Pupils at Orchid Vale primary school spent the last day of term before the Easter holidays visiting scenes from Jesus’ life before he went to the cross, and discussing the true meaning of Christian belief at this most important time in the Church calendar.
A series of sets depicting scenes from the final days of Jesus’ life were set up around the school and its grounds, so children could visit each one, listen to Bible passages and reflect on their meaning.
The scenes included the Garden of Gethsemane; the Last Supper, where the children got to sit around a long table like the disciples; the Crucifixion and the Tomb with its rock mysteriously rolled back. A fire was lit in the wildlife area for the scene where Peter denied he was a follower of Jesus.
Headteacher Debbie Kalynka said: "In the last year we’ve celebrated the festivals of Holi and Diwali and the children made cards for Eid but sometimes the true meaning of events in the Christian calendar get confused with commercial messages. As part of our broad and balanced curriculum we wanted to give children the chance to learn more about the beliefs of Christians."
Year 4 pupil Lucie Carr said: "We went into the Garden of Gethsemane and then we made our own gardens with play dough. We also had bread and black currents at the Last Supper and we all liked the Easter Egg hunt."
RE coordinator Emma McCarthy said: "I am very passionate about the teaching of Religious Education without proselytising for a particular religion. The day was our way of saying Easter is not all about bunnies and chocolate eggs and the children had time to reflect on how the things they were learning fitted into their own lives.
“It was such a great day and with the help of North Swindon Baptist church and other local churches, it really brought the community together in very a positive way.”
Pictured, scenes from the Bible at Orchid Vale, top, at the tomb after the death of Christ; middle, the courtyard where Peter denied his friendship with Jesus; bottom, the last supper