RSS Feed

Bringing faith and school sport together

Project Touchline recently delivered a six-week programme of sport, collective worship, Bible teaching and prayer for the children and teachers at Aston and Cote CE Primary in Aston, Oxfordshire.

Chris Andrew is standing on a football field with a goal behind him talking to a group of primary school children wearing coats and tag rugby waist bands.The Project Touchline programme, led and founded by Chris Andrew, brings sport and faith together helping to engage children in collective worship, understand their school and biblical values, and how to live these values through sport. The project aims to leave a lasting legacy for the children and teachers where older pupils can mentor younger ones and teachers can continue incorporating the values and Biblical teaching into everyday classroom activities.

For one day a week, during November, the children at Aston and Cote CE Primary took part in whole school collective worship led by Chris, focusing on their school values of honesty, courage, love, respect and wisdom, and linked with Biblical scripture. The children then took part in a series of sports sessions where the values and Bible teachings learned were applied to the game and the children are encouraged to live these through their play.

Play and pray

Each session began and ended with a time for prayerful reflection to help the children to connect faith with sport. Chris also started a lunchtime prayer group giving the children the option to play or pray and 20 chose to come along to the group. This provided a space for them to explore their faith and spirituality beyond formal collective worship and take ownership of their own prayer life.

Bringing faith, values and sport together

Chris Andrew, founder and leader of Project Touchline, said:

“Teachers don’t always have the time to teach values during the busy school day and some children don’t get that teaching at home either so this is an opportunity for them to experience how their school values and Bible teaching can be part of their everyday life and that includes playing sport.

“It’s all about helping our children and young people understand how to live life in all its fulness by bringing faith, values and sport together and at the same time supporting their wellbeing and mental health.”

“It is really encouraging to see the response from the children and a difference in them as we progress through the programme, in the way they think about playing sport and how they behave towards each other.”

Listen to Chris speaking to BBC Radio Oxford about the programme at Aston and Cote CE Primary and hear reactions from the school children:

Everyday faith

Emma Gardner, Year 3 teacher at Aston and Cote CE Primary, reflected on the impact of the programme on her teaching and her class:

“As a Christian school we believe the values come from God so putting them at the forefront of our day-to-day learning, our teaching and vocabulary encourages the children to live out the values in all aspects of their school and home lives.

“The way Chris incorporated the values throughout the programme has even changed my way of teaching. I find myself asking the children throughout the day how they are showing the values in their learning and behaviour, even just in the simple way of showing respect for one another when lining up at the door.”

“The lunchtime prayer club is an exciting legacy for the children, and we have continued with this after the programme ended. This is having a really positive impact on the children and their mindset in school.”

Listen to Emma speaking more about the project:

Oxford Diocesan Board of Education

More than 60,000 children are educated in over 300 Church of England schools and academies across the Diocese of Oxford.

The ODBE is committed to the education of the whole person to their fullest potential, to the development of moral and spiritual understanding, to the uniqueness of the individual, and to serving our communities in a Christ-like way where education enables all to flourish.

Page last updated: Wednesday 27th March 2024 7:12 PM
Powered by Church Edit