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Social distancing. Year group bubbles. Online classrooms. Visitor restrictions. Schoolswork is going to look a lot different this term.

About this Event

The Details

Due to technical issues outside our control, the New Hope Schools Work Conference has been rescheduled from 21st September to 5th October. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope that you will be able to join us on the 5th.

An online schools-work Conference hosted by Prayer Spaces in Schools and Youthscape.

What is it?

An online Conference focusing on what Christian schools-work could look like in the coming academic year, and how we navigate our way through the current challenges. We’d love for you to join us.

When and Where?

We've rescheduled and we will be live on Monday 5th October, starting at 10am and finishing by 3pm. We’ll be live-streaming to YouTube. You'll get an email before the Conference with all the details you'll need.

What’s happening?

10.00 – 10.40

Jill Rowe, ‘Being Bringers of Hope’

During times of disruption and significant change it is vital that we are equipped to support the well-being of children and young people and to be bringers of hope. What does this look like in practice and how can we better understand that hope is both cognitive and active?

10.40 – 11.15

Bishop Paul Butler and Baroness Elizabeth Berridge,

‘A New Hope for Education'

A conversation with Paul Butler, and Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, about their hope for education at this time, and the role that Christians can play in serving school communities.

11.30 – 12.15 Seminars

1. Aisha Thomas, ‘What do we do about the race issue?’

We need to have some difficult conversations - but where to start? How can we ensure that the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent outcry this summer isn't just a 'moment' but the beginning of lasting change?

And how can we, as Christians in schools, empower children and young people of colour? Join us for inspiration from Aisha Thomas.

2. Dr Kate Middleton, ‘Release and the new normal’

This term begins like no academic year before it, with schools, teachers and students attempting a return to some kind of normal whilst still in the midst of global pandemic. So how do you get back to normal when things are far from normal? How do you manage the inevitable challenges of this season of uncertainty? Is it possible, in this season of chaos and challenge, to enable students to release the true potential they hold - and how do we equip them with the resilience and grit they need to get through whatever this year is going to bring - never mind working out how to get through it ourselves? This practical seminar will help us understand why this season is perhaps unexpectedly challenging, and what the main steps we need to take are in order to navigate it well - for ourselves and those we support.

3. Phil Togwell, ‘Prayer Spaces in a Covid World’

What is a prayer space in a school? How does a prayer space work? How do the new guidelines affect how I run a prayer space? A short presentation from Phil, and then some time to share and swap creative ideas!

4. David Akers and Andrew Bull, ‘Back to School: facing the challenges, exploring the opportunities’

A conversation with two Head teachers (one primary, one secondary) about the challenges and the unique opportunities that schools will face this term as they adapt to the 'new normal', and about how local Christians can serve their whole school communities.

5. Josh Hunt, ‘Hope, for one and for all!’

Emerging from Josh's recent research into school chaplains and school ethos, this seminar explores how we can bring hope on an individual basis, but also collectively to the whole school community. As we move forward together, how can we embrace our distinctiveness as chaplains to embody the hope needed for individuals and communities to flourish?

12.45 – 13.30 Seminars

1. David Walford, ‘Can we endure?’

With collective worship and assemblies no longer happening and external visitors deemed too dangerous in many risk assessments, does this spell the end of our work within education? This current landscape where many of us can’t step into school could prove one of the most challenging for our schools’ ministries to endure. In this seminar David will explore several different models, such as Third Space, that could help our schools work continue to support students in this present crisis.

2. Dr Kate Middleton, ‘Loss and Lockdown’

One of the biggest challenges of this time, as we emerge out of strict lockdown, is the need to process loss. Loss is everywhere, from the more stark loss of bereavement to the losses of key life moments, and changes to things we thought we could always depend upon: friendships, perceptions of our own security and stability and the nature of everyday life. So how do we process loss well, particularly when it is unexpected - ourselves, and for young people we are supporting? How do we find time to grieve whilst still getting on with the (considerable!) challenges of life moving on in this unusual time? And what does the Bible have to offer as we try to find ways to deal with and respond to the loss that is all around? This seminar will explore the nature of loss in lockdown and help provide a framework to respond to the range of ways people of all ages are experiencing it.

3. Catherine Simpson, ‘Part of the furniture’ – Primary school chaplaincy

Catherine will be sharing her learning and experience of being a primary school chaplain for the last seven years and exploring ‘schools work’ from this perspective and how our churches might serve and join in with our school communities in some different ways!

4. Lucie Shuker, ‘We Do God’ – Experiential Apologetics

From hospitality to forgiveness, rest to lament, Christians have participated in practices over many centuries that speak of God’s goodness and help us encounter His love and life. How can we invite children and young people in schools to experience these things for themselves? Drawing on recent research from the ‘We do God’ report, Lucie will explore the role of ‘experiential apologetics’ in schools, and ask you to consider which practices might help children experience God’s life, in your own context.

13.45 – 14.20 Session 3

Esther Deans, ‘How can we use the current climate and BLM conversations to bring us closer together?

‘How can we use the current climate and BLM conversations to bring us closer together? If education is a preparation for life, let us look at what schools can do to prepare pupils to build a more equal, harmonious and hopeful society for us all.

14.20 – 15.00 Session 4

Rachel Gardener, ‘Hope is Here’.

At a time when all hope was lost, God seemed to be making matters worse. ‘Tell my people they’re going to be in exile for years to come,’ God told Jeremiah. ‘It’s not going to be easy, but I know the plans I have for them. Plans to give them a future and a hope…’ There is a powerful call on our lives to be those who hold onto hope not only for ourselves, but also for those who feel hopeless. We can only do this if we’re holding onto the God who knows how to bring life and flourishing even in the most difficult of circumstances. We’re closing our day with a bold reminder that ultimately, the greatest thing we can do in support of our schools is to rest on the faithfulness and goodness of God whose presence in us, is the Hope for the world.Bishop Paul Butler and Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, ‘A New Hope for Education’

Remind me how much it costs to register?

We realise that this is a difficult time in many ways and we want to do our best to serve you. Because of this, Prayer Spaces in Schools and Youthscape are co-hosting this Conference for free – there is no booking fee to pay. However, if you would like to support us with a financial donation towards the cost of the day and to invest in the work that we’re trying to do to equip the church to serve children and young people, we’d be incredibly grateful. There will be more information available on the day about how you can donate.

If you have any questions about the Conference, please feel free to get in touch with us at tandia@prayerspacesinschools.com. We’ll see you there!

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