RE Session Five – Visits and Visitors


Posted by Katie | Posted in Religious Education | Posted on February 13, 2014

The National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) believe that schools should respect the contribution religious visitors have on pupils’ learning. Visitors may present their experiences and ideas from their faith and ask children to think about these ideas from their own point of view. Within the lessons religious visitors are valuable as they engage pupils in the learning task. Visitors may be informative, help to develop children’s understanding and they can challenge children to reflect on their own religious views.

Benefits of having visitors
More informative, realistic, eliminates ignorance, answers questions accurately, improves community cohesion

Issues of having visitors
Funding, not trained, may not link to the curriculum, children may be offensive, parents may remove their children, behaviour management, appropriate language

Considerations when planning for a visitor
Pre-prepared questions, prepare the children, meet with the visitor beforehand, time, cost, politeness

An alternative to having visitors in the school is to take children on a trip to a suitable/ appropriate place of worship within the locality. Therefore, I have created a plan for a visit to Exeter Cathedral.

Before the trip – children will look at key Christian celebrations such as weddings, funerals, christenings and an average service.

During the visit the class will be split into four groups where they will focus on different things such as funerals, christenings, average service and the building. Also, throughout the day the children will be given a visit sheet which contains a list of key features of the cathedral which the children need to find and take a photo of – these photos will be used back at school. Cathedral Visit Sheet

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Funerals Christenings Average Service The Building

The children will go outside and look at the grave stones to find the oldest and youngest people.

The children will look at the baptismal font and then the group will be given time to explore the cathedral.

The children will get the opportunity to look at the prayer mats and the Liturgy.

The children will go outside with a clipboard, paper and pencil and sketch the outside of the building.

After the trip As a class the children will have the opportunity to act out a funeral in a sensitive way, write the obituary and the order of service. This activity will have great cross curricular links with literacy, ICT and drama.

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