Project information

Helping primary schools in Ashford

Many primary schools value help with assemblies. In Ashford Kent, Spinnaker trains church workers and volunteers to assist teachers. They give Christian input, helping children to hear Bible stories and think about moral issues. They run after school clubs, and special RE days.

September 2012 - September 2013

Charity information: Spinnaker Trust Limited

Spinnaker Trust Limited logo
  • Need


    Many primary age children know little about our Christian heritage or Bible stories. Schools are expected to have "collective worship" in assemblies, and to give teaching on Christianity plus moral and spiritual issues. But many teachers feel they must prioritise their time on basic education targets, so they welcome community visitors to help with religious aspects. Visitors need to know education requirements, and what is appropriate in school, and be able to engage well with children.


    Spinnaker provides child-friendly resources, gives training, and helps churches link with local schools. Our Ashford team of 2 part-time workers and 5 volunteers regularly visit 14 primary schools, and aim for more. They take assemblies, or run after-school clubs. The team does drama workshops for festivals like Easter, and helps with RE days. Teachers say "Extremely good", "Outstanding and invaluable", "Makes real life and today’s childhood link so well to the Bible and Christian teaching"

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help children know about the Bible and what Christians believe.


    » Find workers and volunteers who can commit to regular school visits, and develop good relationships with teachers, and assist with assemblies or RE.
    » Create fresh, child-centred Christian resources each term for our team members to use in schools.

    What success will look like

    Success will be: More schools request visits. Teachers comment favourably on pupil's attitudes and responses. Children know Bible stories and how they can apply to daily life.

    Aim 2

    Build links between primary schools and churches.


    » Encourage churches in an area to form a hub group, to pray for local schools, and work with Spinnaker to train people for Christian input to schools.
    » Plan active,engaging school visits to churches, with church volunteers to help children realise how the church community worships, and serves others.

    What success will look like

    Success will be: More churches are actively involved in Spinnaker hub groups, and find people to be trained for schools work, and to develop community activities with schools.

  • Impact


    Children will remember Christian teaching as they grow older, and will allow this to influence their moral values. Some will choose to be involved with churches. Teachers will want to develop a good Christian/spiritual/moral ethos in their school. Churches will be an important part of a schools link with the community, and praying for and assisting schools will be a valued part of the churches' calling.


    Government policies may change how the RE syllabus is set for schools, or hinder the opportunities for Christian input into schools. Some schools may decide to reduce or omit collective worship or RE teaching. Our Director is represented on bodies that are making representations to the Government on these aspects. We are also developing "RE days" to deliver teaching about Christianity in one day presentations for those schools who no longer have weekly RE lessons.


    We have a termly magazine "Spinnaker Review" that reports on our work. We also have email newsletters for regular supporters who request these. Every 2 years we send a survey questionnaire to schools we visit to invite comments on our work with them - and produce a report on the results.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £7,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 School visits 2 paid workers visiting 10 schools every 2 weeks
      £1,050 Travel for team Many schools are rural: long distances
      £1,750 Team leader Team leader doing training and events
      £700 Admin Head office admin + resource preparation

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Monthly Donors £700 Guaranteed
    Estimated church donations £1,600 Conditional
  • Background


    Ashford (Kent) and the rural area around it


    Primary school children will have a better understanding of the Christian faith. Their teachers will welcome support for religious and spiritual input. Schools will have valuable links with churches in their community. Church people will have opportunities to assist schools, and training to do this in an appropriate way.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have 25 years experience of visiting primary schools to assist with assemblies and RE. We are trusted by teachers, and commended for our input by OFSTED.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Heather Ratcliffe

    Ashford team leader: she regularly visits schools, recruits volunteers, assists with training, and plans team RE days with art and drama activities.