WR04: The language of Orthodox Icons-a resource for teachers

Summary: This report is designed to be an illustrated resource for RE teachers wishing to use icons in the classroom in order to encourage a more theological understanding of the incarnation, baptism, resurrection and atonement. Explanations of the significance and language of icons will allow teachers to adapt the material to their own needs when preparing lessons around the use of icons whether at primary, secondary or sixth form level. Includes information on the theology of the icon, the origin and development of icons, the language of icons and their liturgical function, the style of icons, and the setting of […]

TD38: Turning the Tide – Communicating Catholic ethos to the major stakeholders in schools and colleges

Summary: This report investigates the background to Catholic schools, their purpose and the issues with communication. Catholic ethos in schools and colleges has become, to a wide degree, implicit rather than explicit in terms of theology and is in danger of being lost due to the pressures and demands on schools, but it has not disappeared, it is simply that we need to find a language in which to communicate it in the changed circumstances of the present day. This project has been a lifelong one; a burning passion that what is precious is not lost for the lack of […]

TD37: “Through her eyes” – A study considering traditional and feminist hermeneutical theories applied to the Book of Esther

Summary: My Farmington Fellowship has given me the opportunity to explore scholars’ ideas and develop resources in the fields of traditional and feminist hermeneutical approaches to interpreting the Bible. I choose these areas to study as my Sixth Form students find these areas hard to grasp and some of the scholars’ views they study confusing. My aim was to produce resources that engage the pupils in these areas, as well as develop their subject knowledge, thus eliminating the areas that are confusing to them. During my study I have identified the key scholars that the OCR RS A Level specification, […]

TD36: “Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell” – Do school children have an accurate understanding of Christian beliefs about life after death?

Summary: A common student response to the question “what do Christians believe about life after death?” is “Christians believe that good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell”. This is over-simplified at best, and at worst just wrong! The concept of grace seems to be missing from students’ understanding. In this research, data is gathered comparing the beliefs of church-goers from four different churches about life after death with the expectations of students in two different schools. From the comparison of these results it is clear that there are several areas where there are misunderstandings about key beliefs.

TD35: Church School – Changing Society: A study investigating the changing intake to Anglican schools in year 7 and the implications that this has for the teaching of RE

Summary: Background: It is a time of change for the teaching of Religious Education and Anglican secondary schools are not immune from this. My research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the previous RE experience of pupils at the start of Year 7 and considers how the teaching of RE in an Anglican school should adapt to a changing and more secular intake. Results: Whilst there are examples of outstanding practice in primary schools many pupils arrive in Anglican secondary schools without any church background and very little meaningful Religious Education up to that point. The Church of […]

TD34: “Mind the Gap” In praise of ambiguity, numinousness and the ineffable: a theological rationale for the study of RE in secondary schools

Summary: This report is an exploration of the significance and value of Religious Studies with particular reference to the innate capacity of the subject to offer students room for reflection. My hypothesis is that allowing space for ambiguity, uncertainty and unanswerable questions is of fundamental value and that the consideration of the numinous, discussion of ultimate questions and explorative pedagogy found in the best Religious Studies lessons are crucial for developing reflective thinkers. My approach is primarily a theological justification of the primacy of ambiguity and uncertainty in Religious Studies. 

TD33: Pilgrimage: A Journey in Faith

Summary: The Farmington Fellows working on this project are all teachers and volunteers for the HCPT: The Pilgrimage Trust. The charity provides the opportunity for children with physical, social or emotional needs to join with 6000 other children and volunteers from the UK & Ireland, Europe and the Americas as we experience pilgrimage to Lourdes at Easter. HCPT currently lacks materials, which can be used in schools to promote the charity. As teachers and volunteers we saw an opportunity to produce a resource which not only promotes the charity but also teaches about pilgrimage; something which is important to other […]

TD32: How to Stimulate and Challenge Pupils in Key Stage 3 Religious Studies Through Using Westminster Cathedral to Explore the Sacramental Life of a Christian

Summary: John Bentley designed the Cathedral to reflect the sacramental journey of a Christian from birth to death, and, with a little initiation and guidance, Westminster Cathedral can become a powerful icon of Christian belief in how God is manifest in a person’s life.  Through discovering its chapels, a person from whatever faith tradition can deepen their understanding of the Christian faith and make links with their own spiritual convictions. As a Religious Studies teacher at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, I felt that my students could learn from the journey on which it takes a person.  Developing a course seemed […]

TD31: Old Testament Ethics? Spheres of Influence

Summary: This report is a study of the Old Testament in current AS/A2 specifications. The study examines the use and misuse of the Old Testament particularly in the realm of moral theology, the assumptions often made about the text and of its value in contemporary discourse. The study includes teaching and primary resources, and a reflection on the text of Genesis 3 and a comparison with ancient Near Eastern Texts.

TD30: Running a successful after school Christian club in partnership with members of the congregations of the Parish Churches

Summary: This report gives details of the successful setting up of an after school Christian club in a First school in Staffordshire. It sets out the aims and objectives of the club, and gives advice and resources for schools who wish to set up their own after school Christian clubs.