Before leaving St Nicholas, we had a group time focused around why we were going, and the expectations about the excursion. As we were travelling by foot, we discussed important road safety issues, and the reasons we need to be safe. We also had a discussion about the church, and the ways which we needed to behave. We learnt that it’s a place for ‘quiet thinking’ and that we needed to use our soft inside voices. We also made sure we all had on our sun cream and hats.
As we left the centre, we lined up beautifully using the long rope with handles, this ensured we all stayed together and remained safe as a group. We also packed the wagon full with our drink bottles and lunch boxes! Helene from the diocese came with us, along with Kate, Karina, Karen and Lucie.
As we walked past the church, children noticed things about the community: ‘this is where the bus stops’, ‘I can see the top of the church’, ‘there are lots of cars on the road’ and ‘I’ve been here before’.
As we moved inside the church, we were fascinated by all the different things to look at, especially the windows. We noticed the lovely colours and also that it was ‘much colder’ inside than outside. We walked through the church and sat in the front three pews. We asked some questions and then moved through to a smaller room and had a look around, we saw a prayer book and a statue of Mary. We remembered to be respectful and to use our quiet voices.
After we finished in the church, we went outside and sat down for a picnic lunch. It was fun having our lunch near the church in the lovely warm sun. Before leaving, we walked past a big dome that had fallen off the top of the church during the 1989 Newcastle earthquake, and we found this very interesting!
Our visit to the church was about exposure to, and respect for, our local community. Children gain a better understanding of the world around them by being immersed and involved with what’s around them.