Prayer at St Peter’s Elwick Church of England Primary School
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
To pray is to make our hearts ready to experience the love of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and is a natural and valued part of life at St Peter’s Elwick Church of England Primary School. It is not compulsory or forced and should reflect an individual’s desire to seek a relationship with God. Children are given plentiful opportunities to pray, reflect and be still through both formal and informal contexts.
When children start our school in EYFS, they are given special prayer bags to take home. Prepared by our BIG FISH group, these bags contain our school prayer and prayers written by the children.
Our EYFS pupils learn about the nature of prayer through the use of our prayer bowl where they can offer collaborative or personal prayers. The children learn through teaspoon (TSP) prayers that prayer can be used for praise – to say Thank you for God’s gifts, to repent – to say Sorry when we have made the wrong choice and to say Please when we need God’s help or guidance.
Children from Years 5 and 6 support our EYFS children at lunchtime with social skills and table manners. These children also model prayers of thanks by leading Grace before lunch, thanking God for creating the earth and everything that’s in it.
Our class reflection areas are bespoke to the needs and interests of the children in each class and are changed frequently to reflect these and global events. These areas provide children with a stimulus for prayer and an opportunity to reflect. Our reflection areas remind us that taking the time to be still and reflect is important for our wellbeing and highly valued in our school.
In addition, Rev’d Janet leads KS2 children in structured meditation sessions to support the development of stillness as a way of reflecting and being open to God.
Formal Opportunities for Prayer
Pupils can join in with prayers in whole-school and class worship as well as join in with daily class prayers that are chosen by the children in each class.
Pupils have the opportunity to engage in formal opportunities for prayer in Eucharist services and other services led in school and in church.
Pop Up Prayer Spaces
Our BIG FISH group create Pop-Up Prayer Spaces to inspire our school community and provide opportunities for interactive, lively and engaging opportunities for prayer. Pupils are free to use these spaces in their own time and can seek support from members of BIG FISH if they wish. These spaces, along with our outdoor church, provide further opportunities for pupils to pray in their own time and for whole families to engage.