Sherston CE VC Primary School
Becky Fisher, rural schools and churches worker
Gauzebrook, North Wiltshire
By linking with a group of environment enthusiasts, a space was developed for reflection and sanctuary. This has enabled an active spiritual development as well as engagement with another part of the community which also has an interest in the school.
The environment group has a concern to make the school as eco-friendly as possible. Amongst other initiatives, it is developing a piece of land by the school as a garden. There already being a pond and a space to be used as an outdoor classroom, the church’s schools workers suggested adding a prayer labyrinth.
The simple labyrinth, built from logs and bark chippings, is a designated ‘chill-out zone’ – an ecumenical and available place for children to take their worries to God and find peace.
Having walked the labyrinth one pupil said ‘It feels like a safe place, I don’t want to leave’.Others reported feeling calm, relaxed, peaceful and joyful. Walked by a whole class it can help to build unity and improve relationships.
The mosaic step at the entrance was made by the school art group, the environment group put in the logs and a class barrowed in all the wood chippings – great team work. The plan for the future is to plant a sensory garden.
Having a kind of chapel in the school grounds emphasises the Christian character of the school. The link to the church was strengthened by the blessing of the newly completed labyrinth by the rector.