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March 2017 – Experience Easter at Dunoon Grammar School

A LOCAL team of church members took ‘Experience Easter’ into Dunoon Grammar School on March 26 and 27.

Members of Holy Trinity Scottish Episcopal Church, along with Paul Beautyman, Church of Scotland chaplain, and Simon Richardson from Dunoon Baptist Church guided five forms of S1 pupils as they explored the Easter story with a series of interactive stations.

From walking along a tree-lined road for Palm Sunday (‘hopes and dreams’) to a scarlet draped cross for Good Friday (‘sharing our sorrows’) the stations allowed the young people to experience the biblical account that lies behind this most important of Christian festivals.

Even the modern traditions of chocolate eggs (a sign of new life) and rolling decorated eggs down a hill (like the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb) were explained and experienced around an ’empty tomb’.

Feedback from the children included:

“I liked it as it was interactive learning and I find that that type of learning sticks in my mind much more than just reading a text book”
“I think the Easter experience was good because I think it made you think a lot more about what happened at Easter, whether you believe it or not”
“l liked the Christmas Experience because it was good to learn about the Christmas story. “There were different activities to do and go around. I liked the activity with the three wise men.”
“I thought the Easter experience was interesting, partly because the people, who were passionate about their beliefs, tried to make it as interesting as possible without just standing up and reading out loud, and partly because they didn’t try to make you believe what they did”
“The Easter experience was fantastic the sections there were better than the Christmas experience. I loved the way they all enjoyed telling us about the story. Mr Beautyman explaned [sic] everything very well”
“Thanks for the Experience.”

The Rev Andrew Swift, rector of Holy Trinity, said: “The Experience Easter project, like the Experience Christmas project at DGS last December, is a chance for young people to see what these important Christian festivals are based on, and for them to engage with the story with multisensory activities.

“They also bring their own experiences into these accounts, sharing their concerns, hopes, memories and fears.

“It has been exciting to do Experience Easter in Dunoon Grammar for the second year running, and we are all looking forward to bringing the stations back to the school again in the future.”

Experience Easter and Christmas are part of a growing church-based initiative that fits with the new ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ being rolled out in Scottish schools. It both allows students to learn through a variety of media and experiences, and offers the possibility of connecting aspects of Religious and Moral Education with English and Drama, for example.

It is planned to repeat the Easter and Christmas stations each year as part of the Religious and Moral Education activities in the school.

Printed 7 April 2017

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