Introducing Godly Play

January 22, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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Introducing Godly Play

In the Diocese of Chichester

What is Godly Play? A discovery method of teaching and learning  A method that is focused on the needs of the whole child – body, mind and spirit  A multi-sensory approach that integrates the two primary gateways to knowing for young children language (the verbal system) and play (the nonverbal system)  An approach that encourages a calm, quiet and deliberate way of working 

Godly Play aims to:  Provide

a safe space in which children can encounter and engage with stories from the Judaeo-Christian tradition  Help children make connections between these stories and their own experience  Support spiritual development  Make the language of religion familiar

Godly Play has been influenced and informed by:  The

Montessori tradition of education  Sofia Cavalletti’s work on the religious formation of the child  The work of Jerome Berryman over more than 30 years  A worldwide network of Godly Play practitioners who have supported and informed Berryman’s research

What can Godly Play offer? It includes the four processes of:  Creating

sacred space  Building and working in community  Learning religious language  Using religious language to make meaning

Creating sacred space  The

space is designed to focus the child’s visual attention on images and ideas which are at the heart of the Christian understanding of God  The care with which the space is set up and maintained teaches about the value of what goes on there

Building and working in community  The

participants gather together in expectation and anticipation  The setting aside of a special time for Godly Play helps us to prepare to come close to God  The time allowed for ‘collective response’ makes it possible for participants to learn from each other

Learning religious language  Well-tested

scripts help to convey the essence of each story presentation  Silence and gesture are treated as powerful aspects of the language of the story  The story scripts are learnt by heart by the story teller; the importance of key phrases and ‘refrains’ helps the listener make connections

Using religious language to make meaning  The

story teller invites the listeners to ‘wonder’ about what they have heard  All contributions are accepted as equally valuable  There is no attempt to reach a particular teaching point or explain what the story ‘really means’

The heart of Godly Play is that it does not depend on knowledge but on a personal response and spiritual engagement with God’s word within a supportive, safe community of friends.

Godly Play Presentations Sacred Stories – the stories of God’s people within which we invite the children themselves to become part of the story 

Parables – to stimulate our sense of creativity, help us question our view of everyday life

Liturgical Actions – a chance for children to learn and practise the language of liturgy

Sacred Stories



Creation The Flood and the Ark The Great Family The Exodus The Ten Best Ways

The Good Shepherd The Good Samaritan The Great Pearl The Sower The Leaven The Mustard Seed

The Circle of the Church Year Advent 1 to 4 Epiphany Holy Baptism The Mystery of Easter The Good Shepherd and World Communion

….and more

Godly Play in the Church Primary School and in the Parish Church

 Helps

children to understand more about the Church of England by learning religious language and modelling each session on the Eucharist .

 Preparation

(meeting and greeting)

 Ministry

of the word ( listening to and responding to a Bible story)

 Communion  Blessing

(sharing food and drink)

and Dismissal (saying goodbye)

Making a start with Godly Play some principles: Slow down the pace

Use attractive, well-made materials to help tell the story.

 Focus


the materials as you tell the story

Use open questions to encourage the children to reflect on the story and its meaning for them

Enable the children to respond in their own way to the story

Give the children time and space to make the story their own

Bring the community together again at the end of the session – to share experiences and even food!

In most religious education children are told who God is. In Godly Play children discover who God is.

If you would like to know more ..  Visit  For  For



Godly Play training in the Diocese of Chichester contact : Irene Smale 07980 617584 or email: [email protected]

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