June 2016

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What's new at the REC? 

The beginning of May saw the preparations for the RE Council’s AGM draw to a close, as member representatives gathered at Wesley's Chapel in London for the meeting on 12th May. It was good to see so many present and it was a great opportunity to engage with the membership about the Commission on RE.  We discussed the evidence base for the Commission, talking about the literature that was already out there that the Commission ought to be made aware of, as well as useful evidence that had already been collected, and evidence that still needed to be collected.  This was a really helpful session, and underlines how important the role of the REC’s member organisations will be for the Commission to be as successful as possible.  As ever, it is the great strength of the REC that we are able to draw on the wisdom and diversity of our membership.  It will be crucial for members to remain involved with the Commission by submitting material for the commissioners to consider once the Commission has been established.

Young Ambassadors' Conference

The REC is very grateful to have received £1700.00 in donations for the conference and free use of Conway Hall as a venue on 6th June, for which the REC would like to thank the following organisations: AULRE, the Bahá'í Community, the British Humanist Association and Conway Hall, the Catholic Association of Teachers, Schools and Colleges, the Institute of JainologyISKCON Educational Services, the Methodist Church, NATRE, the Pagan Federation and Westhill Endowment Trust.

Thanks to these donations, six teams of Young Ambassadors from across the country will be coming together to present their research into a faith/belief of their choice, looking at how it prepares its followers for life in modern Britain. We're very much looking forward to seeing their presentations, and are also delighted to have Lord Winston delivering the keynote speech.

REC Recruitment

The REC is currently looking to recruit for two positions, a Project Manager for the RE Quality Mark, as the current project managers, Mary Myatt and Jane Brooke, will be stepping down at the end of August, and a Young Ambassadors Co-ordinator.

More information about these roles is available on the REC website, and enquiries about the roles can be made by contacting the office on or 02072508166

RE Quality Mark

Since September, 106 schools have applied for the RE Quality Mark. There are still grants available for small schools (fewer than 150 pupils) and schools requiring improvement which would like to apply for the award. The grants are managed by the RE Council and schools can indicate on their application forms if they would like to be considered for a grant.

For more information about the RE Quality Mark and to download the application form, please visit the REQM website or email Sylwia Urbaniak, the REQM Administrator, at

Words beyond words: Inspiring religious literacy

This joint conference between NATRE, AULRE and AREIAC has been designed to bring together the wider RE community from classroom teachers to inspectors, ITTs to renowned academics and everyone in between.
Come and join us for a weekend of stimulating professional development on Saturday 8 October – Sunday 9 October 2016 at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa. Price of £150 includes accommodation, all meals and refreshments.
Click here to book your place online or email to request a booking form.

Hindu Council UK: Rituals in Hinduism

This video from the Hindu Council shows a talk which examines the following themes:
  • The role and relevance of rituals 
  • Why do any ritual?
  • Daily worship, visiting temples, going on a pilgrimage and celebrating rites of passage

New TRS UK leaflet promotes university study of RS to A level students

TRS UK, the organisation representing UK University academics in theology and religious studies, has produced a new leaflet aimed at promoting study of the subjects at university level to A-level students. Their ‘Invitation to the Study of Religion’ lays out both the intellectual fascination of the disciplines and the real-world application of the skills it gives students. Free copies of the leaflet are available from Teachers should provide their name, school address, and the number of copies they would find useful.

Conference on teaching the new GCSE RS Islam

The Al Khoei Foundation (Chevening Road, London, NW6 6TN) is holding a full day conference on 14th July 2016 on the new GCSE Religious Studies, teaching Islam as the second religion. Examiners from the main examining boards, including AQA, OCR and Pearson, will be presenting, and workshops will be led by leading educators and a number of Muslim scholars on different areas of the new syllabus.
For further information or if you would like to register please contact: 

Teach RE course

Culham St Gabriel's are about to launch four versions of the course and details of these will be available here:
Teach RE Subject Knowledge - for those about to embark on secondary initial teacher training
Teach RE Complete - for serving teachers (with QTS) working in all phases
Teach RE Module Only - for serving teachers (with QTS) in the secondary phase only
Teach RE LITE - for those undertaking primary initial teacher training and primary NQTs
If you would like to discuss ‘bulk buy’ options for your school or organisation please contact 

RE East Hubs

These are new hubs designed to support secondary RE teachers in the Eastern region. There is information about them here. They are funded by Keswick Hall Trust and aim to support secondary schools working towards RE Quality Mark, Teachmeets and evidence-based practice.

Free science and religion events on campus for schools

The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) offers free one-day events, which include workshops and talks about Big Questions, robotics, evolution, genetic engineering, the soul and more. The events are held at the University of Reading and each day features specialists in biology, philosophy, theology, physics, robotics, neuroscience and more with religious and non-religious worldviews.

Upcoming events, to be held at Reading University: For more information please email Zoe on or visit for resources, more events, workshops and a conference for teachers and academics.

European Forum of Teachers of RE Conference

The European Forum of Teachers of RE holds a conference every three years. This summer it will be based at the University of Vienna, right in the heart of the beautiful Austrian capital. The theme for 2016 is BELIEVING, BELONGING, BEHAVING.
The EFTRE Conference is an enriching experience professionally and personally and offers opportunities to meet and interact with colleagues from across Europe who are involved in RE in schools, colleges and universities. 
For more details, look at the conference pages on the EFTRE website or contact Lesley Prior for more information:

READY: Religious Education and Diversity

READY is an Erasmus+ project which explores sharing experiences of, and approaches to, teacher education in the context of 'Education and Training 2020'. Teacher educators and student teachers in Religious Education from universities around Europe are working together to explore ‘Religion and Diversity’ in two respects:
  •  the mutual exchange of diverse forms of Religious Education 
  •  the variety of approaches to subject teaching and learning, in which the question of religious heterogeneity is being considered and discussed.
The results will be examined and proposals for teaching Religion and Diversity in Europe will be published. The project is coming to the end of the first of three years, and both teacher educators and students have already found much to explore in terms of understandings of and approaches to diversity and Religious Education. The READY website will be launched soon.

The RE-searchers: A new approach to RE in primary schools

‘The RE-searchers: A new approach to Religious Education in primary schools’, is one of the outcomes of a research project undertaken at the University of Exeter, under the directorship of Dr Rob Freathy, and in partnership with Giles Freathy of Sir Robert Geffery’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School in Cornwall.

This innovative approach uses cartoon characters (known as 'the RE-searchers') to encourage pupils to think about the significance and effectiveness of different methodologies and methods of enquiry in RE.
The full text resource book is available to download and for further information, or to express an interest in trialing this resource in either a primary/secondary school or HE context, please contact either Giles Freathy or Rob Freathy by email: or

Inter Faith Week 2016

Inter Faith Week will run from 13-20 November 2016. A special, newly-launched Inter Faith Week Toolkit contains suggestions for marking the week and examples and illustrations drawn from the many successful activities held for the week to date. It also includes practical guidance and links to further information. To download a copy, visit

Institute of Jainology

The Institute of Jainology led a Jain delegation to the Vatican, to attend the Pontifical Council for inter-religious dialogue. Representing Jains, discussions on Jain-Christian relations in general took place, and there were detailed presentations from both sides on the subject of ‘Taking care of Earth, the home of human family’. Read more about the meeting here. For more information on The Institute of Jainology, visit the website:

Funeral of RE expert Janet Green

Some colleagues may wish to know the date and location of the funeral of Janet Green, author of “The Jesus Puzzle”, of many RE materials for children, and of radio and TV material in the Bristol area.

Her funeral will be held at the Hebron Chapel, Long Ashton, near Bristol, on Friday 10th June, followed by cremation at South Bristol Crematorium.
For more information contact

RE PD Portal

The RE PD portal is 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. You can now also follow the RE PD Portal on Twitter @RE_PDPortal, to keep up-to-date with new PD opportunities. If you are a PD provider and would like to receive the half-termly call for submissions, sign up to the mailing list here
© 2016 
Religious Education Council 
CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH
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