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May 2013

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This month’s newsletter features news of several conferences and workshops covering a diverse range of topics related to RE. The themes of these events vary widely but they have in common an aim to bring together people who are keen to investigate and discuss religious education at depth, to increase their understanding of its essence and purpose, and to improve their ability to teach it. Opportunities for members of the RE community to share ideas, information and knowledge in this way are invaluable as they help us to step outside of our day-to-day engagement with the subject, to see it in a wider context and to think about how it should evolve in the future – particularly important objectives in these challenging times.

The new REC website goes live!

The REC has a new website which is now live. It is designed to reflect the changes in the Council's work, and will include a blog from the Chair and significant sections for the APPG and Young Ambassadors, as well as links to associated microsites for projects. There will be scope for more information about member organisations; this will be built up over the next few months. Please have a look at it at:

REC 40th Anniversary Sponsored Walks

Events are taking place across the country during May and June to celebrate the REC's 40th anniversary and to raise much needed funds for its work.  Full details will be in the latest Sponsored Walk Newsletter on the new website.  Please take part if you can, or sponsor somebody who is walking.
You can do this on line at: or by donating via the REC website, or you can send a cheque to the REC at the address above.  Your help will be much appreciated.

Professor Bob Jackson receives prestigious award

The Religious Education Association has awarded Professor Bob Jackson the prestigious William Rainey Harper Award,  which he will receive formally in Boston in November.  The award is presented to outstanding leaders whose work in other fields has had profound impact on religious education. Professor Jackson, who works at the University of Warwick’s Religions and Education Research Unit, and the European Wergeland Centre in Oslo, is only the 12th recipient of the international award since its launch in 1975; the news is reported the University of Warwick's intranet.

Young Ambassadors for RE

The pilot Young Ambassadors scheme is now up and running and the students who have won places on the scheme are throwing themselves into their activities with commitment and energy. One team has written to the Queen to share their enthusiasm for the subject! More details of why they want to champion RE can be found in the Young Ambassadors section of the REC website at

AULRE Conference

The Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education Annual (AULRE) Conference will be held on 5th and 6th July 2013 at York St John University. The theme of the conference is the influence of research on professional practice in religious education and further details are available from the York St John University website.

Unlocking RE in Academies

Unlocking RE in Academies is a new series of four regional day conferences for primary and secondary teaches of RE from RE Today and NATRE. Conference venues and dates are: Leicester (17 October); Bristol (5 November); Leeds (7 November); London (14 November), and the delegate fee is just £65 due to generous grant funding from the Jerusalem Trust. Teachers are invited to register their interest by emailing - full details and booking forms will be available in early June on the RE Today website

9/11 National Schools Competition

Following the success of last year’s inaugural 9/11 National Schools Competition, the 9/11 London Project is again offering students the chance to win a trip to New York this September. The competition is open to all UK students between the ages of 14 and 16 until 31st May 2013 and entrants are asked to send either a short film or a 1200 word essay conveying their views on one of two questions: either How did 9/11 change the world? or Why and how would you keep the memory of 9/11 alive in the UK? The judging panel will include Kevin Spacey CBE and Simon Schama CBE; for more details please visit the 9/11 Education Programme website.

RE-flect Workshop - 7th June 2013

The University of Exeter is offering a free one day workshop introducing a new approach to religious education, aimed at enabling RE teachers to create a classroom environment which is based on reflecting on beliefs, values and thinking. Participants will be able to meet teachers who have tried out this approach in their classrooms; learn how to create their own activities using the RE-flect framework; and take away a free sample lesson and resources. The workshop will be held on St Luke’s Campus at Exeter University and more details are available on the RE-flect website.

ISRSA Autumn Conference

The Independent Schools’ Religious Studies Association (ISRSA) is holding its annual Autumn Conference and Training Day at Church House Westminster on 25th November. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is a key speaker, as is a senior education MP, and there will be a challenging array of seminars for teachers from across the independent sector. Please visit the ISRSA website for further details.

Free Conferences on Islam and Higher Education

Registration is now open for two conferences being organised as part of a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to explore Collaborative Partnerships between Universities and Muslim institutions. Papers presented will explore various aspects of Islamic education, including collaborative educational models in the UK and beyond; barriers to collaborative partnerships and possible solutions; and international and local best practice. The conferences will take place on 23rd May at Senate House, University of London, and on 27th June at Birmingham University – for further details please visit the conference web page.

Historic Pageant in Chorley

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hosting the first official Church pageant outside the USA during the first two weeks of August. Taking place in the Temple grounds in Chorley, Lancashire, the pageant will tell the story of the Church’s history over the past  176 years as well as providing information about the Church’s beliefs. Teachers and school groups would be most welcome. Tickets are free. More information can be found on or by emailing

Face to Faith

Face to Faith is encouraging students from around the world to learn how faith communities are working together to help eradicate malaria. World Malaria Day took place on 25 April, with schools being encouraged to hold a community event during April or May to raise awareness of this work. Further information is available from the Faiths Act website.
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