Our Farmington Project was based around providing support to RE Secondary School teachers across Suffolk. As a county we have many great RE teachers doing their best but we also have some issues: many single-staffed departments, a lack of specialist RE teachers, gaps in subject knowledge and little local CPD. Geographical limitations hamper collaborations between schools and so our focus was to try and stop teachers from feeling isolated and support them as and when it was required, through a variety of means.
We worked together as a group of four; all of us Secondary RE teachers working in schools across the county ourselves, to offer help in four different ways:
David organised a guided trip for teachers to Coventry visiting the Cathedral and Gurdwara. This was a form of CPD and helped inspire and resource colleagues to take their own students on similar trips.
Martin took on the role of a coach; he welcomed other teachers into his classroom and went to observe others and discuss the curriculum changes they were planing. This created links between teachers as well as helped them with improving their quality of teaching.
Sarah created a number of new resources and collated a range of existing ones for other teachers to use in their lessons. These were practical and relevant for different aspects of the RE curriculum, yet all collated for ease of access.
Wayne created a website which became the central hub of all the team’s work to be shared with teachers across Suffolk but beyond too. This also included links to RE and teaching related research to develop teachers’ CPD further.
We have received positive feedback from teachers about what we have achieved throughout the year and intend on continuing to build on its success. Since our Farmington Project we have been updating our website, finding more ways to offer support and sending out a monthly email to Heads of RE across Suffolk to maintain contact. We are all really grateful to the Farmington Institute for making it possible for all this to happen.
The report we have created is our website: www.suffolkresolve.co.uk