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P4 - Church

These exemplar narratives follow the core learning chosen by the St Andrew's and St Bride's cluster group/working group, and the St Margaret's cluster group/working group and contained in the diocesan planning exemplars:
P4 Church short version (click to open)
P4 Church long version (click to open)


All God's Children display, St Bride's, Bothwell

Exemplar narrative 1:

East Kilbride working group:

Planned activities:

-          Children create a Personal Parish Profile.  

This will include details such as the name of their Parish Church, the name of their Parish Priest, times when they have gone to Church to celebrate, family and friends who were with them during those celebrations.

-          Baptism – becoming a member of the Church.  Share Baptismal photos and discuss the meaning behind Baptism.

-          Visit to the Church

-          Children take part in a fact finding mission.  Children look up Church websites and Parish bulletins to compare Mass times, Parish events, children discuss and display information. 

-          Use scriptural narratives (RERC 1-02a) where Jesus called people to follow Him.

Matthew 4: 18-21 – Peter and Andrew,   John 20: 17-18 – Mary Magdalene,   Luke 24: 13-35 –the road to Emmaus.

Read the narratives and encourage children to respond through discussion, drama, an illustration or presentation.

-          Discuss practical ways we can show we are followers of Jesus.

Children write an example on activity cards e.g. being kind, sharing, helping others etc.

The cards are placed in a bowl. Each child will pick out a card in the morning from the bowl.  Children need to follow the task on the card.  At the end of the day discuss whether the children achieved their task, could anyone tell what their task was?

-          Meet the Parish Priest and discuss the Role the Church plays in our community.

-          Discuss the different ministries in the Church e.g.  Altar servers, Choir, Justice and Peace etc.

Invite members of some of these groups to the school.  Children could design questionnaires and conduct interviews.

-          Use St Vincent de Paul websites and create a cartoon strip of his life.

-          Investigate what the Parish SSVP groups do.

-          Each child in the class should think of a question they want to know about the Pope.

All the questions are put on one worksheet and distributed for the class to answer individually.

Children should then decide how they will find out any unanswered questions.

-          Watch DVD on SCIAF’s work and visit SCIAF’s website.

-          Watch DVD on MISSIO and learn about their work. 

-          Watch Video clips on the Papal visit.

-          Make a Papal Visit Souvenir scrapbook using researched information on Pope Benedict XVI.

Assessment Ideas:
Write:    Carousel visit to Church - Furniture.Vestments/Sanctuary Light etc.
             Note making - Church visitors ie SVDP/Caritas members etc.     
Say:      Sharing previous sunda's Children's Liturgy - Circle to share activity.
Make:    Dispaly of Sacraments of Initiation. 
Do:        Research/Powerpoint - Apostles.

Recording a church visit, Christ the King Holytown

Exemplar narrative 2:

Cardinal Newman Cluster meeting P4 group

- Church visit - church community meet to celebrate

- Communities within the Church:
- St. Vincent de Paul - visitor to class - what do they do for the Church community? 
  - U.C.M - Websites, Role-play.

-Charitites supported by Church - SCIAF, MISSIO, special collections - posters, I.C.T. research. Fund-raising activities to support.

-Research Papal Coat of Arms. Pope's visit to Scotland.

- Learn hymns linked to theme: Follow Me, Hymn to St. Andrew.

-Prayer service.

-Writing prayers for the worldwide Church.

(Editor note:  this could be completed by some engagement with the scriptures metioned in core learning, and a little bit more about the Pope)

Write - Their own/class prayer
         - Take notes from St Vincent de Paul
         - Write a letter to invite guest speaker
         - Thank you letter
         - What we learned.

Say - Mass responses
       - Participate in prayer service
       - Power point; What we have learned.

Make - Own coat of arms
          - An arterfact that the children have seen at their church visit

Do - Raisiing money (children decide on activity and charity).

Mary's Meals Backpacking, St Bernadette's Motherwell

Exemplar narrative 3:

St John the Baptist, Uddingston:

(Editor's note:  This narrative outlines a project which involves most but not all of the Experiences and Outcomes/core learning in the P4 Church theme, and others besides e.g. from RERC 2-20a)

While planning what we needed to do to prepare for the sacrament of First Holy Communion I discussed needs and wants with my P4 class. The children agreed that the things we need to be able to live are things which children all over the world need too. We thought of all the extras, which are wants rather than needs, and we started to think about how some children don’t even have the basic needs for life. We used these ideas to get the children thinking about what we need to live:

The next lesson was based around the fact that we are all called to spread God’s Good News. I asked the children if they thought that this message was for them and if so, how could they answer that call?

I had been in touch with Tony Begley of Mary’s Meals and he sent me a DVD with news of the Backpack Appeal. He also sent me beautiful artefacts, which he had brought back from a trip to Malawi. I explored the Mary’s Meals website and found lots of useful resources there too:

I used the film A Backpack’s Journey, (, from the Mary’s Meals website to get the children thinking about how we can help others in our own small way. 

The next step was to plan how we could reach the target of collecting and donating more than 50 backpacks to Mary’s Meals, this being the number which the school in the film had sent. Throughout the project the children worked in groups or pairs to create posters and PowerPoint presentations, develop ideas, write assembly scripts and pack and count the backpacks and items as they arrived. The decision was made to ask for help from the wider school community and from the local parish community. Our Parish Priest was most supportive and loved the idea that the project was linked to the children’s preparation for First Holy Communion.

We prepared a whole school assembly based around the showing of the film mentioned above. We used the artefacts, borrowed from Tony Begley, to encourage the school community to think beyond the charity towards the country Malawi. Each class was issued with one of the artefacts and challenged to find out what they could about it. They were to report back to the following week’s assembly. This was very well received; each class had a challenge to meet. The artefacts were displayed and the results of the challenge were reported at the assembly. We made a display wall to count publicly what we were receiving and the Big Count began.

In the meantime the children in P4 had been busy writing reports on why it was important to support the Backpack Appeal. Following on from this work they wrote scripts for delivery at all the weekend masses in our local parish. We put up posters, created by the children, in a display at the back of the church and we attended all of the masses on a particular weekend to ask for help. The children gave out lists of the things we needed to back up what they had said.

The response was overwhelming. We collected 270 backpacks. The children were using tally marks to keep count of completed backpacks and worked to pack and label all of the donations. We had stated at the beginning that it was not important to donate a completed backpack but that any donation however small would be welcome. This gave us lots of work in sorting but gave the children a real chance to think about the wants and needs we had learned about in the beginning.  The children make choices about what to include in each backpack.

This project was very worthwhile. The children had a real sense of pride in having achieved (well exceeded!) their goal of more than 50 backpacks to send to Mary’s Meals. We returned to the parish on the weekend following the uplift of the backpacks to say our thank you. The achievement was reported in the local and Catholic press, making the front page of the Bellshill Speaker. 

As a teacher I know that I have covered lots of learning through this project, as well as the initial RERC learning stated above. The children got to be the active members of the church, showing care for the world and not only listening to others but also being listened and responded to by the parish community.

Researching the Apostles and other saints, St Timothy's Coatbridge

Exemplar narrative 4:

St. Mary's, Caldercruix

Week 1: Our Parish. John 20: 17-18
            -Create Parish Factfile.
            -Matthew: 18-21
            -Talking and listening about being Jesus' apostles.

Week 2: Fishing for people crossword.
            -Pupil reserach St. Vincent de Paul
            -Tell the story of SVDP
            -Role of Caldercruix SVDP Society

Week 3: Read Luke 24: 13-35
            -Dramatise the story.

(Editor note:  this is a very general oitline and would be filled out in reference to core learning)

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