20th December 2018
One of the teachers invited us to run a prayer space in her school, she’d recently visited a prayer space we’d run in another school. We of course wanted to work with her as best we could to provide the space for students. We decided that we wouldn’t be able to facilitate a whole school space but would offer a prayer space to the year 6 leavers with the prayer space being designed to encourage students to reflect on the transition to secondary school.
We gathered volunteers from The local Methodist Church, the Church in Wales and Christian Organisation ‘Gobaith Mon’. Gaining Gobaith Mon’s assistance provided familiar faces and an introduction to the team before the pupils move to Secondary school, this was very valuable.
The students engaged well with the prayer space, like with any new activity it took some longer than others to settle but the overall engagement was really encouraging. The opportunity to sit quietly with their own thoughts was really valued by the students. Although the space was primarily for personal reflection some children independently invited volunteers into conversation about how they were feeling about some situations.
When students arrived at the prayer space they placed a token on an emoji depending on which one resonated with them that day and then we repeated this at the end of the session. This activity helped us to see how the prayer space affected their mood and emotions. Thirty students chose a negative emotion at the start but when leaving only thirteen students chose this type of emotion. Twenty-nine students chose a positive emotion at the beginning and forty-three chose this type of emotion at the end. It was encouraging to see how the students found the space to be valuable.
The prayer space was invaluable and was reported to have helped the children with anxieties and their feelings of loss through bereavement.
Here’s some feedback:
“Thank you so much for yesterday’s prayer space. I have received extremely positive feedback, including references to the benefit for individual pupils who are experiencing anxiety or have experienced bereavement. There is no doubt that this was an extremely valuable day and we would be delighted to welcome the team back in the future.”