“Coming together is a beginning: keeping together is progress: working together is success”. (Henry Ford) This paper documents our work on devising strategies for partnering – primary to primary, primary to secondary and schools to faith communities and the wider community. It also describes how we organised pupil events, such as the Hats of Faith, in our Town Hall, with the participation of the Mayor, children from ten different primary schools, the fire service, police, representatives from all major religions including Russian Orthodox and Ethiopian traditions. Our report describes the mutual benefits of communities coming together, in person and virtually. In […]
My understanding of Religion and Worldviews is to inspire students to think beyond themselves and to create a space where they are encouraged to have a dialogue regarding the world they live in, and to broaden horizons to include the wider world. Through this scheme of work, I aim to help students understand how the views held by individuals and groups may shape individual outlooks. I hope to create more respect and tolerance for differences, promote and encourage engagement by creating a safe space in which students can ask and answer questions, enabling a healthy discourse between students using literature to […]
“What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand” (Xunzi, Confucian scholar (340-245BC) All educators and learners would agree with Xunzi. My school is in a socio-economically deprived, mono-cultural area, where most children come from non-religious backgrounds. This Farmington scholarship has given me the opportunity to help children at my school further ‘understand’ certain aspects of faith. I have been able to research, plan, carry out, evaluate, document and share Big RE days, immersing the children in experiences, teaching them about different faiths. We have shared these with the wider community too, from Hindu dancing in the yard for […]
A discussion of strategies for implementing discussion within A Level Religious Studies lessons, with a particular focus on creating a scheme of work to support the delivery of the Gender and Theology topic of the OCR A Level specification. The final scheme of work includes six strategies for encouraging discussion and considers the effectiveness of these strategies. These include the importance of effective questioning, balloon debates and parliamentary debates, among others. Resources are available on request.
As an aspiring head teacher of a Church of England school, how do I ensure that the Church of England’s Vision for Education is fufilled, enabling pupils and adults to flourish? The purpose of my scholarship was to provide a practical resource for aspiring heads or heads new to post, to suport other leaders in considerations they may wish to make when working to establish and embed an effective and distictive Christian Vision. This is something which needs to be done with your school’s context at the very heart of every decision you make. Your school’s vision and ethos, […]
RE is an exciting, engaging and enjoyable subject which teaches children so much about our world. Over the last two years, learning has changed for primary pupils. At different points, children have been asked to learn at home, with the whole curriculum expected to be covered. It is this sudden change in learning that prompted the focus of this particular study – how can we better improve the profile of Primary School RE within families? How can we encourage RE reflective skills to be taught within the home? These questions provided the starting point and focus for this project.
The aim of this project is to answer the question: How can engagement (and thus progress) be maximised in a non-religious state school, which faces the challenge of negative attitudes towards Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in a time-restricted setting? Through researching scholarly literature, implementing new strategies and evaluating progress, I have worked on ‘Interleaving ‘a religion-heavy GCSE and adapting it for the context and demographic of the students we serve, whilst maintaining rigour and developing the skills required for subject mastery.
Our Farmington project consists of creating a new RE curriculum for years 1-6 which encompasses Barbara Wintersgill’s Six Big Ideas. We based our lessons around these big ideas in order to make children’s learning more meaningful and relevant to society today, with the aim of preparing our pupils for the wider world. Through our curriculum, we focused on engaging activities which create meaningful discussions, have long-term relevance and encourage personal reflection. Furthermore, we have created connections to other units, giving children the opportunity to make links, whilst continuously revisiting the ‘golden threads’ which are essential aspects of all learning.
Having spent several years focusing departmentally on the changes at GCSE, we decided to shift the focus onto the progress of our Key Stage 3 students, to research what makes good RE and how to improve further. By the end of the project we had created a number of assessments across the 3 year groups. With each assessment there is an example of a higher and lower ability response for use with both students and teachers (especially non-specialists).
My project for the Farmington Institute centres around “Raising the profile” of Religious Studies in my secondary school. The subject has been neglected in the past and I struggle to find the time required to implement the changes needed as I am a History specialist and this consumes the majority of my timetable. My project focuses primarily on the implementation of pedagogical changes within the subject to bring it in line with others at my school. Knowledge recall and formative assessment strategies feature prominently, following the research of Barak Rosenshine and Tom Sherrington.