Carousel FAQs


Q. Do we need to purchase ‘Carousel in a box’ to run Carousel sessions?

Q. We have a small Sunday School with a few children. Can I run Carousel with just one or two groups?

Q. How do we run Carousel for a very large Sunday School?

Q. For which age group is Carousel designed?

Q. How many teachers and helpers will we need?

Q. Does Carousel take a long time to prepare?

Q. Can I email each session to my team?

Q. Will we need to buy lots of additional resources?

Q. How do we place an order?

Q. Why are the Lesson Planners date-specific?

Q. Can we add more zones of our own?

Q. Why doesn’t the Game Zone relate to the story or craft?

Q. We have a ‘Shack at the back’ prayer space. How do we make it fit with Carousel?

Q. Why are the stories taught in chronological order rather that in series?

Q. Can we go deeper with Christian Topics?

Q. Can we include an all-together worship time with Carousel?

Q. Can Carousel be run in one hall?

Q. Does Carousel work as an after-school club?

Q. Does Carousel take a long time to setup?

Q. We meet for an hour. What could we do for the rest of the time?

Q. We only have a short time with our children. Can we adapt Carousel?

Q. How does Carousel help to engage the older children in our group?

Q. Some members of our team don’t have access to online resources; can I buy paper copies of the Carousel planners?

Q. What is the best option for churches with a small Sunday school budget?

Q. How often do you send out material?

Q. What is The Bible Curriculum?

Q. What are Flashcards and how do we use them?

Q. How do we put the stories into context?

Q. Who came up with the idea of Carousel and what is their experience?

Q. Can we follow you on Facebook or Twitter?

Q. What’s the best way to keep in touch?


Q. Do we need to purchase ‘Carousel in a box’ to run Carousel sessions?
A. Carousel in a box includes all the accessories needed to run a Carousel session and a year’s worth of printed planners sent to you during the course of a year. The accessories included are very competitively priced as we bulk-buy many of the items. However it would be possible for you to buy some of the basic items to run a successful Carousel session.

Q. We have a small Sunday School with a few children. Can I run Carousel with just one or two groups?
A. Yes. Carousel works just as well with one or two groups as it does with three. A single group can still rotate around the three zones.

Q. How do we run Carousel for a very large Sunday School?
A. Carousel planners provide you with enough material to rotate three groups of children around three zones. We suggest that group sizes are between 5–20 people. If you have more that sixty children consider the following:

  • Add an extra zone, i.e. a Drinks Zone or a Prayer Zone
  • Think Holiday Club and teach the Story and Game Zones from a stage.
  • If you have enough space and staff double-up the Zones and divide your children into six groups.
  • N.B. The size of each group will be restricted by the available room space, teacher’s ability and available helpers.

 

Q. For which age group is Carousel designed? 
A. Carousel is designed for primary-aged children. However we have seen it work well for pre-school children who, accompanied by a designated helper, have been allowed to dip in and out of activities. For older children a buddy system may be appropriate where older children help out with younger groups. Try using ‘buddies’ as group leaders and Zone Helpers; they especially like the Craft Zone and an opportunity to act.

Q. How many teachers and helpers will we need?
A. You will generally need one teacher for each zone and one helper for each group. i.e. three teachers and three helpers. However make sure you comply with your church’s policies and procedures regarding child/helper ratios; for large groups you may need more helpers.

Q. Does Carousel take a long time to prepare?
A. No. It is relatively quick because each teacher prepares just one third of the session, but delivers it three times. Helpers have no preparation; their role is pastoral. However, bear in mind the more time you can give to preparation the better each zone will be.

Q. Can I email each session to my team?
A. Yes. The planners are designed to email to team members, alternatively just pass on The Bible Curriculum web address and teachers can download their own material  

Q. Will we need to buy lots of additional resources?
A. No. But you will need to buy resources for the craft activities. We only use materials that are readily available from craft shops, websites and supermarkets.

Q. How do we place an order?
A. There are two options: use Paypal to make a secure credit card/Paypal payment or contact us and we will send you a Postal Order Form.

Q. Why are the Lesson Planners date-specific?
A. Every year our curriculum runs chronologically through the Bible but Easter is not a fixed calendar date. To ensure that the Easter stories are taught at Easter we write fresh material for every year.

Q. Can we add more zones of our own?
A. Yes. We think that Drinks Zones, Worship Zones and Prayer Zones are a great addition. We love Carousel but we are not precious about it. Please feel free to make it your own.

Q. Why doesn’t the Game Zone relate to the story or craft?
A. There is deliberately no planned correlation between the Bible stories and the Christian Topics taught in the Game Zone; this is so that stories can be taught chronologically and children can explore a monthly Christian Topic like ‘Prayerֹ’ or ‘The Bible’. It’s just like learning literacy followed by numeracy at school.

Q. We have a ‘Shack at the back’ prayer space. How do we make it fit with Carousel?
A. A prayer space makes a great additional zone or a place to gather for reflection and prayer at the close of a session.

Q. Why are the stories taught in chronological order rather that in series?
A. Children love to know the ‘big pictureֹ’. Teaching chronologically helps children understand the Bible as a continuous story rather than a collection of individual events and characters. Every autumn children hear stories from the Old Testament, every spring a selection from the Life of Jesus and every summer a selection of stories from the Early Church period.

Q. Can we go deeper with Christian Topics?
A. Yes. There’s information readily available in online commentaries and resources. If you have a number of teachers you could get together and discuss how you could structure an ‘in-depth’ look at the topic and Bible verse over the coming month.

Q. Can we include an all-together worship time with Carousel?
A. Yes. A worship time is a great way to start or end a Carousel session. Try to choose songs that relate to either the month’s Christian Topic or the day’s story.

Q. Can Carousel be run in one hall?
A. Carousel works well in a single space like a hall or even one room. In a hall dividing screens or gazebos will help to create cosier, quieter spaces. In a small room you could run Carousel with a single group. Use three different walls as focus points/Zones and encourage the children to move around the room congregating at each ‘Zone’.

Q. Does Carousel work as an after-school club?
A. Carousel works well in schools as an after-school club. It has also been adapted successfully for assemblies and collective worship. Make sure the Head Teacher is happy with the material before it is introduced to a school.

Q. Does Carousel take a long time to setup?
A. It takes as long as you want. Each zone could be set up in 15 minutes; an elaborate zone with gazebos, bunting, lighting, sun umbrellas etc. would take longer. Go on – be creative!

Q. We meet for an hour. What could we do for the rest of the time?
A. There are several things you could do: extend the time children spend in each zone; introduce additional zones like a Prayer Zone or add a worship/reflection time.

Q. We only have a short time with our children. Can we adapt Carousel?
A. Please feel free to adapt Carousel. You could tell the story in the Craft Zone before or after children make a craft or miss out a zone altogether.

Q. How does Carousel help to engage the older children in our group?
A. Try using older children/young adults as buddies, group leaders and Zone Helpers; they especially like the Craft Zone, an opportunity to act or read out the instructions to a game. Older children will appreciate a little responsibility. Buy them special T-shirts or caps to help them be a part of your team.

Q. Some members of our team don’t have access to online resources; can I buy paper copies of the Carousel planners?
A. Yes, we provide a ‘print and post’ service. We will print three months’ worth of planners and send them to you in the post. Each quarter you will receive the next three months’ worth of planners. Each set of planners includes master copies of the Printable material for you to use or photocopy.

Q. What is the best option for churches with a small Sunday school budget?
A. A box of Carousel accessories can be bought as a one-off purchase and will provide you with everything you need to run Carousel sessions. Carousel planners are free to download from this website

Q. How often do you send out material?
A. Planners are available to download from the website two months before a teaching session. For the ‘print and post’ service each three-month pack is posted quarterly and delivered mid-March, mid-June, mid-Sept and mid-December.

Q. What is The Bible Curriculum?
A. The Bible Curriculum is at the heart of Carousel. It is a five year Programme of Learning that ensures the whole Bible is taught and that themes central to the Christian faith are explored. It includes two elements: the story plan and the Re:verse programme.

Q. What are Flashcards and how do we use them?
A. Flashcards: the Bible in 30 images. To help children understand the Bible as a continuous story we've created three Flashcard sets: The Old Testament, The Life of Jesus and The Early Church.  They help to put Bible stories in context and ‘set the scene’ before telling a story. Available as Powerpoint downloads or simplified A4 laminated sets.

Q. How do we put the stories into context?
A. See Flashcards above or create your own Bible storyboard by cutting out images from a children’s Bible and attaching them to cork display boards.

Q. Who came up with the idea of Carousel and what is their experience?
A. Carousel has been developed by Jenny Shrimpton, a creative writer and mother of three, with over twenty years experience in teaching children in a church setting. Jenny is an accredited Minister with the CiC ministry network, an individual member of the Evangelical Alliance and a member of the Association of Christian Writers.

Q. Can we follow you on Facebook or Twitter?
A. Yes, please do. Social Media is a great way for us to keep you up-to-date with relevant information and a great way for you to give us feedback.

Q. What’s the best way to keep in touch?
A. Sign up for our e-newsletter and receive ideas and additional information from us.