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SCHOOLS

If you’ve ever struggled to come up with an interesting Bible-related school assembly, then Open the Book is for you. And we’re not just a one-off – our storytelling volunteers will be in your school week after week. It won’t take long for the kids to look forward to those times.

Open the Book is a valuable resource – providing a strong, consistent and on-going feature for assembly/acts of collective worship times. Teachers can link the stories through to Religious Education lessons.

This material is not intended to be used by school professionals as a resource book for assemblies. Churches are willing to offer this as a free service to schools.

Open the Book has been favourably received by OFSTED and SIAMS and helps primary schools in meeting their statutory Collective Worship obligations under the 1998 Schools Standards & Framework Act. Open the Book is available to primary schools in England and Wales, where volunteers operate, at no cost, and with no other commitment beyond the time it takes a team to present a 10-minute Bible story once a week. Open the Book is part of Bible Society – information is not shared with any other organisation.

Our volunteer teams will need to have reasonable access to the place where the stories are to be presented, so that they can have a sufficient time to prepare. Our aim is to purely share Bible stories to children – there is no commercial agenda to our work and all our volunteers adhere to our Code of Practice.

Open the Book teams come from the local churches. If schools would like to enjoy Open the Book assemblies/acts of collective worship or you want to see if there is an Open the Book team near to you please email us.

Sadie

‘I didn’t understand any of the Bible until Open the Book came to our school. I’m so happy they came back. The stories are not boring, you never want to go to sleep or doze off, it’s always really good. The people that come are really kind, nice and fun. I think every school needs someone like Open the Book who shows them stories about the Bible.’

Sadie, aged 10

SCHOOLS FAQS

Does Open the Book have an educational value?

Heads and teachers like Open the Book. It helps them to fulfil their statutory obligations for assemblies/Collective Worship. It also contributes to RE by giving the children useful background knowledge of the major stories and events of the Bible. This is key to understanding so much of our country’s cultural heritage. Most RE teachers are very supportive.

Will the storytelling volunteers try to ‘convert’ the children?

No! Open the Book volunteers agree to abide by our Code of Practice. This means sticking to the educationally sensitive script in our handbooks. The teams offer a Bible story, not a sermon. The handbooks have been written with care and sensitivity by teachers and educators. We aim to contribute to enrich children's education by presenting Bible stories in a way that they will relate to and enjoy. Wherever possible, we involve the children themselves.

Is Open the Book suitable for multi-faith schools?

Open the Book is being used successfully in schools with wide ethnic and religious backgrounds. There is no coercive content. The weekly time for reflection is suitable for children of all faiths and none. No attempt is made to impose the Christian faith on a child. Whatever their background, children and teachers find it educational and fun. Open the Book has proved popular in very varied Community and Church schools. If you would like to talk to another Headteacher or RE Co-ordinator then please get in touch.

Can schools buy the material for themselves?

Open the Book stories have been designed to be presented by teams of Christians from local churches, rather than by schools themselves. The teams put in much preparation beforehand and take time make the presentation interesting by assembling visual aids, costumes and special props. Our material is only available to registered teams who agree to deliver Open the Book in line with our Code of Practice

How can we get a team of volunteers to come to our school?

Contact the Open the Book team and we’ll see if there are volunteers in your area.

What can we do if we can't get a team of local volunteers?

Do keep trying! If all else fails, we wholeheartedly recommend The Lion Storyteller Bible by Bob Hartman. This is the book we use for all our Year 1 stories and is great for reading aloud. A few simple props will bring these stories to life.

Download our General Information leaflet.
Download our General Information leaflet in Welsh

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British and Foreign Bible Society operates in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
And we also work with a network of local Bible Societies around the world. Find your closest Bible Society here

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