for Schools

Resource Withdrawn (2014)

This website is remaining live in order to give schools an overview of what ORISON UK (an organisation that was based in London UK) used to provide for schools. Over the last few years this set of ideas and methods have been made open source via and therefore widely delivered by local teams connected with local churches across the UK. In response to this ORISON UK has disbanded and those that wish to see a resource of this kind come to their school are advised to contact their local churches or the Prayer Spaces in Schools website to ask for a contact in their region. Present bookings are being completed but no new bookings are being received.

What is written below is for reference and interest....

What we do

Set up in a classroom, school hall or even a tent on the field, pupils are given a brief introduction to the experience, including a short video about prayer, before being guided through the space, exploring different themes in each zone. From writing prayer requests on post it notes, considering the bubbles going up a large bubble tube, dissolving sugar cubes in water and sticking prayers on maps, pupils will enjoy activities which are fun, interactive, thought provoking and challenging.

Orison is an adaptable resource and can be tailored to best suit your school situation. Suitable for primary or secondary age pupils, our team will work with you to choose zones which are appropriate for your pupils and to create resources that best use the space available in your school.

In primary schools, Orison generally works best with only one or two themes, with the space arranged into three areas - an introductory area, an activity area and a craft area which continues the theme.

Orison in secondary schools can have as many zones or themes as you like, although three to five allows pupils to best experience them all in one lesson. Pupils begin their Orison experience together, watching a short video to introduce the theme with a brief explanation from the team. They are then given time to explore the zones, either at their own pace, or in small groups with allocated time slots in each zone. Team members are available in each zone to explain the activities and answer any questions the pupils have. The lesson ends with a short debrief and discussion and an opportunity for pupils to feed back on the session.

See the zones page for examples of the themes and activities which could be part of Orison in your school.

Why is it relevant for Schools?

The National Curriculum non-statutory programme of study for Religious Education says that all pupils should learn about religion and from religion.

RE at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 should enable pupils to:

  • reflect on the relationship between beliefs, teachings, world issues and ultimate questions

  • evaluate beliefs, commitments and the impact of religion in the contemporary world

  • express insights into the significance and value of religion and other world views for human relationships personally, locally and globally

  • express their own beliefs and ideas using a variety of forms of expression, including creative forms and reasoned arguments

... and that the curriculum should provide opportunities for pupils to:

  • encounter people from different religious, cultural and philosophical groups, who can express a range of convictions on religious and moral issues

  • reflect upon and carefully evaluate their own and others' beliefs and values, using reasoned, valued arguments

  • use a range of forms of expression to communicate their ideas and responses

Through the zones and activities, Orison provides ways in which pupils of all ages can engage with all of the above objectives, at their own level.

Orison also links with several subjects across the curriculum, including literacy, citizenship, PSHE, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, history and geography.

Can we do this in my school?

Yes! The Orison team will gladly work with you to create and run something in your school.

You'll need a space we can use for a day, a few days, a week, or however long you want Orison to be running in your school, plus a clear day before your start date for us to set up, either over the weekend or the school day before any pupils will be using the resource. This can be any room which will not be used for any other purposes whilst Orison is running.

Our team will liaise with a designated contact at the school to discuss your requirements for themes and zones, timetabling and resources which can be used in your school before and after the Orison sessions.

How much will it cost?

The answer to this question varies from school to school, depending on the size of the school and what sort of Orison experience you choose.

Orison is a charity and is supported by voluntary donations. We also ask local churches to consider supporting Orison sessions in their local schools by helping to fund the resources.

The resources needed to set up and run Orison in a school cost around £200 per day.

  • Which bit did you like best?
    …the sorry zone. I have made so many mistakes and now I can say sorry.

    girl, year 9
  • "I found the whole event a very moving one & I know the students gained much from it. Thank you for your enthusiasm which has lasted all week."

    Teacher, Salesian RC School, Chertsey

  • Absolutely excellent!

    Teacher, Salesian RC School, Chertsey

  • Which bit did you like best?
    …the sorry zone because it is hard to forgive and I forgave someone

    girl, year 8
  • Which bit did you like best
    …the bubble zone made me feel relaxed and I had a nice conversation with God

    boy, year 5
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