In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the national state of emergency, our Anglican Schools have had to adapt and change the way in which they support and educate their young people.
Our Anglican Schools team are connecting with our school chaplains and principals, to offer support and guidance at this time. If you require any resources or assistance, don't hesitate to get in touch.
We will continue to update this webpage over the coming weeks
The illustrator for "The Gruffalo" has worked with various writers to produce a free downloadable book, designed to help you talk through Covid-19 clearly and in a non-scary manner with young people. It's quite a gift - I recommend it!
Sadly there will certainly be students and staff across our schools who lose someone to Covid-19 this year, and may do so at a time when lockdowns have made tangi and funerals impossible. This will bring extra layers of pain to an already grief-laden time. Below is a helpful PDF of advice for getting through such times from the Funeral Directors Association of NZ, which it is important we have on hand to share.
Chapel and Prayer Resources
In this week's "paper chapel service", St Hilda's students are being taken through a letter Paul wrote in lockdown. This rich little document could give you the basis of your own chapel, or even a series of RE lessons. Who brings you joy in isolation? How could we shine like stars in lockdown? There's so much to think about here - have a look for yourself!
How do we stay connected with the students of our school as most remain at home during Level 3? One idea from a chaplain in the US is to set up a virtual prayer wall that students can open each morning and add to easily. She made a video introducing the concept of a prayer wall to them, and showing how it works.
All around the Anglican world, chaplains are dealing with the same issues of using sometimes unfamiliar technology, and seeking ways of promoting inclusion and involvement. Here is a sample of one from an Episocopal School in the USA where students are involved from their own bubbles.
St Paul's Collegiate has started a Youtube channel for the resources they're creating over this time. Peter Rickman's daily services (including Eucharist on Sundays and creative different ideas for each day of the week) are all up there. Be inspired!
After hearing the news that New Zealand go into lockdown in response to Covid-19 coronavirus, Rev. Bosco Peters, Chaplain at Christ's College (Canterbury, NZ) reflected briefly on this for the community where he serves. These thoughts, hopefully, may also be more widely useful. As we increase physical distancing and isolation, let us increase social engagement digitally. Let us pray for one another. Be kind.
As the world goes into lockdown, Emmaus Productions is offering us their video and music resources free: "Resources for Spiritual Comfort and Support." There are resources for both adults and children, with the children's ones focusing on being loved and expressing and dealing with fear. Some beautiful materials here.
As part of this year's "Thy Kingdom Come", they have produced another "Family Prayer Map" but have augmented it with an app which allows you to interact with the map and play games with it. "The app will feature daily games and videos which will all be delivered through innovative augmented reality! Due to the situation around Covid-19 we have re-worked the map so that it is now available in A4 and can be downloaded and printed at home. It will still work with the augmented reality app, whether printed in colour or black and white." It is available for free download on this site.
- Love is stronger than death and fear,
- forgiveness is more powerful than hate,
- and light is more powerful than darkness
When students are being bombarded with online-everythings, perhaps guiding them through a quiet service they can follow on a piece of paper is the way to go. Have a look at the wealth of ideas Gillian fits into one service here on "hope".
Sarah King prepared a prayer booklet and pack of activities for the Primary school - in the nick of time to be handed out on Monday before school finished. Attached is that resource, and she is very happy for anyone to use it for their own school.
"While many things have been cancelled because of the coronavirus, love is not one of them ..."
In this lovely service, Gillian Townsley guides her students through remembrance of the mosque shootings, and acknowledgement of anxiety surrounding Covid-19, tying them together in terms of love and community.
Strandz have produced a copy of a beloved Night Prayer, from A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa. Great for pupils to print out and read before bed, particularly if they are anxious or worried.
There is an online version of A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa which you may like to use, if taking chapel services or lessons over Zoom. You can share your screen and use the website as a template for worship.
Bible Society and Manna Christian Stores have prepared a range of free digital resources for you, to help you find God’s comfort and peace in these uncertain times.
These include a free copy of their Kiwi Audio Gospel of Mark, weekday Bible reflections, the Bible 2020 app, and activities to do with the children. Also a great little film on hope.
“Engage Worship” is a website worth checking regularly. This year they have a range of resources up for Palm Sunday and Holy Week that could be used in online services, or in the home. They include videos of songs specific to the theme of each day, interactive readings, prayer stations, illustrated or visual readings, and a Lent Family Journal with suggestions for a meal together and footwashing.
Jennifer Macleod has created this simple but effective resource for your chapel space as students start to return to school. She writes, "This is a sheet that I will use to provide a 'drop in' space in the Chapel. I will print it on sheets of different coloured paper, chop them into quarters, and have them available in the Chapel with some blue-tack. The idea is that students can come in, choose as many as they feel like, write their thoughts/feelings, and blue-tack them up on the wall. This is to give them a chance to reflect and express what's going on for them."
Diana Langdon put this great little film together to help explain to young people what's happening with church during the lockdown. It could easily be used to think about chapel during lockdown - and it's a joy to watch in any case!
"For every complex question there is an answer which is clear, simple, and wrong." We've likely all heard that quote, and it is particularly apt when we think of the question of reconciling belief in God with the world's suffering. Here is a sermon in which Gerald Morris grapples with ways of approaching this deep question. There may be some ideas there to help your own thinking through how to talk about the question with your students.
What do we say to our students and staff in chapel talks or online assemblies over this time? It might be a good chance to think about how our values are embedded in our Christian faith, and what a difference that makes. Go to our Values page on this website, and look particularly at the "Bible verses and reflections" under "hope," "courage and confidence," and "resilience" for ideas on what we can say to bring God's hope, faith and love into isolation and uncertainty.
With everyone being a bit overdosed on screens, The Prayer Collective has designed a beautiful set of prayers and homes-based activities for Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day that can be downloaded and used away from the screen.
Lesley at St Matthew's, Masterton, is preparing "DIY" chapel services for students at home, and sending them out through their school app. See how she's managing this here.
This page contains prayers and intercessions for personal or group use, special prayers for use if it isn’t possible to meet in church, and a simple form of prayer for the morning and evening, which can be downloaded, printed, and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.
Jennifer Macleod is seeking ways of helping her students process all that has happened as they return to school. Of this resources, she writes: "This is a sheet I will use in my RE classes. I will get them to write rather than type as the evidence is that we do process better this way (even those in the 'technology-native' younger generation). My experience with a reflection like this is to be adaptable. Let it be humorous (lockdown words: bubble-buddy, curve-crusher, unprecedented); let parts be private if students want; let it be flexible (if you don't have pets, did you have any teddies in your window?). I will then ask them to share with their neighbours some things from their sheet - remembering to listen well and to respect others' privacy."
The "Sparkhouse" resources are normally difficult to access from NZ, as they only post to US addresses. But from now until Trinity Sunday, they are producing a weekly "Sunday School at Home" downloadable set of worksheets and activities and video which could be used selectively either for RE or chapel.
Vanessa Gamack works for Anglican Schools in Brisbane, and is a tireless producer of resource ideas for primary RE. Here are a bundle of ideas she's put together on gratitude over this time.
In response to COVID-19, the BibleProject are sending out weekly resources to help some ways facilitate Jesus-centered conversations at home.
Each weekly email includes BibleProject videos, some suggested Scripture readings that focus on the ideas explored in the video, and discussion questions for each Scripture reading that could be used for a group conversation or personal reflection.
We are almost certainly all aware of the resources that Illustrated Ministry makes available: beautiful, intricate opportunities to pray as we colour together. Over this Covid-19 period they are making their weekly resources available free of charge: a great opportunity to try them out.
The National Association of Religious Education (UK) is making its resources available free over this period. At the moment some videos are blocked, due to BBC constraints, but we're working at getting that fixed! This is remarkable opportunity to make use of their huge range of resources.
The Philosophy Man is making his 100 short discussion-starter "Spots and Stripes" videos available free over this time. Each poses a thought-provoking philosophical question, and leaves it open for discussion (in the classroom or the home). Click on the link below for the youtube channel, and here for instructions on using them.
The "B Kinder" website has a range of resources, but right now is offering free activity sheets on kindness and hope. There are three different activity sheets designed for the following age groups:
Sunflowers and Rainbows 5 – 7 years
Hope and Acceptance 8 – 10 years
The Bigger Picture 11 – 14 years
Each of the activity sheets comes in three parts which will be made available free over the coming months.
If you'd like to get your students digging deeper into some tricky questions, perhaps with their own families and "bubbles", this link will take you to a resource which will grow over the next couple of weeks. It provides ideas for thinking about freedom (a pertinent issue during Covid-19 restrictions) and - soon - grace. You can use it for complete, short lessons, or to supplement other lessons, or as at-home activities for students to lead with their bubbles.
Gillian Townsley suggests: Journaling is a great idea anytime, but it is especially useful when you are anxious, uncertain, confused, or you just need to write about the incredible period of history in which you are living so your grandchildren will have a record of all this!! Here are some good ideas and prompts to help you do some journaling while we are in isolation ...
The Fuller Youth Institute has a number of resources that are worth checking out, and the most recent blog post on naming loss and gratitude could be a helpful exercise. Find it here. There is also a 4 week high school curriculum on faith in an anxious world which could be useful for ideas now, and for lessons when students return to school.