October 2013

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October promises to be a busy month for the RE community. The RE Review Report 2013 will be officially launched on 23rd October, and there are various exciting meetings and activities underway for the Young Ambassadors for RE, and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). As Inter Faith Week draws closer, some of the REC's Member Organisations are also preparing a wide variety of RE-related events, conferences and trainings. 

RE Quality Mark update

  • The Welsh pilot is completed and assessor training is being run for assessments in Welsh schools
  • The Keswick Hall Trust has generously given funding for 6 REQM school in the Eastern region to work with 12 new schools to create REQM hubs through networks.
  • The project managers presented at the CStG Leaders Weekend in September.
  • Jane Brooke has started a pilot with Chester university on action research with teachers in a small group of REQM schools as part of project to encourage teachers to study for an MA.
  • Fliers promoting the REQM have been emailed to all schools in England 
Find out more about the REQM at

RE Subject Review launch

After 18 months' hard work and consultation the RE Review Report 2013 will be launched in Westminster on 23rd October, an event which will involve many of the contributors to the Review including teachers, advisers and consultants, faith community representatives and MPs who belong to the APPG on RE. Further dissemination events will take place in November in London, York, Oxford, Liverpool, and Bristol. These events will be free, but do have limited capacity and tickets will be issued on a first-come first-served basis. For more information, visit the RE Subject Review website, or e-mail

All Party Parliamentary Group on RE

The APPG will shortly be launching an Inquiry into RE’s contribution to good community relations. The Inquiry will comprise three APPG meeting where oral evidence will be taken, and will culminate in a short statement of ‘good practice’ recommendations, which will be publicised as widely as possible. The APPG will also preside over the RE Review Report launch in October.
A full list of APPG members can be seen at Please encourage your local MP to join and play a part in supporting RE at this time when we need policy makers to demonstrate greater understanding of its value in the education of all young people.

Young Ambassadors for RE

A Young Ambassadors for RE Conference, generously funded by the Keswick Hall Trust will take place on Friday 11th October. Helen Harrison, Vice Chair of the RE Council, will lead the conference, and one of the sessions will invite Young Ambassadors to explore ways of expanding the scheme to incorporate more schools and potentially primary school teams. This term the Young Ambassadors will be focusing their work on how RE contributes to good community relations, in line with the current Inquiry of the APPG. Teams have also been invited to speak at the RE Review dissemination events which are taking place throughout November. 

RE Council Website

New items recently uploaded to the website include the following:
  1. Effective religious education and interfaith dialogue: Redbridge Ambassadors of Faith and Belief – a case study which offers insight into an outstanding and innovative scheme led by Newbury Park Primary school whereby sixth-form students from schools in the borough have been trained to support religious education and promote social cohesion by sharing their faith experience with children in local primary schools.
  2. True picture of 2013 RE exam results not being told - analysis of research by the REC and NATRE suggests that overall GCSE Religious Studies exam entries in 2013 have fallen as a result of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate. 
  3. The RE Directory - the new revised RE Directory, designed to be a 'first stop' reference point for all who are interested in religious education, has now been launched and is accessible both on the RE Council website, and at

Institute of Jainology: Ahimsa Day celebrations

The Institute's Annual Ahimsa Day Celebrations are to be held at the House of Commons on 9th October 2013. Gavin Grant, Chief Executive of the RSPCA will be giving the keynote address on the day, and the theme is Ahimsa: Conscious Compassion. If you are interested in attending please email a request to

Institute of Jainology: Free public lecture

The Institute of Jainology in association with the British Library are hosting a Public lecture on 11th October 2013 at 7.00pm in the Conference Centre at The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. This is a FREE EVENT and The Keynote address will be given by Dr Melanie Joy from The University of Masachusetts, Author of 'Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows'; and Founder of the Carnism Awareness & Action Network. To Register for the event please complete the form here

3FF: upcoming events

3FF’s work to support RE in schools continues with some exciting new developments. Bookings are now open for 3FF’s workshops in schools in 2013-14: ‘Encountering Faiths and Beliefs’, ‘The Art of Asking’ and ‘The Art of Empathy’ support the RE curriculum for years 7 to 13 as well as encouraging interfaith and intercultural sensitivity and dialogue. Free interactive guided trails exploring themes in RE will be available for school visits during our Urban Dialogues Exhibition at Red Gallery from 2 to 14 October. A breakfast for head teachers and Senior Leaders in the Houses of Parliament during National Interfaith Week on Wednesday 20 November will offer opportunities for networking between different schools and learning more about the ways in which 3FF supports RE teaching in schools. Please take a look at our website or contact Robert ( for more information.

AFAN resources

All Faiths and None (AFAN) continues to supply resources and activities targeted at the 16-19 age group, mainly in FE and Sixth Form colleges. Go to the AFAN website at If you would like information on CPD sessions for staff, an Inter-Faith week event, or help with student workshops on the 'Big Questions', contact us on .

Culham St Gabriel's subject knowledge enhancement course

Culham St Gabriel's are delighted to be able to launch a revised and fully updated subject knowledge enhancement course, which has been renamed' The Teach RE Course' to reflect the range of clients that are now undertaking this distance learning course. The course has been redesigned to meet the needs of both students who are planning to begin a PGCE or school direct course, but also to meet the needs of both primary and secondary TAs, HLTAs, subject leaders and teachers with other specialisms who want to know more about teaching RE.
The course is now in a modular format with opportunities for exploring the nature and purpose of RE and an introduction to pedagogy, as well as developing subject knowledge, and as always can be tailor-made to each trainee's needs. Further information about the course can be found at and also at RE:ONLINE, or by emailing

ISRSA annual conference

The Independent Schools Religious Studies Association annual conference will be held on 25th November at Church House, Westminster. The conference will feature Michael Nazir-Ali and David Burrowes MP, along with nine seminars on topics of teaching and learning. Please view the conference details at

Hindu Council UK: "Links between Science and Spirituality"

The Hindu Council UK has been promoting the idea of reconciliation between different religious world-views and a science-oriented worldview at many schools and colleges. The latest clip on this theme is a lecture by Jay Lakhani, entitled "Links between Science and Spirituality", which can be viewed here.

New resources to support RE in Methodist schools

The Methodist Church has commissioned schemes of work for Religious Education covering Key Stages 1-4. These schemes, written by Lat Blaylock of RE Today, provide examples of good teaching and learning to enable the teaching of Christianity from a Methodist perspective. The resource is being launched on September 20th with a training day for teachers and head teachers working at Methodist Schools across the country.

Ofsted announces report on RE

We can now announce that the long-awaited triennial Ofsted report on RE is due for publication in early October.  The report entitled Religious Education: Realising the Potential is a summary of Ofsted’s inspection survey findings of RE between 2009 and 2012. It includes a series of key findings and recommendations about improving RE. The report can be found on the Ofsted website

Zoroastrianism: exhibition at SOAS

The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination is the first exhibition of its kind to provide a visual narrative of the history of Zoroastrianism, its rich cultural heritage and the influence it has had on the major world religions of Judaism. Christianity and Islam.  The exhibition will be held in the Brunei Gallery of SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies of London University) from 10 October to 1 December 2013; it will also host a two day conference, "Looking Back: The Formation of Zoroastrian Identity Through Rediscovery of the Past" on the 11-12 October 2013. Further information on the website

The Westhill Trust seminars: series 5

Series 5 of the Westhill Trust seminars will be held throughout October 2013 - March 2014. The titles of the seminars 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)
For teachers and researchers, this is a chance to deepen their engagement with RE by exploring recent research from within and beyond the classroom. Hearing from leading experts in the field and meeting with practitioners from around the country makes for stimulating and challenging discussions, with an emphasis on applying what has been heard. To find out more, see the Seminar Flyer

Inter Faith Week in England, Northern Ireland and Wales: 17 to 23 November

Schools and SACREs are playing an increasingly active role in this important week led by the Inter Faith Network for the UK, taking advantage of the opportunity it gives each year to highlight learning about and from different religions and also to learn about and contribute to inter faith projects.  More information, including special IF Week related resources produced by NATRE and NASACRE, as well as relevant resources produced by the RE Council in connection with the Celebrating RE month in 2011, can be found at Further information: or from

Conference: "Shaping the Future of Primary Religious Education"

There will be a FREE one day conference on Saturday 30th November 2013 at Middlesex University, London for Initial Teacher Education tutors in Primary Religious Education. The programme includes keynote speakers and workshops and will focus on preparing student teachers to teach RE in the light of the RE Subject Review and the proposed changes to the primary curriculum.
For further information and to reserve a place, please contact Linda Whitworth

"Unlocking RE in Academies"

Unlocking RE in Academies is a new series of conferences provided by RE Today and NATRE designed to enable teacher to tackle the challenges of RE in new school structures with increasing confidence. They focus on the learning needs of pupils, recognise the challenges presented by RE and support delegates in making the most of the opportunities for thoughtful and creative RE in academies. Conference dates are 17 October (Leicester), 5 November (Bristol), 7 November (Leeds) and 14 November (London). Due to generous funding from the Jerusalem Trust  attendance fees are at a subsidised rate of £65 for ‘early birds’! All conferences are led by the RE Today Adviser team. Further details and how to book are available at

"Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter"

The Woolf Institute (Cambridge), in partnership with the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, is delighted to announce that the e-learning course Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter, will be offered again in 2014. This 15-week e-learning course will explore the history, culture and theology of Muslims and Jews, reflecting on similarities and differences as well as the major challenges. Assisted by leading scholars in the US and Europe with a wealth of experience in this field, the course will also offer strategies for building bridges between the communities. Applications are now being accepted for the course starting week commencing 13 January 2014. (Deadline:15 November 2013). For further details, including the application form, visit
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