Working together to strengthen the provision of religious education

October 2018

REC news

Commission on Religious Education

Members' news

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Conferences and events

CPD and resources

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Upcoming RE Council Meetings in 2018

Second Regular General Meeting:
Date: 7th November, 11am - 4pm
Location: Jewish Museum London, 129-131 Albert Street, London, NW1 7NB

RE Council Give as you Live and Amazon Smile

The RE Council is now registered on both Give as you Live and Amazon Smile! Now you can donate to the RE Council at no extra cost to you!

Click here to go directly to the Amazon Smile page and they will make a donation to RE Council at no extra cost to you! Otherwise simply select the RE Council with Amazon smile at the checkout when you shop with Amazon.

With Give as you Live you'll need to enter your favourite shopping sites via the Give as you Live website, click here to find the page and then shop as normal whilst raising valuable funds for the RE Council.

'Religious Literacy' Facebook Quiz

Ever wondered how religiously literate you are? Click here to take our new Facebook quiz and find out!

Please feel free to share this link within your own forums / social media pages.

RE Quality Mark news

Please watch out on the website for updates to the RE Quality Mark this year.  Our review is now underway. We had 84 new schools join the REQM community in 2017-18. Their awards can be seen on the website.

For updates, please follow the REQM on Twitter @REQualityMark.

Commission on Religious Education

The Commission on Religious Education’s final report Religion and Worldviews: The Way Forward was launched in the Churchill Room in the House of Commons on 12th September 2018.  The event was attended by MPs, members of the House of Lords and numerous people from the RE Community.

The report sets out the Commission’s vision for the future of religious education, explaining why the subject is a vital part of a broad and balanced curriculum and makes a series of recommendations of what needs to be done to ensure that all pupils in all schools are able to have high quality religious education.

The report marks the culmination of two years of work from the Commissioners. In September 2017 the Commission on RE released an interim report, Religious Education For All. This interim report drew on a call for evidence generating substantial interest and on extensive efforts from Commissioners to hear from all those with an interest in RE, whether RE professionals, members of faith and belief communities, or members of the wider public.

The interim report generated wide-ranging discussion within the RE community and Commissioners made substantial efforts to listen to the full range of views on the recommendations that the final report should make. In particular, Commissioners have been able to draw on nearly 700 detailed responses to a consultation that they ran in Autumn 2017 inviting comments on the interim report.

The final report is, therefore, the result of an inclusive process that has sought to listen carefully to all those with an interest in RE. The Commission on RE hopes that the final report will be a significant contribution to the debate on the future of RE, and that its recommendations will set out what can be done to ensure that the subject is fit for purpose for many years to come.

The report can be found here  Final Report of the Commission on RE

Hindu Council UK

Cutting Questions on Hinduism asked by boys at Eton College
Why promote Spiritual Humanism over Materialistic Humanism?
How does Hinduism respond to challenges from the rationalist lobby?

Click here to view the video on Youtube.

SHAP Working Party Calendar

The Shap calendar on Religious Festivals is the premier resource for information about religious festivals useful for all institutions who need to know about diversity and religious affiliation. Available in eCal or WallChart format more details can be found here

ISKCON Educational Services

We are working on a visual resource on Hindu cosmology and are looking for questions from teachers and students of RE regarding this subject matter.
Please email your questions to or alternatively click here

The Jewish Museum: Community Chats

Our new podcast Community Chats is just about to launch. Community Chats is a series of interviews with different people within the Jewish community launching on our Teachers' Portal this term. We have interviewed Orthodox Rabbis, Reformed Rabbis, Shochets and Jewish Converts, and covered topics such as the importance of the mikveh, marriage and bar/bat mitzvahs in Jewish Life.

Click here for more details.


The Association of RE Inspectors Advisers and Consultants (AREIAC) want to thank their Chair, Jane Brooke, who is stepping down after her two years service. The new Chair is Bill Moore who will serve until July 2020. 

Network of Sikh Organisations

Dr Kanwaljit Kaur OBE will be giving the closing remarks at the Parliament of World Religions, and will be moderator for Interfaith Education in Schools. She will be a panelist on the following panels:

1. Caodaism and Sikhism
2. Role of Religious Leaders to stop Violence against Women
3. Basic teachings of Sikhism
4. Peace, Justice and Restoration- A Sikh view.

NATRE with University of Worcester Secondary RE Hub

New NATRE/University of Worcester Secondary RE Hub
On Tuesday 25th September RE teachers, representatives from the university, RE Today and the Cathedral met to share our passion and commitment to RE teaching in Worcestershire. The aims agreed included sharing resources, exam paper moderation, going on visits together and organising an A Level conference.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 25th January at 4.30pm at the University of Worcester and anyone working in/with RE secondary would be welcome to attend.

Please email Becky Davidge for more information.

University of Birmingham: Life of the RE Teacher Project

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham is conducting research into the perspectives, views and personal lives of religious education teachers. Would you be able to spare up to two hours of your time to participate in an interview? For more details, please contact Jason Metcalfe (email:; telephone: 0121 414 4799).

University of Exeter: ‘RE-searchers Approach’ 

The University of Exeter invites Primary and Secondary RE teachers to participate in a trial of the innovative ‘RE-searchers Approach’, click here for more details. International colleagues would like to hear your feedback at a workshop in October. If interested, please contact

20:20 RE: Practice, Policy and Powerful Knowledge

Four RE professional associations are collaborating to produce an exciting conference on Religious Education and we invite proposals for seminars and workshops. The Association of RE Advisers, Inspectors and Consultants (AREIAC), the Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education (AULRE), the National Association of SACREs (NASACRE) and the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE), along with Culham St Gabriel's Trust, are working together at a time of crucial change, development and opportunity for RE.

Date: Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 October 2018
Venue: De Vere Cranage Estate Hotel, Crewe
Cost: £175, with a concessionary rate for serving teachers presenting and delegates new to the national scene.

The aim of the conference will be to enhance the quality of religious education by drawing together professionals in RE – teachers at primary, secondary and special schools, academics, researchers, advisers, and providers of professional development. All delegates will be able to access the new subject knowledge, practical and research insights that can promote a more religiously literate society based on shared values. 

The conference organisers warmly invite proposals for a practical workshop, academic seminar, or talk, in one of the breakout sessions. We will consider all proposals and reserve the right to accept, reject or combine proposals where appropriate.

Introducing humanism: non-religious approaches to life

Join Sandi Toksvig for an exploration and evaluation of the humanist approach to life. Ideal for teachers looking to improve their subject knowledge or sixth-form students interested in developing their own understanding of humanism or preparing for a degree in the humanities, the next run of this extremely popular course will take place over the summer holidays. With contributions from academics, humanist campaigners, celebrants, pastoral carers, and members of the public, it will widen your awareness of what it means to be a humanist today.

For more information, please click here.

World Congress of Faiths Younghusband Lecture 2018 

People in Pigeonholes: The Impact on Faith Relations
The annual Younghusband Lecture on 13 November 2018, 6.30pm to 8.30pm at The Montagu Centre, 21, Maple Street, London W1T 4BE
The World Congress of Faiths is delighted to announce that Dr Chetna Kang MB BS MRCPsych will be presenting the lecture, exploring how identities and belonging can bring people together or keep them apart. Dr Kang is a consultant psychiatrist, broadcaster, and priest in the tradition of Bhakti Yoga, and features regularly on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and Beyond Belief.
This event is free but it is essential to book your place, click here to book.

Contact and information: or 01223 781781.

Quakers in Britain: INSPIRE Peace for Remembrance

Quakers have been working with other groups to prepare Remembrance for Peace events in preparation for Armistice Day 2018. Youth events will be held around Britain at major venues including St Paul’s Cathedral, Friends House and Finsbury Park Mosque in London, the Temple for Peace in Cardiff, Coventry Cathedral and the Foundation for Peace in Warrington.
We are focusing on reaching out to young people to explore alternatives to war. By working in a coalition of charities and schools under the INSPIRE peace project, we have been able to support Friends in organising educational peace initiatives for thousands of children across Britain.  Join an event or plan your own, click here for the website or email

The Muslim Council of Britain: Visit My Mosque Day

The national #VisitMyMosque day will be taking place on Sunday 3rd March 2019, where Mosques all over the UK will be opening their doors to the general public. The day is facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain to help boost community engagement and to dispel any misunderstandings around Mosques and Islam. Schools are invited to arrange visits for pupils to a local mosque on Monday 4th March 2019 at selected mosques nationwide.

Contact for more information. Click here to find out more.

RE Today: Strictly RE 2019

Strictly RE 2019 – Early bird discount ends this month!
Date: 26 January 2019
Location: Park Inn, London Heathrow
Full price: £175
Early bird discount! Book before 31 October and save £25!

NATRE;s national conference Strictly RE is back, make sure you book your place before the end of this month to get the early bird discount!
27 seminars to choose from, thought-provoking keynotes, Exciting and relevant exhibitors, Networking and connections.
Also, if you are NATRE member you cold also save up to £80 on your ticket dependant on the type of membership you have!

Click here to find out more.

Teaching about Christianity as a world faith in RE

Where in the world? is an active 2-hour CPD session from Barnabas in Schools for primary teaching staff, that explains how to creatively teach about Christianity as a world faith, using a broader, more diverse range of expressions to those normally experienced in the UK. The course’s resource book has recently been accredited for use with the National Society’s Understanding Christianity project. A similarly-themed Barnabas RE Day of drama, storytelling and discussion is also available for lessons in primary schools and academies.

‘Solarity’ Religion and Philosophy Club sessions

Solarity is an out-of-school-hours philosophy and religion club that aims to help children and young people think about and explore a variety of life’s questions in ways that go beyond the usual school curriculum. There are different sessions for 5-7, 7-11 and 11-16 year olds, all designed to encourage them to develop their own ideas, values and identities. The materials can be used by teachers and youth group leaders and may be of interest to parents/carers looking to supplement their children’s education at home.

They can be found here.

The Jubilee Centre: Teaching Christianity: What do Christians think the Bible says about contemporary issues?

​​The Jubilee Centre, one of the UK’s leading Christian think tanks is pleased to offer this set of 13 pamphlets that provide accessible introductions to biblical perspectives on a range of modern ‘hot topics’—from consumerism, to social media, to surveillance.

Concise, thought-provoking and attractively presented, these ​8-page pamphlets are great resources for teachers and students.

Tackling key topics, such as poverty and the family, each pamphlet is structured around three key questions: What’s the problem? What does the Bible say? And, where do we go from here?

Building on over 30 years’ worth of research, these robustly-researched, yet engagingly accessible pamphlets explore Christian ethics by unpacking how the Bible is relevant in our 21st century world.

Click here for further details.

TeachRE Courses

The Culham St Gabriel’s TeachRE Courses have had a makeover!! One is now designed as a specific subject knowledge enhancement course for those entering teacher training, please do promote this with ITE colleagues. One is now called the ‘Tailor Made’ course and is designed for all serving teachers in all phases of education. For this course we have created new modules on leadership, policy and political dimensions, research and religious literacy. Finally we still have our Primary CORE course designed for Primary ITE, HLTAs and NQTs.

Click here for full details of all courses.

Westhill Endowment: Create Talk

Westhill has a collection of paintings and sculptures availabl​e for loan. The works encourage conversation and reflection o​n important themes such as loss, purpose and peace. Over the years they have been displayed in churches, schools, hospices, retreat centres and conferences - wherever they will change the mood and look of your usual space and create a space to pause and ponder. We don't usually charge for use of the exhibits - apart from insurance costs - and we can help with all the arrangements.

Interested? Click here for further details and pictures of the art works.

Barnabas in Schools

Barnabas in schools has updated its ‘What price peace?’ Barnabas RE Day on the First World War to include material commemorating the 1918 Armistice, the centenary of which takes place this year.

Click here for online support materials for schools, and a short introductory video.

The Faith & Belief Forum Teacher Training

F&BF (The Faith & Belief Forum) would like to offer teacher training to schools within the Greater London area; The training focuses on how teachers can develop student’s ‘interfaith’ communication skills; Helping them learn from and empathise with other viewpoints, as well as being able to articulate their own lived experience of faith and belief. Teachers will receive guidance on how to facilitate this in class, as well as age appropriate resources to use with their students. The training session can either be 30 minutes or 1 hour long and take place during an inset day, afterschool/twilight or an NQT training session. This training is particularly relevant to PHSCE and RE teachers, but is suitable for all teaching staff.
If you would like to learn more about our teacher training offer, please email You can read more about our other schools programmes by visiting our website.

 Funding and Professional Development for RE teachers

Culham St Gabriel’s Trust exists to support and promote excellence in RE. Here are some ways we and our partners might help you and your colleagues:

RE Professional Development Portal

All the latest professional development opportunities in RE are tweeted and retweeted via the RE PD Portal Twitter account @RE_PDPortal.

The RE PD portal is managed by the REC and 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. If you are a PD provider and would like to receive the half-termly call for submissions, sign up to the mailing list here
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Religious Education Council 
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