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'8 Journeys' Start at Sarum

by Michael Ford last modified 01 Jul, 2015 10:51 AM

After years of work, a new RE resource for teachers and children's workers was launched by authors Barbara Meardon and Verity Holloway at Sarum College recently.

'8 Journeys' Start at Sarum

Jenny Monds with Barbara Meardon and Verity Holloway

A small crowd gathered as Barbara and Verity launched '8 Bible-themed Journey Days' at the event, hosted by Jenny Monds of Sarum College Bookshop.

Gallery here 

Verity began introducing the book by speaking of her growing awareness of the need for stillness in the course of busy lives, and asking: "How can we introduce children to the idea of 'the Journey' in the Bible?"

Barbara talked of her research on why many teachers were reluctant to teach RE in Primary Schools, including teacher interviews and trial runs in classrooms.

She remarked, "What the teachers found out was that the children were teaching them, and that, actually - just having given the children the chance for thinking and questioning and creative learning - then it's easy to do the teaching."

Both authors spoke of the cross-curricular nature of the material, with strong elements of Science and Maths, and ran a brief sample activity using art as a stimulus, with the group looking at Pentecost-themed pictures.

During the Q&A afterwards, one questioner asked, "How do teachers who aren't from a faith background respond to the material?"

Barbara replied: "It's really important that what they liked about the material was that it supported them... The teacher doesn't have to know the answer, they just have to be able to let the children ask the questions."

Another questioner asked, "It seems to me that this could easily cross over into a church context... Would it need a lot of tweaking?"

Barbara said: "This model of 'walking together' is something we feel very passionate about... If you took the material and just put it into a discipleship process, if somebody who was leading had done it before, I think they wouldn't have to do very much with it at all!"

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