The children start service with the rest of the congregation upstairs. Welcome tables are located at the back of the sanctuary for families to sit together. Colouring pages and quiet toys are available.
During service the children are lead to the carpet at the front of the sanctuary for Storytime for all ages. Afterwards the children are “sung downstairs” led by the RE teacher and Queen’s students. Parents are welcome to remain upstairs or join the children downstairs.
The children are invited to find their “name stone”, walk the labyrinth quietly with the stone in their hands, place the stone in the centre and form a circle in the labyrinth. Using the name stones the teacher takes attendance. A child is invited to light the children’s chalice. The teacher welcomes the children and provides opening words. The children then share joys and concerns. The teacher then introduces the topic they will be exploring and starts the curriculum.
Usually there is a craft component, songs, dance etc. The Queen’s students prepare or set out the snack. This is a good time to read the story provided in the curriculum session.
Usually, there is a word or two that is added to the word wall. The children love taking turns taping the words on the front of the supply cupboard.
The closing is as important as the gathering ritual. The children are asked to gather in a circle. We sing, “the more we get together” together and the teacher thanks the children for coming. Children return their stones to the basket. Parents come downstairs after service to gather their children.