Start thinking and researching early to find the best gift(s) for your Year 6 Leavers.
Many schools have Leavers’ Services at their local Church, but if not they may still have a Leaving ceremony of some sort. Try and get an invite and ask if you can give them all a gift from your church. It’s great if it’s a clergyperson or a church member presenting them with the gift, but the gift still needs to be clearly labelled that it’s from the church, so that when they look back on it, it reminds them of you. Labelling is especially important if they will be given to them by the school on your behalf.
As the Golden Ticket idea references the classic Roald Dahl tale of Charlie and the Chocolate factory, it would be great if you can give the young people a bar of chocolate, and even better if you can slip the ticket into the wrapping!
If not chocolate, a small bag of sweets (eg Haribos) stapled to the ticket could work just as well. It needs to be a treat and something that they want.
Be allergy and intolerance aware!
Many churches like to give Bibles, but it’s vital that it’s an attractive modern Bible in a readable translation ; not too boring and adult, but not too baby-ish either. Presentation Bibles might look nice, but if inside they are impossible for an un-churched 11 year old to read and make any sense of, they are as good as useless.
I would still recommend giving a sweet treat as well as a Bible (or alternative) – just as an extra to make them smile!
Below are some links to possible Bibles, Gospels and Christian books – but there’s lots more out there. In fact the choice can be bewildering!
Here’s a few that we can recommend. I’ve given a link to a place where you can buy these items online (at the time of writing). Other sales points are available of course, you may like to research yourself to find the cheapest or best source for your needs. You may have a local Bible bookshop which will appreciate your support. In the Diocese there are at least two and you may know of others.
Manna House, St Giles St, Northampton and Peterborough Christian Bookshop Ltd, Westgate, Peterborough.
You can also think about supporting your local high street bookshop instead of online purchasing.
There is a brand new Youth Edition of the Good News Bible.
Bible Society and Youth for Christ have teamed up with young people to put this Bible together. Featuring
• Links to a YouTube playlist
• Hundreds of interactive elements
• Space for writing, doodling, journaling and drawing
• Help with tough topics
• Full-page intro to each book
The NIV Bible for Teens is another edition of the full Bible. The advantage to this one is its slimline, nice quality, durable, lies flat and has Jesus’ words in red, as well as some teen-friendly inserts.The NCV Youth Bible is a safe bet, it is a full Bible, it treats them as young people rather than children and it should last them a long time. It has inserted stories, case studies, and highlights modern day issues and how they relate to the Bible and the presentation style is good.
The Soul Survivor Bible is produced by the team behind the annual Youth festivals, NIV, with inserts and relevant ways to help bring the Bible to life for young people.
The NIV Bible for Boys is another version, specifically targeted at boys, not just in the look, but with some added extras eg “Grossology: Gross and gory stuff you never knew was in the Bible and Makin’ It Real—Help for applying Bible stories to your everyday life”.
Faithgirlz NIV Bible is an alternative for girls, including extras that might suit girls such as “Dream Girl—Use your imagination to put yourself in the story. Bring It On! Take quizzes to really get to know yourself.”
The Authentic Youth Bible, written in ERV (Easy Read Version) for a more accessible way in for young people.
The Lion Graphic Bible is an abridged version of the Bible, good for tweenager boys, or anyone who likes to read comics or graphic novels. This tells the main Bible narrative in dramatic and readable style. It’s British and the author has worked on Marvel comics, no less.
The Action Bible is similar, but from America, also with illustrations by a Marvel and DC alumni.
The Manga Messiah is a version of the Gospels in Japanese animation style. Very readable, with the distinctive super-cute people that young people will recognise and enjoy (whilst dividing opinion amongst many adults, I suspect!). There is some quirky naming of characters, some using Hebrew versions, some Greek, but it has an effect of freshening the familiar stories.
Budget may be an issue for you, but there are lots ways of giving the young people something meaningful which don’t need to cost the earth…
One option is to give a single Gospel – less overwhelming than the whole Bible, whilst containing the Good News of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
The Authentic ERV Youth Bible is available as individual Gospels, still with extras to help make the most out of the text, like the full Bible but at a fraction of the cost.
Christianity Explored Gospel of Mark is not specifically for Young people, but it is clear, helpful and aimed at those who know little about the Bible, so a good alternative which could last the Leavers a lifetime.
There are some good free Apps out there now, and you could point your young people to them by giving them a bookmark, or sheet with some links, along with their Golden Ticket and a sweet treat . Just be wary and cautious; check out anything before you recommend. Some Bible apps feature social media type interactivity options which you may not want to encourage 10 and 11 year olds to be getting involved in, from a safeguarding point of view. There are also issues with UK appropriateness, as some apps can be very American.
The most popular Bible app in the world (American): Bible
Faithlife study Bible App is a free Bible app with some interesting features but it’s also rather American and a bit adult.
At the other end of the spectrum is Bible Trumps – possibly a bit childish, but fun and actually gives the young people a lot of Bible info within the game setting.
A Bible quiz app, Bible Trivia is fun while giving them some key Bible knowledge – it would need to be given in conjunction with a Bible, to reinforce their reading.
It’s Your Move
It’s your Move is a Scripture Union resource, specially written for Year 6 Leavers. It’s a book that is designed to help year 6’s to face their move to secondary school, to remind them that God is always with them and to give them practical tips and advice too. There’s also downloadable resources on their website too.