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Nursery Teacher In Catholic School


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Hello everyone,

 

I am looking for a bit of advice again and hope you will be able to help.

 

I am starting in a Catholic school (nursery) in September and wondered if any of you have had a similar dilemma?

How do you explain the idea of God to such young children? I also know none of them are actually Catholics(!) so won't have any prior knowledge.

There is a lovely scheme in place with quite specific lesson plans very suited to the age range but as I have to use prayers regularly I wanted them to have some idea of who they were talking to.

 

I'm conscious of approaching it correctly and sensitively. I have worked in Church schools before from reception age and taught RE, led assemblies etc but this seems different.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

Thanks !

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Hi we start from

 

'welcome' - myself and my family (God's Wonderful World)

 

my school family/parish/church (harvest and sharing taking the gifts to our senior citizens club who meet in the school hall)and the nativity which involves travelling, getting excited waiting for the baby to arrive etc.

 

Who loves us? How do we know when love is shown?

 

Our extended family (grandparents, cousins etc we have an afternoon tea for our parents usually when we are fund raising for our Lentern charity so it's about welcoming other people into our school. Talking about helping other people in the world

 

Then we go onto Baptism and Welcome to God's Family where we have a class Baptism in church with a party afterwards.

in the final half term the focus is 'The Bible' and Bible stories.

 

That's just off the top of my head if you want some more info I will bring my RE file home tomorrow. We make prayer books which Father likes and he puts them on the Sanctary steps for the parishoners to look at. Learn our School Prayer, The Hail Mary and Our Father and other 'child Friendly prayers - 'Dear God, Thank you for a lovely morning' type of thing. We have a scheme which has some songs to learn and powerpoints to watch about a little boy and his family.

 

it is a good way to ask parents to bring things into school - photos, Baptism gifts etc and we invite them into nursery to listen to our songs and prayers. It's not a 'heavy' syllabus it's a really enjoyable part of our learning and involves role play, craft and lots of other areas of dev.

 

Cath

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Hi Cath,

 

Thanks so much for your response, lots of much appreciated advice!

 

Your 'scheme' sounds similar to ours, September is new beginnings, so babies, new life etc. Like yours the suggested activities sound relevant and fun but I'm still hung up on how you explain to them someone who loves and cares for you that they can't see or speak to (as in a regular conversation).

 

I have aired my concerns at school and think I may just have to go with the flow a bit, but it doesn't sit easy! Also, they're having an RE inspection early Autumn so doubly don't want to be rubbish! Oh well, I'll add it to my list of things to improve........

 

Cheers Cath, no doubt will pick your brains again,

 

x

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It does seem a bit unusual that a whole cohort of children in a faith school are not of the faith the school is part of! However parents who wish to have a church ethos for their child may well be church goers in their own faith so children's ideas of god and prayer may not be as limited as imagined...........

 

Cx

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Good morning!

 

The idea of not seeing someone you talk to is difficult and having part of the responsibility of helping the children develop their beliefs is quite onerous. Most of our families are church attenders and we are next to the church and can have the key to take the children in whenever we want to (so that they can explore the different areas without Mass being on). We talk about a God who loves us , who makes wonderful creatures (even the one we don't like). I think that's why we all tend to start at 'ourselves' and 'families' and then the 'parish/community' - like rings on a pond and loving everyone is God. I think with little ones it's the theme of love and caring and welcome, nature and the world - maybe citizenship which are the concrete aspects that the children can 'understand' and if you talk about God naturally he will become part of this understanding. Like I say our prayers are very simple and our scheme wants the children to have 'quiet times'. I will write the other 'objectives later when I have the scheme in front of me.

 

I love theology! as a Catholic I don't have a problem believing in God and we talk about him like you would someone who lived in another country - before the internet, skype etc. There is always the debate about 'indoctrination' but any school who shows children the importance of love , care, respect and community by the way they react to each other is doing what a God of any religion would want.

 

Cath

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There's a lovely book called 'Always Near Me' by Susie Poole that is based on Psalm 139 but is very much written for preschool+ children that might help with this. It talks all about God, who he is and has one bit that says something like 'Just like the wind you are all around me... this is very hard to understand' which I think sums it up well! It's really really lovely and her other books are gorgeous too.

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