Creating displays for school events, R.E. days and prayer spaces
Ideas for those starting out...
Schools are cluttered places! Books, equipment, displays, current projects, children's work, water bottles... the list can appear endless.
Transforming areas around the school into places for reflective storytelling events, prayer stations and R.E. days can appear to take more time and money than most people possess.
I have learnt over the years to keep things simple and cheap!
Events need to be set up quickly, usually after school one day and before school the next. Neither school nor church have much money to spare so we have built up our resources over the years.
Working with the space
Our school is lucky to have several group rooms of varying sizes and we adapt these for the storytelling events.
These are offered to one class at a time and the children are divided into groups of 10 - 12 children, who rotate around the different areas.
The group rooms are also all situated in the same part of the school, so we are able to move quickly between the different areas.
The picture above shows one of the group rooms in its original state, while the picture on the right shows the same room set up to tell the story of the Centurion at Jesus's crucifixion.
We have used cloths and screens to hide most of the clutter and moved the tables away from the focus. The chairs were stacked and covered with cloths. We try to take down the wall displays, though at times this is too lengthy a task and it isn't always possible to cover them up.
The R.E. days involve the whole school, divided into five groups with around 30 children in each. This is too many for most of the group rooms so we have to use other areas of the school as well - including the hall and the outside area as well as the classrooms.
It isn't possible to transform the whole classroom so we tend to create a focus for the children to face while we tell the story or introduce the activities.
The picture above shows this KS1 classroom as it usually is.
The picture on the right shows the same room set up for an R.E. day on the Holy Spirit - in this case the fruit of the Spirit.
We used this small area within the classroom as a focus, with a variety of green cloths, an artificial tree and real fruit!
We have got more confident about using the outside, despite concerns about the weather! (So far R.E. days have included rain, the hottest day of the year and generally dull and chilly!)
Mostly we do not change the outside environment but in this case for Created World we set up areas for ice, desert, mountain, grassland, sea, water and jungle!