Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Don't keep history a mystery

The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year is "Don't keep history a mystery?" Resources can be found at Reconciliation Australia. But what is National Reconciliation Week?

These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. 
  National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

 Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Check out the website for more information.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A Passion for Proverbs

Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise. Proverbs 6:6

I am always excited and delighted when I hear that Chaplains and religious educators are discussing Proverbs with their students. 

It is a wonderful way to open discussions on wisdom, making choices, ethics and values. Proverbs encourage deep thinking and reflection and can be absolutely transformative in the lives of our students.

Martin Luther was famous for the discussions he had with friends and students and these discussions and topics are collected in the book, Table Talk. Maybe we could foster the same great style of discussion in our schools through the use of Proverbs?

Imagine if you could get your entire school thinking about Proverbs?

The discussions and debate would foster deep critical thinking and powerful learning. Try asking your students to think about the difference between being smart and being wise.

Proverbs can help us with relationships, our behaviour and more. Study a selection of Proverbs and see where the discussion leads. 

  • Bless others with compliments: Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24) 
  • Learn to control desires: A Man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)
  • Hold your tongue: Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 29:20)

Have a look at the videos included, but think about how appropriate they are for your students. 

And of course - it is always great to end with a song!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Aim Lower

In this year of Generations Together, we are challenged to connect across the generations. It is often the case that in the Church, we love our youngest people but sometimes we don’t always realise their importance in the life of the church or our school community. We may adore the little children, but are we truly empowering them and meeting their needs.
If you need to think a little more deeply about the significance of our children in the church family, have a look at this website.

If you haven’t spent much time on this website, then at least take the time to look at the video for 5.22 minutes. The motto of Aim Lower is ‘serving together until every child discovers Jesus’.

What a wonderful way for all Anglican schools to look at their roles. While we may often be in competition over sporting accolades, debating matters or OP scores, surely we are united in our desire to serve the children in our care and let them know the story of the Gospel.

Why not open the discussion about empowering our students at your school? You may not wish to join the movements around the world looking at ways to help children encounter Jesus Christ, but why not invite your schools and students to join the conversation within your own community?

1for50 is a global grassroots movement that equips local leaders around the world to impact the next generation for Christ. Children are the future, but they are also the present. 1for50 encourages us to imagine the possibilities of empowering our children.

Perhaps use this as an introduction to a Unit on the Great Commission.

 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Lesson Opener – in Circle Time, ask your students to share one really good thing that happened to them – sharing a little good news with friends! Why do we like to share good news? How do we feel when we hear good news?

Open the dialogue with your students. Let them do a Think Pair Share based on questions such as:-
  Why should we tell other children about Jesus?
  How can learning about Jesus empower us or make our lives any better?

For deeper thinking, why not let your class debate the topic; “All children need to be told about Jesus Christ.” Use proper QDU rules and maybe have teams swap sides after each debate. Encourage your students to think of their own debate topics.

Now for great fun, set up a great Dominoes activity to show students the idea of passing on stories, connecting with others and sharing the Good News.

There are so many great YouTube videos to show the students how to do this – but don’t forget to let the students create their own dominoes display and explain the meaning. Such creative fun. Enjoy. Remember to film the students' efforts to watch with them later!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

What do trick shots in basketball have to do with glorifying God?

I was recently reminded of a favourite YouTube sensation that the boys in my class loved called Dude Perfect.

These young men are incredibly talented, creative and funny but what sets them truly apart is their purpose in life. Their aim is to glorify God.

“Obviously when that first ball swished, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we believe that nothing happens by accident, that God’s given us this platform for a reason, and that we have an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of countless others all around the globe. Above all else, our ultimate goal is to glorify Jesus Christ in everything that we do. We want to use this platform for something much bigger than us.”

Why not show your students some of their videos and open up a discussion about ways to serve God?

This might be useful if you are teaching about creativity, resilience, commitment, or determination.

Just as a warning – look at the YouTube before you show your class because they are from the US where hunting is more common and some do feature guns and shooting. Choose age appropriate content for your students. Try Real Life Trick Shots or World Record Edition.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Big Little Easter Story

Here's a great idea leading up to Easter, to get the artistic juices flowing  with your students.  

A few years ago, St Paul's Arts in NZ, a kids club attached to an Anglican Church, posted this video with instructions for an art installation designed to get people reflecting on the meaning of Easter.

They challenged people to make dioramas that depicted the results of their reflections, and displayed these at the Church over Easter.

The 86 second video shows how easy it is to inspire people of all skill levels to be a part of this task.  

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Easter Chapel Videos for Primary

Looking for videos for chapel or RE to use before Holy Week. Here are some that might be useful for Primary Schools students. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A Space of Grace in Your School

In this year of Generations Together, we can be encouraged to reach out to different people in a way that maybe we not have thought about before.

The idea of Radical Hospitality for the Rest of Us is perhaps something we could use to engage our students. Radical Hospitality is about creating acceptance and belonging in our church congregations but this could be so easily used to inspire students in a school.

I was so moved last week by the story of some students in one of our schools extending friendship through the sharing of garlic bread. This was an initiative led by the students.

Why not share this video with your students and then look at the ideas for action that follow?

Imagine the power of welcoming your students in to God’s love and the kingdom family and then using the idea of ‘paying it forward’ to encourage those students to welcome others in to their group.

Hospitality in Greek is Philoxenia - loving or taking responsibility for a stranger – and that is what it meant in the ancient world. How could we show hospitality today in our schools and our communities?