Children’s Church School K-6

Children are very welcome to join these programs at any time! We also know that not every household is able to attend church each week, so we hope very much that your children will feel comfortable joining whenever you’re here. While our programs do build on themselves each week, they are also designed so that someone can jump in any week and get something good out of it.

Three common threads run through all of our education programs:

  • Seeking knowledge and understanding of the Bible, and its meaning to our everyday lives
  • Learning about prayer and worship; practice and traditions in the Episcopal Church
  • Developing a life-long commitment to serving others.

Pre-pandemic, we were in the practice of incorporating service projects into our learning. We are working now to get back to that practice in this stage of the pandemic. Past examples include:

  • Collecting clothes for Circle of Hope to take to Boston-area shelters and socks and mittens for Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
  • Making Valentine’s Day care packages for our service people and college students
  • Re-building homes ruined by natural disasters in the U.S.

Making friends; exploring faith; putting faith into action-–these are the outcomes of our Church School and outreach programs.

Below we describe our programs for Kindergarten through 6th grade. For middle school and high school programs, see Confirmation and Youth Group. And of course all children of all ages are always welcome for our whole service, complete with crying or fidgeting or loud questions!

 

K-3rd Grade: Chapel and Godly Play, 10 a.m. (Sept-May) or 9 a.m. (June-July)

Our kindergarten and early elementary school children gather in the Christ Church Chapel at the start of the main service. We finish up by joining the rest of the congregation for the Eucharist.

In Chapel, we encourage active participation as we introduce young children to the traditions of Episcopal worship. Torch bearer, Bible bearer, reader, prayer leader … each child plays an important role. We sing, learn to pray with movement, and listen to the Gospel lesson of the day.

Our children then listen to a storyteller, who leads the children in an imaginative version of a Bible story. Using the Godly Play curriculum, we use tangible figures and objects as a way of “acting out” the story. We encourage children to ask questions and to play with the figures. We then often engage the children in a hands-on activity designed to reinforce the story’s message. Previous activities include simple outreach projects, like decorating a “mitten line” which invites parishioners to donate mittens to children and adults in a local shelter.

 

4th-6th Grade: Episcopal Children’s Curriculum, 10 a.m. (Sept-May) or 9 a.m. (June-July)

Our 4th-6th graders also meet up at the start of the service and rejoin the greater congregation for the Eucharist. In class, these students continue to build their understanding of the Bible and practices in the Episcopal worship service. We build on the foundation established in Children’s Chapel and Godly Play. We have moved to this new curriculum in the fall of 2022 after using Gather Round previously; it has a three-year cycle and a variety of activities that adapt well to different teachers and students. Its focus is on Scripture and the work of God in our lives, and each year also takes a different angle into our liturgical life, like baptism and the Eucharist.

Through additional outreach activities, students deepen their caring for other people and for animals needing our protection. For example, in the past students have collected clothes for family shelters and socks and mittens for the homeless, or planned and hosted bake sales to raise funds for a local animal shelter.

 

Calendar

Our church school programs begin the first Sunday after Labor Day and continue through the end of the program year, typically in early June. Occasionally we offer additional programs in the summer. Children’s programs do not meet on holidays and school vacation weekends; we follow the Needham Public School calendar.

 

Registration

We welcome new students at any time during the school year! If you’d like to learn more or check on our current schedule, you can reach out to Nick, our Rector. You can also register online (registration will be live at the end of August 2022) or contact the Church Office.

 

 Safe Church Policy

God’s house is to be a place of safety for all people. Here is Christ Church’s Safe Church Policy.