School students “Experience Christmas” at Dunoon Grammar School.

Just before the end of last term the first year pupils at DGS had the opportunity to encounter the Christmas story from the bible through a series of interactive stations. The stations were presented by volunteers from local Dunoon churches, and covered stories such as the shepherds near Bethlehem being greeted by an angel, the journey of Mary and Joseph for a Roman census and the wisdom and gifts of the wise men.

At each station the students heard part of the Christmas story then did an activity to help them empathise with the characters and to understand what the story means to the Christian faith. The activities varied from deciding what gift they would have taken to the manger (Jesus would have received many XBoxes in 2013) through to eating pitta bread to understand that putting a little salt into bread makes as much difference to its flavour as a little courage made to Mary’s life when she hears from an angel that she is to have a baby.

The project has been developed from a series of schools’ projects all entitled “Experience” and marketed by Jumping Fish, a church and school resource company based in Gloucester, England.

Andrew Swift, a local minister and one of the organisers of the project in Dunoon said, “The biblical accounts of Christmas are rooted in our culture, but many people have not had the chance to learn what these stories say about Christianity, the Jewish people and the early church. The stations present what Christians believe in way that is accessible and interesting for students of any faith or none.”

This is the third year that this project has been running in Dunoon Grammar, and once again good feedback was received from the students. This included:

“I thought it was very interesting learning the full story and doing all the activities.”

“I liked the afternoon because I learnt a lot and the pitta bread was nice.”

“I really enjoyed today as I found it really interesting and I now know more about the night Jesus was born!”

“I loved how we got to see taste and play with everything that was there.”

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