A collective of primary teachers, ethos enrichment, RE,Collective worship and Spirituality specialists have contributed to Gardening the Heart's creative ethos enrichment programmes and workshop ideas as well as supporting collective worship and outdoor reflection resources for schools. The materials are designed to meet the new SIAMS schedule criteria for Church of England Primary Schools and collective worship guidelines for community schools.
'Approaches to Ethos Enrichment Through Shared Stories, Creativity and Gardening' includes:
- Outdoor Parable-themed enrichment days exploring ethos and character education through outdoor arts-based workshops, story-telling, gardening and reflective activities
- Outdoor exploring spirituality days– exploring gardens in the Bible, the spirituality of Jesus, sensory wonder walking, reflective gardening activities
This whole school creative approach to ethos enrichment and nurturing spirituality outdoors, in partnership with the local church, have been written up in the following publication: 'Reclaiming the Curriculum', Chapter 7 page 115.
Garden God's Stories: off-the shelf Collective Worship and Reflection resources for primary schools are:
- linked to the church calendar
- designed to complement existing collective worship programmes
- designed to enrich school ethos, character education and nurture spirituality, inspired by parables seasonal themes and cultivation,
- endorsed by head teachers and class teachers through successful trialling of the material in a number of primary schools.
- available to download online
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Gardening the Heart speakers, workshop facilitators and seasonal quiet day hosts, represent different Christian denominations including C of E. They draw upon significant endorsed pastoral experience from many years working with different age groups and cultural backgrounds in rural and urban church as well as organisational settings. Therapeutic use of creativity in pastoral work is a
Gardening the Heart speakers and workshop facilitators and seasonal quiet day hosts represent a broad range of professional expertise in the creative arts and art workshop facilitation, including experience of therapeutic use of different art forms, also working cross-culturally.
Invitations have come from a growing network of churches, organisations and groups for:
- Quiet days and creativity workshops on seasonal themes using outdoor areas, local gardens, church buildings and church yards
- Creative worship – seasonal walks and workshops, cultivation and nature-inspired creative reflection indoors and outdoors
- Enriching ethos and collective worship in primary schools- supporting parable-themed project work with local schools to enrich Collective worship, RE teaching and learning and SMSC
- Seasonal creative workshops in Care Homes – inspired by seasons in nature and festivals
- Outdoor Seasonal reflections linked to the church calendar
- Talks and seminars on nurturing spirituality outdoors
Garden Design and Horticultural Expertise
Gardening the Heart can offer professional expertise in designing themed garden areas and features; planting plans; maintenance planning and ideas for creative reflection.
Picture a garden planted with a grape vine over a cloister-like pergola, an olive tree and fruit trees yielding their fruits in season. Beds with grasses and wild flowers, fragrant herbs and perhaps vegetables flourishing and delighting the senses. Alongside water glistens in a still pool, or trickles softly over some pebbles. Carefully placed seating, with excerpts from scripture, poetry and works of art enable reflection and inspiring creative activity.