Why are we here? Teachers that is. Reflecting on this question after twenty years in the classroom led me to apply to Farmington. The first decade of my career focused on my pedagogy, as I sought to develop strong, independent and critical learners. The second decade taught me that this isn’t always enough. I realised that for some learners the barriers to their progress were not related to the subject matter of Religious Studies but in their mindset to learning and the impact of other aspects of their lives. As I developed my coaching role with teachers too, their reflections identified similar themes and concerns. During this project, I have coached […]
This project looks at how negative attitudes towards British Muslims can be explored within the RE classroom, as a response to the British Values (2014) and Prevent (2015) educational initiatives. This is not a study of those educational initiatives, but offers an idea of how they may look in practice. The title for my project was chosen to make the point that negative attitudes towards Muslims could be construed as a modern form of prejudice, akin to that of racism.
Some of the most noticeable difficulties that many primary school pupils identified as having special educational needs can be seen in their inability to read fluently, write well, organise their thoughts and recall information easily. Religious Education lessons use the Bible as the main reference for Christianity. This prime written source is for many SEN pupils a reading block which can affect their understanding, output, enthusiasm, confidence and in some cases their behaviour. This Farmington project sought to find a means to engage SEN pupils with reading, writing and memory difficulties through a practical and visual medium so as to […]
Four Specialist Leaders of Religious Education embarked upon identifying support mechanisms for teachers in the Diocese in light of the significant changes to the GCSE specification. We identified common themes across the different examination specifications, particularly challenging subject areas. My focus, and that of my second in Department was on the significance of the Incarnation with reference to John 1:1-18 and Philippians 2:5-11, Matthew 5-7 recognising Jesus as a source of morality and the importance of Salvifici Doloris 13 & 23 as a Catholic response to the Problem of Evil. These resources were designed to give meaningful access to all. […]
My work was inspired by a piece of artwork, ‘The things I have to do to maintain myself’, by Roxanne Swentzell, from the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico. Her rationale for the piece led me to consider my own relationship to wild places. I set out to investigate perceptions of ‘wild places’ and the spirituality to be encountered in them, leading to an evaluation of how the environment can be linked to opportunities available to pupils at Lacon Childe School, in respect of SMSC aspects of the curriculum and the Learning Outside the Classroom Agenda, and how this may […]
Aristotle believed that education was central to the development of the whole person– “the fulfilled person was an educated person”. This famous Aristotelian idea should be extended to all schools through their SMSC programme and should enable pupils to have a vast array of experiences in school, not just in the classroom. In our quest to develop our young people we should consider their virtues and their human character as well as their academic rigour and success. Having worked in economically deprived areas for fifteen years, independent thought and learning is a challenge for many of our pupils. The pupils […]
This project investigates the issues surrounding academic transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3. Whilst schools make great effort in facilitating pastoral, institutional and social transition in to Secondary, academic transition beyond English and Maths is often inconsistent. Academic transition is therefore a lacuna of research. This case study worked within the context of four Primary Schools and one Secondary School. It explored the ways in which issues such as curriculum, knowledge base, concept development, stakeholders, school structures, staffing and subject-based staff development all shape pupils’ understanding in Religious Education. Drawing on interviews of teaching staff, pupil interviews, […]
The scheme of work focuses on exploring and developing spirituality. It allows time for personal and collective reflection, and gives students the opportunity to practice and share in mindfulness development. co-authored by Elizabeth Fletcher.
Many papers have covered the detrimental effect ‘the lost years’ can have on a student and their academic achievement, citing dips in focus, attainment and drive in an education setting. If the lost years can be put to good use, students will be empowered and prepared for their GCSEs and could go on to attain a wider range as well as number of qualifications. My Farmington Scholarship focused on equipping students with the necessary skills to access the GCSE material and be examined a Key Stage early. My presentation and paper draws on academic research, interaction with students and parents, […]
The underlying drive for this research in our increasingly secular and divided society, is the growing concern for the mental health and well-being of our young people, reflected in the notion that with the large-scale withdrawal of the population from organised religion, there is much of value beyond faith itself which is being lost. My Farmington Scholarship has explored the impact of offering opportunities for art mediated silent assemblies and meditative practice on spiritual well-being. The greatest obstacle to this action research was finding a meaningful mechanism for attempting to measure spiritual well-being. The basis used was the spiritual well-being model constructed […]