‘I was a child again with no worries.’ – yr 7 response to PAUSE.
What is PAUSE?
PAUSE is Soulscape’s interactive prayer space for young people at school. Carving out space during the busy school day for personal reflection and prayer, it invites young people of all faiths and none to think about what and who is important in their lives. There are opportunities to remember people loved and lost, opportunities to explore hopes and dreams and opportunities to recognise and let go of regrets. PAUSE is primarily a space for personal exploration, time to ‘be’, an opportunity to stop looking at the clock.
How does PAUSE work?
PAUSE takes place in two adjacent classrooms. Soulscape volunteers remove school desks and chairs and mask visible teaching areas. They then install twenty or so carefully designed prayer zones, each having its own specific spiritual theme or activity for young people to explore. Zones are attractive, interactive and relevant and include a variety of media including sand, water, mirrors and clay. PAUSE can be installed in an afternoon, with zones remaining in place at school over a period of a few days. This allows numerous classes to experience PAUSE as part of their school curriculum. Around thirty young people may visit at any one time, with volunteers always on hand to answer questions and facilitate exploration. Afterwards, Soulscape volunteers remove the zones and carefully return the classrooms to their original state.
What is different about PAUSE?
Young people have described PAUSE as ‘…interesting, positive, relaxing, calm, emotional, tranquil, comfortable, quiet, creative, not at all what I was expecting…’ PAUSE is a space unlike any other at school. Informal, beautiful, and thought provoking, it is a space where young people can come to be quiet but not alone, where they can come to be reflective, and where they can experience peace in a chaotic, busy world.
Why is PAUSE important?
Young people are in the fast lane for much of their school lives. Always having to complete targets, assessments and assignments can lead to a build-up of stress and anxiety that is both unhelpful and unhealthy. There is so much more to life. PAUSE is an opportunity to step off the race track, take a deep breath and pause long enough to look at the world through a different lens. During PAUSE young people have an unusual opportunity to re-evaluate, renew and grow.
‘PAUSE came at just the right time after all the stress of exams.’ – yr 9 teacher.
Pause is run as part of the Prayer Spaces in Schools network. For more information visit http://prayerspacesinschools.com