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Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Encounter Christianity

SEND Sessions*

*Teaching sessions for pupils experiencing Special Educational Needs and/or Disability 
Encounter Christianity is a Bristol based charity, staffed by Christian teachers. It aims to enrich the religious education of local pupils as they explore different elements of the Christian faith.

Our current project is delivering sensory based workshops in local Special Educational Needs schools. The three workshops we are developing focus on God’s creation and the Christmas and Easter stories.

All the resources used are highly visual and include auditory learning aids as well as tactile objects. By taking volunteers from local churches into schools with us, we aim to give children an experience of Christianity as a lived faith.

Encounter Christianity works across 70 schools in the Bristol and South Glos areas. We support schools in the delivery of the locally agreed syllabus by presenting the Christian elements of the syllabus from a Christian perspective. All our staff are qualified teachers and are happy to share personal reflections on what it means to live out the Christian faith in today’s world.

Within this context, we have been keen to deliver inclusive sessions for children with complex needs and disabilities, so that they too have the opportunity to experience what faith means to Christians.

With the generous support of Westhill we are developing three workshops which focus on key areas of the Christian faith: creation, incarnation, and salvation. Our aim has been to make these themes accessible to children with disabilities and so our workshops often focus on stories and make use of a range of different resources. Children and young people can watch videos, listen to music or sounds, touch different textures, and respond to stimuli.

The children also take part in craft making in response to the themes of the session, creating items such as an ocean in a bottle, a King’s crown or planting seeds to demonstrate new life. This is a tangible reminder of the session which young people can take home to share with their families.

The feedback we have received so far has confirmed the effectiveness of our sessions in including all children:

“All students had activities they could access. The activities were multisensory and so students with different sensory impairments did not miss out.” (Primary RE Lead)

We are also keen to develop long standing relationships with Special schools in the hope that we can continue to support them in their delivery of RE beyond the initial scope of this project.

“We really value your input and visits – we will try to think of any other ways we can draw upon your support.” (Secondary RE Lead)

More information can be found on the Encounter Christianity website.

Encounter 1
Encounter 2
Encounter 3
Encounter 4
Encounter 5
Encounter 6a
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