church’ of this country and has the Queen at its head. It has a ‘parliament’ called the General Synod as well as local and regional areas of leadership. Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and respect for those of all faiths and none are relevant to 21st century Church life. Comparisons can be made between the national government and the existence of General Synod. If it is considered that education is about helping people understand how things work and how to challenge and change them for the better, then there is scope for curriculum development in this area. For older pupils there is a possible link with the concept and challenge of liberation theology.

Many churches are beautiful buildings and all will hold some form of symbolism within them. This might be through altar frontals, vestments, banners, carving, architecture, the shape of furniture or stained glass windows. Art of different ages can often be seen and styles can be compared. Consider linking the colour of the church season with the ‘mood’ the season remembers.

The church makes an excellent maths classroom. Area, circumference, symmetry, problem solving (e.g. if the summer fair has to be held indoors and we have stalls requiring particular space how can they be fitted in –remembering people need space and there need to be health and safety! Times tables (6 pews hold 6 people and 10 pews hold 8 people…  etc!). The height of the tower and the weight of the bells are better found in reality than text book. From the concept of the spiral staircase to the attempt to ’balance the books’ (i.e. the costs of running the building and grounds and the need for priorities in spending) the possibility for a maths project in the church building are endless.

Create a church magazine or web page. What would need to be included? What would the priorities be and why? Create a plan of the church  / churchyard
English: Different styles of writing. A church is an inspirational place for creative writing, be it story or poetry. It also needs to put in bids for fundraising, so factual and persuasive writing is vital. It needs to create friendly newsletters and send information to newspapers, some informing of forthcoming events and some reporting on events that have happened. Imagining the different roles of people who have been heavily involved in the church in the past can be used to both creative and factual effect with the use of archive material, conversation with parishioners and other research.

In many churches the acoustics are wonderful. Hear and experience the difference between singing in school and singing in the church. If the local church is fortunate enough to still have an organ, arrange a special visit to hear the different sounds and experience the range of emotions it can create. Why might this be important in a church building or in worship? How does music affect the mood and emotion of the individual?
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