The Young Leaders Award offers lots of scope for schools and churches to work together. It’s a great opportunity for the church and its members to connect in a different way with children within their local school.
The Church of England’s Growing Faith Foundation promotes a partnership between the three communities of Church, School and Household to enable the discovery, exploration and growth of faith for all in those communities.
The Young Leaders Award helps pupils to discover from a Christian perspective who they are as a leader, to identify what qualities and skills they have and to also learn about Christian values and the importance of service and community.
Ideas for how churches can get involved:
Some wonderful examples of schools and churches working together through the YLA include:
KS1 pupils at Esh C of E Primary School who helped to organise a Messy Church service for the whole school inviting their families. They assisted in planning activities and sorting resources.
“This was one of the first opportunities for the whole school community to come together since COVID. Parents commented on how lovely it was to be back in school and able to join in with creative activities and a church service.” YLA Teacher
Marwood Infant School KS1 young leaders made palm crosses for their local church, which they shared at a special service to spread a message of hope for the future. They also learnt about the Eco church initiative and chose to develop a wildlife area for their community. The children planted bee bombs to encourage flowers to grow and bees and butterflies to visit the wildlife area.
KS2 pupils at Barton St Peter’s CofE primary school held a community morning for a group attending their local church on a Wednesday morning. The young leaders performed some of their talents including cello, magic and singing, before spending time with the group by playing games.
“I am proud of my bravery and talking to new people. I really enjoyed making them happy”. KS2 Young Leader
“I liked it because I liked helping people and putting smiles on their faces.” KS2 Young Leader
St Anne's C of E, Sale KS2 pupils who got involved with a new after-school cafe run by their local vicar. They baked cakes and treats to sell at the café and helped with serving and chatting with the people there, including other children, parents and members of the church community.
“The pupils' actions enabled them to have a closer connection to our school and church community.” YLA Teacher
This video from the Fioretti Trust schools in Birmingham shows another example of how the schools worked in partnership with their local churches on the YLA.
There are great potential benefits of connecting schools with the local church including:
We hope to see many more schools and churches connected through the opportunities the Young Leaders Award offers to work together and explore faith and community.
Are you looking for ways to support your community to see closer links between church and school?
Growing Faith is the movement that exists to put children, young people and families instinctively at the heart of all the mission and ministry of the Church by changing the culture of the Church of England.
Find out more about their work and how they could support you here: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/education-and-schools/growing-faith-foundation