“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 […]
“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 […]
I focus on using different ‘lenses’ throughout Religion and Worldviews lessons, including theological and philosophical. I focus on what this looks like at a primary school level and how to give the children various skills to support their learning. For example, looking at festivals from different points of view may show a variety of meanings or change the significance for different people. I look at enabling children to understand, infer and question based on other people’s worldviews as well as their own and their peers’.
The project sought to ally Hindu Adhyatma-yoga with the Christian contemplative tradition towards the welfare of the young. Within a Hindu Faith School (11-18), 8 Contemplative Assembly protocols were developed, trailed, and appraised as promising. Particularly, the meditational practice: enabled children to be still, dream, and be content suggested that self-understanding and God-understanding exist symbiotically; God signposts the ideal-self stimulated children to adopt a God’s eye view whilst reassuring them to find God within themselves. Furthermore, the Scholarship quickened envisioning an Interfaith Chaplaincy across all the schools in the MAT – pioneering work hopefully to be taken forward under Farmington’s continued […]
In this project I explored the use of narratives, both small and big, in the teaching of Religious Education and whether narratives are useful as a way of teaching key stage 3 of Hinduism. In my project, I put together a scheme of work, with some detailed lesson plans and resources to suggest how narratives can be used in key stage 3 teaching of Hinduism to deepen pupil understanding of diversity of tradition, belief and practice.
As subject leader for RE in my primary school, I noticed that neither the children nor the teachers were particularly enjoying the subject, which was being taught by following the local syllabus for the Wirral. We needed to improve the profile of the subject as well as the learning for the children. I knew from my Literacy lessons how well children respond to stories and could develop skills in English by approaching texts in different ways. I wanted to see how I could use stories effectively to improve RE lessons with my own class and then across the school. In this […]
I work in a school for children and young people who have severe learning disabilities. My first Farmington scholarship (2017-18) was an exploration of sacred singing in different faiths, and how, in a special school, children might access spirituality and experience something of those faiths, through singing. This time I wanted to take that further and see whether, through singing, we can tap into the energy, or current, that underlies all faiths When we strip the singing of religious references, what remains? Not, as some might imagine, something secular, but instead something deeply sacred, that leads us into experiencing and […]
I teach RE in a two-form entry Church of England primary school in a small town situated between Liverpool and Manchester in the borough of St Helens in Merseyside. Approximately 97% of the 420 children in our school are white British. I noticed that the year 2 children I taught, whilst interested in learning about faiths other than Christianity, had few, if any, experience of mixing with other faith or cultural groups and had many misconceptions, seeming to perceive Muslim children as ‘foreign’ and very different from them. My aim for the project was for our children to understand that […]
Little Leigh Primary School is a one form entry village school with approximately 156 pupils and a creative ethos of topic-based learning through the arts. RE, however, is predominantly taught by HLTAs during teachers’ PPA, and although it has taught a broad and balanced curriculum, I felt the lessons lacked enthusiasm, excitement and a deeper moral meaning. I wished our children to experience religion in its 3D form, with visits and visitors from a diversity of faiths, to make religion ‘real’ with experiences they could relate to. Visits to Chester and Liverpool Cathedrals were transformational and led to a series of curriculum days, where children worked collaboratively […]
During my time researching this year I have been able to pause, sit back and reflect about my role as a facilitator and educator of RE. I have been able to meet and discuss with students, teachers and other professionals about the value of RE and I have taken time to study national reports published on its status within our schools. “Why do we have to do RE sir?”, a question I am sure many of us have been asked on multiple occasions over the years. This was the start of a discussion I had with a nurse, who was […]