RE with Soul theme days offer a perfect opportunity for Primary Schools to extend RE with Soul learning processes through, for example involving professional Christian artists in working in partnership with pupils, staff, parents and local church members.
Consider jointly planning an RE theme day with your local church and discuss what opportunities there might be to create artwork either for the local church or overseas Companion Link community. Pupils are able to engage in these live relationships through contributing artwork to the local or overseas community adding depth, purpose and meaning to the overall learning process and experience of RE, helping them gain deeper insight into the impact of beliefs on actions and relationships.
For example: Blair Peach Primary School’s theme day for ‘Water of Life’ – Creating stained glass window designs for Lichinga church,Mozambique.
This involved pupils working with Emma Blount, a London-based stained glass artist, on the creation of designs for stained glass windows on the theme of Baptism, as a response to the brief from Lichinga church.
- Click here to hear Emma Blount talking about the value of enabling Christian artists to contribute to the RE with Soul learning experience.
- Click here for a gallery of images documenting this project work.
Throughout the creative process pupils returned to the key questions:
- How can we love our neighbours as ourselves through creating the window designs?
- What difference will the message of the window designs make to the congregation in Lichinga?
Creative Communication of theology and beliefs
Considering how theological concepts are communicated visually in churches for example stained glass windows as an expression of worship and teaching tool, formed the transition from learning about the theology of water and baptism to undertaking the extended creative reflection, in the form of the designs for the stained glass windows.
Discussion on the theme of water in Christianity flowed through the response to the brief for Lichinga, which was based around the pupils question: How can we design our banner to communicate the message about water in Christianity to church in Lichinga?
Decisions were made about how the five window designs could cohere whilst each concept could be individually expressed. Pupils drew their ideas from window designs from Emma Blount’s stained glass designs.
Using stained glass techniques pupils then visualised their ideas individually and collectively in their small groups inspired by Jesus’s example and what it means in the world. Reflective questions were given to each group to further challenge their thinking skills as they refined their design work.