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September 2014

In This Issue


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Introduction

As we start preparing for the new academic year, we hope that teachers and students are refreshed from summer and ready for a new year full of progress and exciting programmes. Over the summer, the Qualifications Committee has continued its busy work on the revision of GCSE and A Level RS criteria, and a public consultation will be opened in the coming term. Other committees have also been working hard to continue the work of the Council and promote good RE, including the PR Committee which will be engaging with the three major political parties at their autumn conferences in preparation for the general election. 

Welcome to the REC's new Chair and Treasurer

The RE Council is pleased to welcome a new Chair and Treasurer, as of 1st September. Our new Chair is Joyce Miller, who has been involved with the REC in a number of capacities.  She was the Council's deputy chair from 2008 to 2012, chaired the REsilience project and RE Quality Mark Steering and Monitoring Group, and represented the REC on the national advisory group on Learning Outside the Classroom. During her career, Joyce has also served as Head of Diversity and Cohesion at Education Bradford, served as a senior lecturer in RS at Wolverhampton, taught in  secondary schools, and been chair of AREIAC. The Council also welcomes a new Treasurer, Rosemary Rivett. Prior to her retirement, Rosemary was NATRE’s Executive Officer and Director of Education for RE Today Services/Christian Education. Rosemary continues to be a member of NATRE and has also served as a Board member of the RE Council for several years.

We very much look forward to working with Joyce and Rosemary in the coming year. 

Chief Executive Officer of the REC

The Religious Education Council of England and Wales is looking to recruit a Chief Executive Officer for the first time.  In recent years the REC has grown in strength, in numbers and in influence and it has become an increasingly active organisation, committed to working with its member bodies to promote effective RE in schools, colleges and universities. 

Applicants must be in sympathy with the aims, vision and values of the RE Council.

This full time post will replace that of the current part time Executive Officer who is retiring. It will be based at the RE Council's office in London, though working from home could also be considered subject to negotiation on travel costs. Salary is negotiable according to expertise and experience but will be in the range of £45 – 50K + 6% pension contribution.  Closing date: midday on Monday 29 September 2014.

For further details of the post and application process, please email sophie@religiouseducationcouncil.org .

Learning Outside the Classroom in RE

The REC's new Sacred Spaces  website goes live on 1st September.  It includes a wide variety of material such as RE trails linking a number of points related to religion or belief in a particular town or village, a series of 22 case studies for all ages from Foundation Stage to Sixth Form illustrating visits to places of religious or spiritual interest and also links to useful websites, sources of further information and perspectives from providers. Visits are one of the most effective ways of bringing RE to life and this site aims to encourage schools to take up the many opportunities which exist.

New on the RE Council Website

When the APPG published its summary report on RE and Good Community Relations in March, its author, Dr Joyce Miller, said she would write a reflective paper for a mainly educational audience on further issues and implications.  This is now available and can be seen here. The summary report has received much positive comment and work based on its recommendations is going ahead within and beyond the REC.

Also new on the website this month is the first blog from the new RE Council Chair, Dr Joyce Miller. To read the blog, visit the REC website

Young Ambassadors for RE

The Young Ambassadors for RE will be preparing to go back to school, and many of them will be embarking on their GCSE RS courses – we wish them all the best of luck if they are! We are pleased to have accepted three new teams during the summer, and will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis – if you have a school in mind who might be interested, please do spread the word. Further information and an application form can be found on the RE Council website. This term we will be asking YA teams to help to organise their annual conference, which will be held in November and will be host to a very special guest!

RE PD Portal

The RE PD portal is now being populated with courses for next year. Designed as a one-stop shop for teachers of RE to find out about professional development opportunities of all kinds, the portal includes a database of courses across the UK and online. If you are offering any PD courses, workshops, or other provisions over the next academic year, please get in touch or submit your opportunity using the submissions form

The RE Regional Strategy

Based on Recommendation 4 of the RE Council’s Review of Religious Education, ‘to ensure that there are more robust arrangements for training and supporting teachers of RE’, the RE Council and NATRE working in collaboration with Culham St Gabriel’s have launched the RE Regional Strategy, to help teachers of RE to develop a regional strategy in their own area, adapted and suited to their own professional development priorities: http://www.cstg.org.uk/2014/04/re-regional-strategy-pilot-launched/ This exciting new opportunity is open to any networks of teachers focussed on bringing teachers together to improve standards, strengthen research-practice links and build leadership capacity. Get linked to this, check the criteria and apply for help to start a network! 

3FF Urban Dialogues exhibition

Start September with a creative and enriching trip to 3FF’s Urban Dialogues art exhibition, (September 3rd- 21st 2014) an ideal space to engage, inspire and challenge students. The exhibition brings together 10 established artists, from a broad range of cultural backgrounds, whose work explores themes of faith, belief and identity in the UK today. Gallery tours of the exhibition and artist-led workshops give students an opportunity to explore the influence of religion and belief on individuals, families, communities and cultures, develop their understanding of art and design.  The exhibition takes place at the Red Gallery, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DT (Old Street tube) from Wednesday 3rd – Sunday 21st September. To book and for more information please contact: eli@3ff.org.uk.

On Religion

On Religion is a quarterly magazine that covers religion, faith, belief and current affairs. It has regular pieces on theology, history of religion and religion and media, and may be a useful resource for teachers. More information on the magazine and subscribing is available here www.OnReligion.co.uk/subscribe.

Resources from the Hindu Council

Hindu Council UK has uploaded resources focusing on Hindu in response to challenges from Science and Rationality:

News from the Institute of Jainology

The festival of 'Paryushan' is taking place between 22 - 30 August; during this important Jain Festival, view the www.jainpedia.org website and read about its importance and meaning in the Jain faith. Our most recent addition to the JAINpedia website is about the 'Anuvrat Movement', a non-religious, ethical movement following Jain principles for all faiths and backgrounds. Several members of the Institute's education team will be delivering lectures during this festival, see www.jainology.org for further information or contact us on info@jainpedia.org

Resources for teachers on the Baha'i faith

The first tranche of resources for RE Teachers (Upper KS2/ KS3) on aspects of the Baha'i Faith is available for free download. Items include PowerPoints, unit and lesson plans as well as suggested examples of devotional music. Initially developed during a Farmington Fellowship, more will be added over the next few months. For more information, contact deb.tibbey@gmail.com.
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