Looking Forward to Christmas with Timothy Bear: 18 Stories and Assembly Outlines for Advent and Christmas

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9781841016238: Looking Forward to Christmas with Timothy Bear: 18 Stories and Assembly Outlines for Advent and Christmas

Contains 18 pick-up-and-use assembly programmes for KS1 teachers, complete with memorable easy-to-read stories, telling tips, Bible links, suggestions for songs, optional prayers, and questions and activities to explore and develop the theme of the story - helpful for collective worship and classroom follow-up.

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About the Author:

Brian Sears is a trained teacher with nearly forty years experience of primary education. He was head teacher at Yorke Mead School, Croxley Green, Hertfordshire from 1980 until his retirement in 1997 and now continues teaching in one-to-one private tuition. In 1984 Brian had six stories published by NCEC in an anthology, A yearful of stories, and continues to contribute to the SU Bible Reading notes, Snapshots, for primary school aged children. For the last six football seasons Brian has realised his other passion, in that he has written a weekly column in the Independent based around statistics of Premiership football. Four years ago Scripture Union and CPO jointly published Brian's record of Christians working in the football industry Goal! Winning, Losing and Life, the writing of which involved Brian in meeting the likes of Cyrille Regis, and a memorable visit to Old Trafford to interview Manchester United's secretary and chaplain. Brian frequently leads church services by invitation in Hertfordshire, mainly in the Baptist tradition. He is an enthusiastic Watford FC supporter, two highlights being the play-off victory four years ago at Wembley and telling a story about Timothy Bear at the clubs annual Carol Service.

Review:

From REtoday - Autumn 2010 This book offers 18 'five minute stories and assembly outlines'. The material is organised in six sections: 'Preparing for Christmas', 'Light coming into the world', 'Love for the world', The gifts of Christmas', 'Food at Christmas' and 'Celebrating Christmas'. All the sections, each of which contains three stories, come with an introduction to the theme, supporting Bible links, recommended songs and suggested prayers. Each story is followed by questions designed to help children 'get to grips with the story' and activity suggestions to encourage them to express the story own it and live it out. The central character, as the title suggests, is Timothy Bear, and the setting is his school and the Nativity play his class is preparing. The stories are sequential in that they progress through the rehearsal stages to the performance, with a diversion into Oliver!, the KS2 production which prompts the bear to give up chocolate and honey until Christmas. The characterisation of children of this age is delightfully accurate (the author is a former teacher) but there was some confusion as to whether Timothy was a bear in a school for bears, making all the other characters in the stories bears underneath, or whether the other pupils were children. It took until page 50 for the situation to be clarified as Timothy and Claude performed a 'high five', with 'hand against paw in the air, calling out "Friends!".' The author writes in a down-to-earth style; he knows his classroom and he knows the KS1 context. He gives teachers good advice in the telling of stories, encouraging a variety of voices, though he admits he is not especially gifted in that respect. He suggests using objects to focus children's attention, not least Timothy Bear himself. He encourages the involvement of children and the ongoing discussion of the stories after assembly, although he does give the class teacher permission not to have been in the assembly! The material is very accessible, easy to navigate and would require minimum preparation by the teacher leading the collective worship. Reviewed by Julie Grove From Lincoln Diocesan Young People's Service - December 2009 A small (paperback sized) book aimed at those working with KS1 children. Timothy Bear is a teddy, but he may become whatever fits the local situation, changing name, gender and even species at the will of the story teller. The author was a primary teacher and school head for 40 years and has had a number of stories and teaching material published in the past. The book has a nice section on 'telling Timothy Bear stories' full of tips about using props, co-opting children into the story telling and using voice for different characters. The stories are split into six sections of three, covering Preparing for Christmas, through understanding the meaning of Christmas to how we celebrate Christmas. Each story has an introduction containing tips for telling, the story itself and a very useful section containing suggestions for 'Helping children get to grips with the story', 'Ways for children to express the story', 'Helping children to own the story', and 'Ways for children to live out the story'. This book has been produced by someone who obviously knows what they are doing from an education stand point, and has an easy facility with storytelling. I like this book, highly recommended! Reviewed by Dave Rose, Diocesan Children and Youth officer, Lincoln Diocesee From The Association of Christian Teachers - October 2009 Looking forward to Christmas with Timothy Bear is 18 five minute stories and assembly outlines for Advent and Christmas. The thread that links these stories is the production of a Nativity play in a KS1 department and how that affects Timothy Bear. There are six sections: Preparing for Christmas, Light coming into the world, Love for the world, The gifts of Christmas, Food at Christmas and Celebrating Christmas. Each section has an introduction with a helpful outline of the story, bible links, recommended songs and suggested prayers. At the end of each story there are questions to help the children get to grips with the story and how it applies. For example, one assembly is called 'The cloak and the crown' and talks about the announcement of the cast for the Nativity play; Timothy Bear has to cope with the disappointment of not getting the part he really wanted. Some of the questions listed: What is a nativity play? Which part would you like to have in the play? Think of a time when you have been disappointed. Was there anything that you or others did that made you feel a bit better? The book is ideal for Foundation Phase (Nursery to Year 2) assemblies, either as a large group or as a class. The language of the stories and questions are appropriate to the age range and the book is easy to use, especially for the non-specialist RE teacher. Reviewed by Rachel Davey, Class Teacher and co-ordinator for RE and PSE, Baden Powell Primary School, Cardiff

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