Youth for Christ – Schools Work Policy
Youth for Christ is a cross-denominational youth work agency that seeks to support and serve young people in schools and ommunities across the country.
As a Christian organisation, our primary motivation hinges on Jesus’ twin commands to love God with heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbours as ourselves, as modelled by Jesus himself. In whatever role we are invited to work, our philosophy remains the same: to serve the school as Christ served the world – unconditionally, with respect, and from a foundation of love.
We believe that a good education is vital to enable young people to become valuable members of their community. A good education equips young people to contribute positively to society whilst at the same time enabling them to achieve their full potential. As professional youth workers, we seek to support young people to fulfil this potential for the benefit of themselves and others.
Youth for Christ operates in a number of diverse contexts, including churches, schools and prisons. As pertains to our work in schools, we seek to serve the school community in ways relevant to its needs, always at the invitation and direction of individual schools. Broadly speaking, we perceive our role to be two-fold:
– To support the education of young people
– To be representative of faith groups found in the local community
To support the education of young people
At a school’s invitation we engage with a diverse number of activities within the life of the school and curriculum for which we are qualified. These may include:
– In formal educational contexts, for example, in Religious Education, where we are uniquely placed to give authentic accounts of Christian life and belief, or through targeted mentoring work
– Supporting the school’s mandate to provide daily acts of collective worship of a broadly Christian nature
– Providing extra-curricular activities which support the school’s commitment to cultivating the spiritual and moral development of students, such as lunchtime groups or after school activities
– Supporting pastoral structures within schools, for example, as part of chaplaincy teams
To be representative of faith groups found in the local community
A core part of our identity is found in our choice to follow the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. Whilst in schools, we seek to embody that faith, living out Christian values and making it accessible and understandable for students of all faiths and none.
As members of this faith community within a school environment, we seek to:
– Support Christian young people within the school’s community as they make sense of their faith on a day to day basis, for example through Christian Unions
– Promote community cohesion through providing opportunities for meaningful engagement and discussion between people of different belief systems and ideologies
We do not perceive our role in schools to be to ‘convert’ the young people we meet there. Rather, in all things we seek to facilitate young people to explore and make informed decisions about spiritual matters, including big questions of life and meaning. Should students choose to explore the claims of the Christian faith further, we are willing to facilitate this process in ways appropriate to the school environment.
We visit schools at their invitation and are accountable to the school while we are there, respecting and abiding by its ethos and values.
We work with the school to plan and deliver lessons and programmes which will best support the holistic education of young people within the school.
We seek to be positive role models to young people in everything we say and do.
We treat young people with respect, dignity, understanding and empathy, whatever their religious background, ethnicity, age, sexuality or gender.
We are committed to discussion and dialogue within the educational arena, humbly recognising that we are all on a journey of discovery.
We conduct ourselves in line with recognised best practice for teaching and youth work. We are committed to ongoing training and professional development to enhance our work within schools.