June 2013

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In the month of the RE Council’s Annual General Meeting there has been much activity within the organisation and its member bodies. It was good to see so many member representatives at its AGM, an indication of the growing strength of the organisation in striving for a future for RE. A number of projects have been making welcome progress. The RE Quality Mark has had continued success and enthusiasm. Several of the 40th Anniversary Sponsored Walks have taken place, with walkers braving the rain to walk for RE, and there is still plenty of time for friends of RE to get involved over this coming month.

Young Ambassadors for RE

Young Ambassador teams have been getting going with their activities this half term in the hope of being selected to give presentations to MPs at Westminster on 24th June.  Between them, they have initiated an amazing range of activities, including writing to the Queen, the Pope, local MPs, their local paper, interviewing a bishop, carrying out surveys amongst their fellow students, making films and uploading them to YouTube, teaching RE in a local primary school and much, much more. For details see the new Young Ambassador section on the REC website.

REC 40th Anniversary Sponsored Walks

REC 40th anniversary walks have been taking place across England and Wales during May, with more scheduled throughout June. Readers are warmly encouraged to take part in those still to come – for further information see which includes plans for June walks, reports on those which have already taken place and a link to our Virgin Money Giving Page. If you have been meaning to sponsor an individual or a team, it's not too late – please do so now! 

RE Council Website

The new website went live on 1st May and has been the subject of much positive comment. Clear and easy to navigate, it illustrates the wide range of activities the REC is involved in. Please have a look if you have not done so already, at

NATRE's 2013 Spirited Arts Competition

NATRE’s 2013 Spirited Arts competition for 5 – 19s (and their teachers!) is well under way and all those working in schools are encouraged to submit work from their pupils in one of five themes: Prayer – How and why; Windows on the soul; God – what if; Open mind; Jerusalem by William Blake. Entry details are on the NATRE Website, where you can also find galleries of previous years’ winners. Deadline for entries is 31 July 2013.

Westhill Seminars - New Series

The fifth series of Westhill Seminars has been launched, bringing together teachers and academics for a 48-hour seminar. The seminar titles are: 
  • Knowledge in RE: what why and how should pupils know in RE? (4 – 6 October 2013);
  • Achievement in RE: what matters and can it be assessed? (15 – 17 November 2013);
  • Effective learning methods for children’s spiritual development for 4 – 11s (14 – 16 March 2014).
Details and an application form are available on the RE Today website. Thanks to generous funding from the Westhill Endowment Trust, the cost to delegates is £120. 

Publications in Honour of Bob Jackson

This year has seen two publications to mark Bob Jackson’s 40 years in higher education and to pay tribute to his work and his enormous contribution to religious education, in the UK and internationally:
  1. A special edition of Religion and Education, 40 (1) ‘Religion in Education at the University of Warwick
  2. Religion in Education: innovation in international research (New York, Routledge)
Both were written and edited by his former doctoral students. Each contributor offers a chapter on his/her research and considers its significance on practice, pedagogy, philosophy and policy. The book ends with critical reflections on the future of religious education.

RE Quality Mark Update

Over 80 schools in England and Wales have applied for, and achieved, the REQM award. The REQM Team are particularly delighted that the award is being achieved in Welsh schools.
The REQM has been designed to be light touch yet rigorous. Good practice is recognised without needing extra work or large portfolios of evidence. One senior leader in a school said ‘We are using the REQM process to benchmark all other subjects in the school. A great preparation for Ofsted.’
A selection of pupils, students and their teachers will be attending the formal launch of the RE Quality Mark at the House of Lords in July.
There is limited funding to support small schools apply for the award. Contact and for further details, or visit

3FF Workshops with an RE Focus

As an end of year reward for students why not ask 3FF to come and run a school workshop with an RE focus for your class? 3FF workshops are educational and help students to develop important life skills; and can be a valuable addition to your provision of students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural curriculum. To find out more, please visit the 3FF website

3FF Interfaith Training

On 29 May we will also be holding Interfaith Training at our offices in Kentish Town. If you’d like to learn how to improve your intercultural communication skills and ways to bring people of different faiths and beliefs together, please see the 3FF website or contact Laura ( for further information. This training session would also be relevant for teachers working in an inter faith context.

RE:ONLINE Free Roadshows

Culham St Gabriel’s is excited to announce that over the last year a major redevelopment of RE:ONLINE has been completed. This has involved a rebranding and complete restructuring of the site: To support the new site a series of roadshows will be held across the country:

12 June – London: Tower Hamlets PDC.
17 June – London: Al Khoei Islamic Centre, Chevening Road, Brent.
19 June – North Shields.
20 June – Durham.
2 July – Liverpool: AREIAC conference (Members of AREIAC only).
CSTG hopes you can join at one of the twilight events (all running from approximately 4.00 or 4.30 to 6.00 pm) for details contact

Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course in RE

Preparing to teach RE? Need a subject knowledge update? Culham St Gabriel's subject knowledge enhancement course is tutored by RE experts. Click here for details.

Culham St Gabriel's RE Leadership Weekend

Culham St Gabriel’s is organising the 2013 RE Leadership Weekend this year at Wokefield Park Conference Centre, Reading on 28th-29th September 2013. Both primary and secondary teachers will be in attendance as well as national figures from the world of Religious Education. The weekend will include professional development and discussions on practical approaches to big issues in religious education today, and will create the space for colleagues to engage and emerge confident in pushing the boundaries for outstanding RE. To apply visit

3forRE Bursary Scheme

The 3forRE bursary scheme is part of Culham St Gabriel’s strategic plan to bring school-related professional development opportunities to teachers of RE. The scheme is based on a three-way partnership between the teacher/teaching assistant (TA), their school and Culham St Gabriel’s. This scheme offers teachers and TAs an annual bursary of 60% of their fees, or £1000, whichever is the smaller amount, towards fees for selected M-level programmes relevant to classroom RE. To find out more, please contact Kathryn Wright,   who can send further details about partnership Universities and how the scheme works.

Culham St Gabriel's Office Move

CSTG are moving on 26-27 June to 60-62 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PN. Their new phone number will be 01865 612035. The location and directions can be found at: It is anticipated that business will be ‘down’ for those two days, but the office should be up and running again by Friday 28th June. Their website and e-mail contact details remain the same. 

AFAN Training

AFAN is running training to assist staff in encouraging the SMSC agenda and dialogue with students in all FE colleges. They  have a highly developed CPD programme and tailor-make sessions to suit college needs. The training fits well with staff development and INSET days. For further information and to book a session in July please contact:

Face to Faith Video Conferences

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Face to Faith programme hosted a day of special video conferences on the topic of human trafficking on the 8th May connecting hundreds of students from seven different countries to dialogue about human trafficking and to reflect on their beliefs are about the worth of human life. The Foundation strives to enhance the teaching of good RE in UK schools by giving young people the opportunity to learn about the lives, faiths and beliefs of others around the world by connecting them directly to one another.
To learn more about our work follow us on Twitter @face_to_faith and visit the Tony Blair Faith Foundation website.

International Symposium: Christian Understandings of Pedagogy

On Thursday 4th July, Canterbury Christ Church University will be holding an international public symposium on Christian Understandings of Pedagogy, sponsored by the National Institute for Christian Education Research. Speakers will include Professor Trevor Carney, University of South Wales; Professor David Smith, Director of the Kuyers Institute for Chrstian Teaching and Learning. For more information and to attend the symposium contact Elizabeth Melville at: 

PGCE Places Still Available

Places on the 11-18 and 7-14 RE PGCE programmes are still available at Canterbury Christ Church University. For more information or to apply for one of the courses visit the University website.

RE Subject Review Update

Phase 2 of the RE Subject Review is progressing further.  Task Group 1 has completed its draft materials for RE in the light of the National Curriculum Review consultation documents, and a first draft Purpose of Study and Aims for RE was considered at the RE Council AGM; further electronic consultation will take place starting in mid-June. Task Group 2 is continuing to act on proposals from Phase One of the Review, concerning the wider context in which RE operates. While funding continues to be withheld from the government, further meetings have been arranged with members of the NC Review team; these have already proved helpful to the parallel RE process. More details on the RE Subject Review can be seen here.

Jewish Teachers' Association AGM

Jewish Teachers' Association will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Sunday 20th June 2013, 1 - 3pm in Finchley. Find out more about their work with teaching unions and other faith organisations. For more information and to RSVP, go to the Event Page or the Jewish Teachers' Association website.
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