To be a pilgrim

27 February 2015

THE head teacher was enthusiastic about it from the start. When the Revd Karen Freeman suggested that she should conduct a Pilgrim Course for the teachers and teaching assistants at Christ Church C of E Primary School, in Birkenhead, Chester diocese, the head, Marie Szydlowska, agreed that it should be thought of as "continuing professional development", and should take place fortnightly during her head teacher's staff meetings (above).

The feedback from the staff, several of whom were not churchgoers, was "overwhelmingly positive", Mrs Freeman says. The overall impression was "very enjoyable and informative; a really engaging and informal way to explore scripture together, reflect on ideas about Christian belief, and bond spiritually as a staff".

Some found the questions a bit too personal, making it uncomfortable to open up with people they didn't know very well; but, overall, they thought it would lead to better teaching, and there were some "nice ideas for discussion with the children, and how deep concepts can be approached".

Mrs Szydlowska is now considering running a similar course for her staff next September, and says that she recommends it to all Church of England schools.

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