RE workshops

Storytelling and interactive workshops to support teaching Christianity in RE for EYFS, KS1 & KS2

I offer a range of storytelling and hands-on workshops to support teaching Christianity in agreed syllabuses for RE for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 and I have loads of experience of delivering quality RE workshops (including leading the education service in a large cathedral for 15 years).  

Sessions are tailored for individual year groups, to ensure they meet the requirements of particular key stages and I can also create a bespoke workshop for you,  contact me to discuss your requirements.

Northern Saints (KS2)

Stories, object handling and activities to support KS2 RE syllabus teaching about Northern Saints.  (Can be adapted for schools who study Northern Saints in KS1)

Full day: 2 classes.  Half day: 1 class.

Edwin, Oswald, Aidan, Hild, Cuthbert, Wilfrid and Bede.  Amazing saints who shaped the Christian heritage of the North East.  This workshop introduces pupils to the lives, and stories, of the northern saints and their influence on Anglo-Saxon Northumbria.

An interactive whole class activity explores Christian ideas about the characteristics of a saint (you'll find out why wings and bones are important!), then you'll hear some stories from the lives of the northern saints and engage in a range of activities to reflect on their work and legacies.  Pupils will have the opportunity to see real and replica artefacts linked to each of the saints (including a page from a real medieval illuminated manuscript) and try on a monk's habit.

You can also choose from the following activities (subject to time): Marvellous manuscripts - learn how to write like a monk; Pilgrims and pilgrimage - find out about pilgrimage and make your own pilgrim badge; Life in a monastery - learn monastic sign language, find out about a monk (or nun's) day and explore monastic medicine.

St Cuthbert (KS1)

Stories, object handling and activities to support RE syllabus teaching about St Cuthbert in KS1

Full day: 2 classes.  Half day: 1 class.

St Cuthbert lived over 1,300 years ago but he is still remembered as one of the most important northern saints.

Find out why Cuthbert left his job guarding sheep and became a monk.  Hear the story about the unusual way he found space to pray.  Discover more about his life as a hermit and hear how an important visitor persuaded him to become a bishop.  Learn what happened after Cuthbert died and discover the amazing story of the journey of his body.  Pupils will have the opportunity to hear stories about St Cuthbert, handle replica monastic clothing and other artefacts linked to his life, make their own monk and decorate a pilgrim's badge.

Stories and learning, drawn from historical sources, will encourage pupils to consider Cuthbert's life as a monk, why it was important for him to have space to pray, his life as an example of faith and the importance of Lindisfarne and Durham for Christian pilgrims.

St Bede (KS1)

Stories, object handling and activities to support RE syllabus teaching about St Bede in KS1

Full day: 2 classes.  Half day: 1 class.

A little boy leaves home and never returns.  He grows up to be one of our first historians - and very important northern saint.

Tales of St Bede introduces pupils to a boy who joined the monastery at just 7 years of age.  Find out what life was like for Bede, and other boys, in the monastery in Anglo-Saxon times.  Hear about Bede's scientific theories (such as how he came to decide that the world was round) and learn more about his life as a writer and his famous history book.  Pupils will have the opportunity to handle replica monastic clothing, make their own monk, decorate an illuminated page and may even develop their potion making skills (there's been a plague in the monastery).

Stories and learning, drawn from St Bede's own books and contemporary writing about his life and death, offer pupils opportunities to reflect on his life of faith and commitment and consider why his life, and faith, are still important to Christians today.

Easter stories - Three Tall Trees (EYFS)

Full day: 6 classes.  Half day: 3 classes. (Class sessions last 30 minutes and can be repeated to suit school timings, or combined with another Easter workshop)

Three trees grow tall and strong on a mountain top.  As they grow they dream of what they might become.  Each plays a part in the life of Jesus, but it is the smallest tree that has the hardest load to bear.  My version of the folktale 'Three Tall Trees' sensitively introduces EYFS children to the Easter story, whilst also placing it in context with the story of Jesus.  Incorporating actions and call and response, pupils are given the opportunitiy to reflect on the meaning of the Easter story for Christians.

Easter stories - Easter Tales (KS1)

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes

A simple telling of the Easter story, which introduces pupils to the key concepts of Easter.  A range of artefacts from each of the key events of Holy Week help to support learning.  

The session concludes with the opportunity for pupils to reflect on, and ask questions about, the Easter story to develop an understanding of the meaning of Easter for Christians.

Easter stories - Were you there? (KS2)

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes.

Hear the Easter story from the point of view of those who wintesses Jesus' last days on earth.  Different disciples give their version of the events of Holy Week including: Matthew's joy when the crowd cheer as Jesus rides into Jerusalem; Judas' hopes that Jesus will become a warrior king (and his big decision to force that to happen); Pilate washing his hands at the actions of the crowd; and Mary's horror at finding the empty tomb.  Stories are told at a series of tableaux, each depicting a stage from the events of Easter, with time for pupils to reflect and ask questions to develop an understanding of the importance of Easter for Christians.

Christmas stories - The Shepherd's Tale (EYFS & KS1)

Supports RE syllabus teaching about the Christmas story, Christmas as a special time and the meaning of Christmas.

Full day: 6 classes.  Half day: 3 classes (Class sessions last 45 minutes and can be repeated to suit school timings, or combined with another Christmas workshop)

Pupils are drawn into a magical storytelling world on the hills above Bethlehem as the shepherd tells the tale of the night the Angel Gabriel visited him on the very first Christmas.  

The session concludes with time for pupils to reflect on why Jesus is special for Christians and the opportunity to make an angel.

Christmas stories - The Wise Man's Tale (KS1)

Supports RE syllabus teaching about the Christmas story, Christmas as a special time and the meaning of Christmas.

Full day: 6 classes.  Half day: 3 classes (Class sessions last 45 minutes and can be repeated to suit school timings, or combined with another Christmas workshop)

Gather round as an old astronomer tells of the time he spotted a brilliant star in the sky.  Hear how he set off on a journey to bring gifts to a king and found the most amazing baby.

This dramatic telling of the version of the nativity in St Matthew's Gospel takes pupils on a wonderful journey with the wise men.  The session concludes with time for pupils to consider the symbolism of each of the gifts given, to reflect on why Christians believe Jesus to be a gift and the opportunity to make a star.

Christmas stories - The Tale of the First Christmas (KS2)

Supports RE syllabus teaching about the meaning of Christmas, why Christians call Jesus the Light of the World and the themes of Christmas.

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes.

This workshop takes a reflective look at the birth of Jesus.  The nativity story is told in 13 stages; starting with the world and ending with love.  Each stage is unpacked as a symbol from a box, along with a corresponding bead, which pupils thread onto a wire to create their own Christmas story beads.  The story beads are an effective tool to encourage pupils to re-tell and reflect on the Christmas story and its meaning for Christians.

Christmas stories - Christmas Tales (KS2)

Supports RE syllabus teaching about the meaning of Christmas and the themes of Christmas.

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes.

Hear the nativity story from key witnesses to the events: the innkeeper describes his shame at not offering the Holy Family a proper bed; Joseph expresses his fears about being a father to the Son of God; Mary talks about the angel's visit and her big decision; the shepherds leave their sheep long enough to describe their fear when the sky filled with angels; and Gabriel tells of God's big message.

The session concludes with time for pupils to reflect on the themes and meaning of Christmas and the opportunity to develop one of the character stories in their own words.

Christmas stories - Tales from the Jesse Tree (KS1 & KS2)

Supports RE syllabus teaching about how, and why, Advent is important to Christians.

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes.

Hear the story of how God prepared his people for the coming of His son.  Starting with Adam and Eve and ending with Jesus, Tales from the Jesse Tree introduces pupils to the stories of key figures from the Old Testament and encourages them to reflect on the historical family tree of Jesus.  As each tale unfolds the family of God in scripture comes vividly to life.

Jesse Trees carved in wood, stone and in stained glass were once found in many churches and cathedrals and served as the family tree of Jesus.  These stories are a perfect way to help pupils understand the importance of Advent for Christians.

Bible Tales - stories from Christianity (KS1)

A collection of stories from, and inspired by, the Old and New Testament to support RE syllabus teaching about the Bible

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes.

Hear the ground rumble as Goliath walks into battle - he's a giant of a man!  Noah's family takes some persuading to get into the great boat he's built - will they believe him when he says a great flood is on the way? (You'll need to hang on tight as the ark sways backwards and forwards and up and down!). All is well for Adam and Eve in the Paradise Garden until a creature tempts them.  The story of St Peter starts with a fisherman called Simon, who finds Jesus in his boat.  Gather round the Sea of Galilee to hear his amazing story and learn why he was called The Rock.  Abraham and Sarah live by themselves in the desert: all they ever wanted was a child but, now, it's too late.  Some strangers who stay for a meal seem to think differently.  You might also hear about Daniel's adventures, Moses and Joseph (and those dreams of his).

Bible Tales are told with lots of audience participation to really engage pupils in the stories.

Jesus Tales - stories from Christianity (EYFS & KS1)

A collection of stories about Jesus and stories Jesus told to support RE syllabus teaching about Jesus

Full day: 4 classes.  Half day: 2 classes.

Zacchaeus is a tax collector and nobody likes him, so they're all surprised when Jesus says he's going to have tea at his house - but Zacchaeus is the most surprised of them all!  Hear the story of this "teeny, tiny man" and how he changed his ways.  Meet Claude the camel; he's very proud of his fancy blanket and wonderful job, but Claude's about to discover that he has to give up everything if he's going to fit through the eye of a needle - join in as he tries to wiggle his way through.  The disciples are on a boat in the middle of a storm: the waves are crashing and the wind is howling - but Jesus is sound asleep in the bottom of the boat!  Simeon tells the story of how God kept His promise that he would see the Messiah before he died.  You might also hear some lost and found stories and stories of miracles.