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In Simple Ideas you will find ideas that should be achievable for any congregation. Immensely practical, but requiring the minimum of time or resources. Ideal for people looking for a good place to begin.


Great ways to serve your school in 2016

There are many ways for Scottish churches to engage with their community and local schools. If you need inspiration for 2016, why not try some of the top ideas offered in 2015?

A great way to get stuck in is getting involved in or setting up an SU Group, aimed at creating a safe place where every pupil is welcomed and respected and where Christian values are modelled.

Alternatively, you can be part of an after school club. There are plenty opportunities such as a sports club or a drama club.

But it is not just the children and young people we can engage with, it is the whole school community. So why not, at the end of another academic year, say thank you with a lovely meal. On the topic of food, how about encouraging a healthy life style by means of a breakfast club encouraging the community to start the day healthy.

Last but certainly not least, we can pray for a school, on our own or as part of a prayer group.  So far over 50% of Scottish schools are registered as prayed for.  We would love to see that number go up in 2016!

For more information on working with a school, go to our Get Started section


Pray for your school!

The start of a new school year marks a good time to support your local school. A great way to serve them is through prayer, asking for God’s blessing on the school, teachers and pupils as well as praying for their needs.

You might worry how praying for a school might be received, but the majority of responses are positive. Head teachers are often moved to think that someone cares enough to pray for them and their work, and praying often leads to local Christians coming forward to serve the local school community in practical ways.

In fact, Pray for Schools Scotland has seen a tremendous increase in schools prayer over the past few years, with over 50% of Scottish schools are now registered as prayed-for. If your school isn't prayed for by anyone else it will be added onto the ever-growing list.

If you plan to pray for a school or if you are already doing so – as an individual, group of parents or as a church - please consider registering with Pray for Schools Scotland. This gives you an opportunity to link with others praying for the same school. You will also receive a Pray for Schools Scotland Update newsletter in September, January and May, giving news, information and stories from others who are praying for their school. 

Tips to get started

  • Find a couple of others who want to pray with you
  • Check the names of your schools on the list, or email the Coordinator directly. It may be that you can join with others already praying.
  • Register with Pray for Schools Scotland.
  • Write/email to your head teacher, informing them that a group of you are praying for the school. Ask for prayer points.
  • Even if the headteacher doesn’t reply, write/email them at the beginning of each term, reminding them that their school is important to you and you are still praying.

It's Your Move

Beginning something new is always a challenge and can often be exciting and scary at the same time.  When you’re just 11 or 12 and are faced with the major change from primary to secondary school, and could be daunted by the prospect, then it isn’t such a bad idea to find out what the new life is going to involve.

Scripture Union (England & Wales) have produced a booklet called It’s your Move which is designed to give Primary 7 children the kind of information that will answer many of the questions they have about going to secondary school. (It's Your Move (Pack of 10) - Your guide to moving to secondary school - £20 available from

The first step is to discuss the opportunity with school management. Be transparent and up front that this booklet is coming from a Christian perspective. Suggest to them that they may wish to inform parents that the booklet will be on offer for children. Once agreed, it would be expected that the Church would supply the books, free of charge, and they could be offered to P7 children on a take-it or leave-it basis. You might also offer to support the school by helping in classes that prepare children for the transition ahead.

Guidance notes on how to run an It's Your Move event in your local school can be downloaded from the SU Scotland website here as well as a programme for a two-hour event.


Supporting a closing school

It is important to recognise that, when supporting a closing school, it is the school building that is closing and not the children’s lives! Carry on with the activities that you lead or help at, and keep building up the relationships you have with teachers and management. Healthy relationships mean that even though the school building is closing, your work is still appreciated and will continue to be appreciated at a different school (hopefully!).

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Office Staff Meal

The office staff are the first point of contact in a school. They provide a welcoming atmosphere and help with numerous queries as well as making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. To show your appreciation of their support you could provide a yearly Office Staff Meal at the Church.   

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Buy a washing machine

In one church, members noticed that children were turning up to school in clothes that looked dirty, and when they asked they realised some families didn’t own a washing machine, and couldn’t afford to go to a laundrette.

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Pray for schools

A great way to support and serve your local school is through prayer. From Shetland to Stranraer people are praying for schools, asking for God’s blessing on them, praying for their needs – and seeing answers to prayer. Pray for Schools Scotland has seen a tremendous increase in schools prayer over the past few years, with around 50% of Scottish schools are now registered as prayed-for. 

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A Church Visit

In the ‘Practices and Traditions’ subsection of the Christianity strand in the Experiences and Outcomes of the RME curriculum in Scotland, you will find:

Through investigating the Christian communities in my local area, I am discovering how Christian communities demonstrate their beliefs through prayer, worship and special ceremonies. I am developing respect for the practices and traditions of others.

A great example of how the local church can assist in this is by offering a chance for pupils to visit the church.

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Paired Reading

Being able to read is something most of us take for granted. However, some children lack the same opportunities and struggle with reading. Paired reading is an activity where a learner and a skilled reader read a text together. The learner takes over reading in sections where he or she feels confident. It is a brilliant opportunity to provide support to children who are struggling with their reading. Adults who can get alongside these children can make a positive impact to their lives by helping them develop this valuable and vital skill.

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"Golden time" helpers

“Golden Time” normally runs in primary schools for around thirty minutes on a Friday afternoon. The pupils are offered a choice of fun activities in return for behaving themselves throughout the week.  The selection available to them varies from school to school but may include such options as baking; playing with construction toys; craft activities or taking part in team games.

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