22 Apr '13

News Who uses their King James Bible - and what for?

Last year, Michael Gove gave copies of the King James Bible to every school in England. We ask: what have they been used for?

Dave Whitaker, Springwell Community special school, Barnsley

It's propping up the files in my office because it's the heaviest thing I've got. It hasn't actually been opened. I've offered it as a drama prop, in case someone fancies wandering around dressed as a vicar with a Bible under their arm.

Neil Morris, headteacher, Christopher Whitehead Language college, Worcester

It's just below the desk, sitting there very pert and prim. I wouldn't disrespect a Bible – I'm not going to use it as a doorstop – but I'm not planning to do anything with it either. We have got it out with the Koran and other books to show it – it's a beautiful book. It would have been fine to have the Bible, but it's the signature "presented by the Education Secretary" that is a bit horrendous, saying "I'm giving you a gift". Well give us a gift then. Or better still give us some money to mend our portable classroom. It's a very nice book, very unnecessary, and just a bit offensive.

Stephen Lehec, Aylesbury grammar school

I think it's in the library. I don't know if anyone has used it. It wasn't a bad thing, but I'm not sure it was any good either. I'm sure if he had made us a gift of an iPad, we'd have gone "weehee".

Janet Marland, Cavendish primary school, Didsbury, Manchester

We haven't used it in assemblies because our children go down to three years old. Because we are an interfaith school, we tend to take stories with a good moral basis and use versions that children can read for themselves later, or look at the pictures if they can't read yet. We don't keep it in a book area because the paper it's printed on is incredibly thin. For individual study, it isn't really a robust resource for a lot of grubby fingers to crawl all over.

Robert Lamb, headteacher, King James's school, Almondbury, Huddersfield

We celebrated the King James Bible and did a couple of big projects, one of which was about everyday sayings that have come to us from it, such as "an eye for an eye", with pictures, and then a design project.

Glyn Bishop, Normanton Common primary school, Wakefield

It's in a display of religious texts. I have used it in assemblies, RE lessons and literacy lessons, looking at the binding and structure of the book. I'm not going to say it's the most used resource I have in my school, but I have made use of it.

Mandy Green, Samuel Pepys school, Cambridgeshire

We are a special school for children with multiple learning difficulties, so they don't read. It's a magnificent Bible and it's useful for supporting RE teaching in terms of "this is what a Bible looks like". We do treat it as an important book, but it's really an artefact.

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