TT430: Moving Away from the Same Old ‘Sequence the Story’

  When I became RE lead at my school, I quickly realised that there is very little support for RE teachers in Wirral, particularly in primary schools. As my school is a non-faith school, there was even less support. My school has a different catchment area from many parts of the Wirral with one third of the children being Muslim and 126 children from 14 different backgrounds. From my research and discussions, it has been important to ensure my outcomes were suitable for my pupils. A lot of the ideas out there are ‘old hat’ and focus on sequencing the story […]

TT429: Rules of Serious Engagement

Two major recent initiatives in the subject, Understanding Christianity, a teaching and learning approach developed by the Church of England, and The Commission on RE (CoRE), which reported its findings on September 12th, 2018, are shaping current thinking about RE. Both call for a renewed focus on depth of understanding and academic rigour, in short, ‘serious engagement’, as Understanding Christianity puts it, with the subject matter. In recent years, rigorous and academically stretching RE has often been associated with the critical realist approach, which treats RE as a quest for ‘ultimate truth’, competing claimants in a debate in the ultimate […]

TT428: Professional Disciplinary Dialogue

This piece of research considers what the next steps are for a community coming to terms with being defined as a disciplinary subject, and perhaps most importantly, how we discuss this professionally. It is a response to the growing number of groups calling for the subject to be considered in disciplinary terms, with a recognition of the potential multidisciplinary nature of the subject. In this piece, I consider how the nature of the subject, students, and teachers are affected by this shift in subject definition. I then consider how other humanities subjects such as History and Geography have engaged with […]

PS097: VIVA-GO!

Within our culture, three waves crash together upon our young people: a premature media self-awareness, peer-measurement, and self-promotion, external and internal higher expectations of themselves, and a huge need for healthy mental health to have the resilience to thrive, not just survive. These young people need those they can trust, whether it be a parent, a leader, a peer who has the confidence to help them, and the faith in them to transform lives to journey beyond culture’s dictates, towards self-efficacy. VIVA GO! is a powerful tool to raise a young person’s life chances through listening, relationship and supported encouragement.  […]

TT427: Ever Increasing Circles

“When you drop a pebble into a pond, ripples spread out, changing all the water in the pool. The ripples hit the shore and rebound, bumping into one another, breaking each other apart. In some small way, the pond is never the same again.” ( Neal Shusterman) When I took on the hub leader role for Learn, Teach Lead RE Wirral group (LTLRE) I had no idea of the effect it would have on me or on the colleagues I worked with. I am in the privileged position of being the RE subject leader in a church school where CPD […]

TT426: Cracking Christian Concepts in a Cathedral

The intention of this work is to complement the requirements of the Understanding Christianity resource produced for Church of England schools by the Church of England and RE Today in 2016. (RE Today Services works nationally and internationally to support Religious Education in schools.) The driver for the research arose from speaking with many primary school teachers when they visited the Education Department at Chester Cathedral. They spoke about this new schools’ resource, saying that they found it difficult and challenging because they did not really have a personal grasp of core Christian concepts themselves. They therefore felt ill-equipped to […]

TT425: Aren’t Sikhs and Muslims the Same?

I work in a Church of England Academy, Liverpool primary school.  My research within the school showed that Sikhism was the least understood religion, with many children being unable to distinguish between Sikhs and Muslims, despite Liverpool’s rich Sikh history and the existence of a Gurdwara only 20 minutes away from the school. I researched the key aspects of Sikhism and met with practicing Sikhs and RE coordinators within the city to develop an understanding of the key beliefs and practices within Sikhism, then produced learning resources with which to teach Sikhism to primary school pupils.

TT424: Differentiated Revision Resources for Middle Ability Learners for the New Eduqas Religious Education GCSE

At the time of applying for the Farmington Scholarship, I was Head of Religious Education at St Paul’s Catholic high school in Wythenshawe, Manchester.   In an area of  Greater Manchester with significant social deprivation and within a school with more than double the national average of students with special educational needs or disability, the challenge of delivering the new, academically rigorous GCSE was a matter for great concern.  It was increasingly evident that disadvantaged students would struggle to learn and engage with such detailed religious doctrine alongside a requirement to quote from specific sources of wisdom and authority, use detailed […]

TT423: Are Primary-aged pupils being sufficiently challenged in R.E.?

Many primary school teachers that I have spoken to throughout my career have expressed a low confidence in the planning and teaching of Religious Education. Reasons given have included lack of subject-specific training when gaining their QTS, fear of saying the ‘wrong thing’ and lack of resources/finding existing resources too challenging. In this school-based enquiry, I explored: the views of teachers in terms of their confidence, challenges that they face and areas in which they require support; the views of the pupils in the extent to which they enjoy R.E. and feel challenged by it and ways in which they […]

TT422: What Can Help a Small School Both Sustainable and Effective in the Current Educational Climate?

In the current educational climate small schools, particularly rural primaries, face an ever increasing challenge to be both financially sustainable and effective. Head teachers and school leaders of small schools often find themselves having to take on extra responsibilities in order to keep down costs, but this can lead to increased workloads, and ultimately affect staff well-being and consequently their effectiveness. The need for small schools to do something different has been identified by the Church of England Education Board and two documents, Embracing Change: Rural and Small Schools (March 2018) and Working Together: The Future of Rural Church of […]