Issuu on Google+

ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

AREIAC Newsletter From the Chair... Jane Chipperton Welcome. After the flurry of activity last year, it has been a calmer start to the year for AREIAC, but it doesn’t mean the issues have gone away. Local Authorities are still undergoing reorganisation and we have yet to quantify the number of LA RE Adviser posts that have been lost. At the time of writing we have a total of 126 paid up members (including retired members). This means the numbers have already gone down. Those who are still members should have received your membership password and be enjoying the delights of the AREAIC website

Contents From the Chair

1

Schools Minister ...

3

Update from REC

3

Resilience conf.

5

Update on REQM

5

Visting the Hajj exhibition

6

Book Reviews

7

Back Page

8

http://www.areiac.org.uk/members/index.html AREIAC therefore needs to find ways of fund raising to enable the organisation to continue to exist. The executive is busy planning for the future and more information will be available in the next newsletter. As a result of the many changes in education this year the various stakeholders in RE are working together in a more coordinated fashion under the umbrella of the Religious Education Council. The REC has created committees to undertake this task more effectively. AREIAC, together with organisations representing RE teachers, lecturers and SACREs are working closely on the REC curriculum, assessment and qualifications committee. That committee is to review the RE curriculum, its most appropriate forms of assessment, and advise on suitable public qualifications for RE in England. It will also seek funding for that enterprise and advise on the management of the project, drawing on and working with REC member organisations and other partners in conducting the review. As you are aware, AREIAC and NASACRE have been keen to address Circular 1/94 issues with regard to Collective Worship. Two joint letters have been sent to the DFE and Dilwyn Hunt has pursued several avenues, including government officials, but we have not yet achieved any change to or deletion/withdrawl of 1/94. In the meantime, Julie Grove is working on some guidance for Collective Worship on behalf of NASACRE. She is attending the next AREIAC executive meeting in April to update us on this work. The executive have written to Tim Oates this term with regard to the way RE was represented in the Expert Panel article in the TES in the autumn term. AREIAC asked that more care is taken

!

PAGE 1


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

to ensure that the statutory nature of religious education in the Basic Curriculum is more clearly and accurately represented in the future. We have had a response to say Tim will look through the points raised in detail, discuss it with departmental colleagues and get back to us soon. You may be aware that the REC has been instrumental in setting up an All Party Parliamentary Group for RE (APPG) for Religious Education. Its chair will be Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, who put up the Early Day Motion on RE in the English Baccalaureate last year - a very well supported campaign with vigorous campaigning in particular by teachers of RE. The proposed aim for the group is to provide a medium through which MPs, Peers and other organisations with an interest in religious education can discuss the current provision for religious education in schools, academies, colleges and universities; to act as a forum for all who share common concerns in promoting the highest possible standards of religious education; to press for continuous improvement in religious education; to promote a clear, positive image and public understanding of religious education; and to advocate that every young person experiences a personally inspiring and academically rigorous education in religious and non-religious worldviews. Anybody can contact their constituency MP and suggest that they might consider joining the group. Invitations have already gone out to those MPs who signed the Early Day Motion in summer 2011. If you can convince your MP of the value of RE in the education of all young people, whatever their belief background, they may be willing to consider joining if they have not done so already. When the APPG is fully established, you can suggest topics for discussion or presentations. The secretariat for the APPG will be run by the RE Council, so any suggestions should be sent to the group at appg@religiouseducationcouncil.org Alan Brine has continued to help the RE community this term. He has drawn our attention to the Best Practice site on the Ofsted website and there is now a new RE webpage on the Ofsted site. It includes links to all their most recent school reports as well as other links. It includes hyperlinks across to the main RE websites. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/our-expertknowledge/religious-education Planning for the two day conference in Leamington Spa in July 2012 Effective Research and Learning in RE is well under way. A great deal of thanks is due to Sharon Artley for organising the conference and to the Midlands Group for coordinating the venue and workshops. The programme can be found on the website http://www.areiac.org.uk/members/conferences/conf2012/ conf2012.html We are delighted that Professor Vivienne Baumfield, Professor of Pedagogy Policy and Innovation, Glasgow University has agreed to be our keynote speaker on Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn: Research and Practice in RE. Also we are pleased to welcome Professor Bob Jackson as the after dinner speaker. If you have not yet signed up, please see the website. There will be another one day conference in November 2012. More details will be on the website soon. We have much to look forward to in the months ahead to balance the issues and challenges that continue to face many members. I hope you had a good holiday, a time of rest and a very happy Easter. !

!

PAGE 2


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

Schools Minister consults RE community over new subject framework Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb, has asked the Religious Education Council for England and Wales (REC) to consider excellent practice in RE teaching and present its findings in a report. The report will consider the views of teachers, academics and faith and belief organisations. The minister has also offered support to help shape a revised RE teaching framework that ensures RE retains its academic rigour and is in step with the design and style of a National Curriculum. The REC has started the recruitment process of a project manager to deliver the revised RE framework.

An update from the REC Although there is much to be depressed about on the RE scene, there are also some positive developments to report. First of all, the long hoped for All Party Parliamentary Group for RE has been launched, with Stephen Lloyd (MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon) as its chair. Stephen’s support for RE was expressed in the Early Day Motion he put up in support of the campaign to have RE included in the EBac and he is outspoken in his belief in the value of RE in modern society. The existence of the group will help to generate a group of parliamentarians who are well informed about the importance of RE in the education of every young

!

PAGE 3


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

person and this in its turn should help to influence government policy. It will hold its first meeting before the end of March. Another positive move has been the appointment of Tracey Gurr as the REC’s (half time) Communications Officer. Tracey’s brief has two parts: one is to promote understanding of RE amongst head teachers, governors, school providers (e.g. of groups of academies), parents and students by intensive public relations work. The other half of her job is to help to improve communication across all parts of the RE community so that we can work together as effectively as possible to safeguard our subject under the current difficult circumstances. She can be contacted at Tracey.Gurr@religiouseducationcouncil.org

The REC is also preparing to put into place a national review of RE to run alongside the review of the national curriculum in England. This will as far as possible be in tandem with the NC review as regards timescale, design and scope. John and Linda Rudge have been commissioned to produce a scoping report on this and when they have done so, the REC’s Qualifications, Assessment and Curriculum Committee, chaired by John Keast, will consider how to take the review forward. All three of these developments have come out of the RE Council’s Strategic Plan. This has five strands, each of which has a committee to implement its activities. As well as the CAQ Committee tackling the issue of an RE review, a particularly important one for AREIAC members is the one relating to Professional Development, which is chaired by Phil Leivers. More details about all these activities are freely available on the website at www.religiouseducationcouncil.org If you have any questions about any of these developments, please direct them to me at sarah@religiouseducationcouncil.org or to one of the AREIAC representatives on the RE Council, Joyce Miller (who is its vice chair), Phil Leivers, Jane Chipperton or Graham Langree. Sarah Smalley

!

PAGE 4


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

REsillience conference Exploring Controversial Issues and Challenging Stereotypes Under the leadership of Joy Schmack, this very successful day conference took place at Liverpool Hope University as part of a process in which PGCE RE and Performing Arts trainee teachers worked together to develop skills and gain confidence in dealing with contentious areas. You can download the full report from: http://www.re-silience.org.uk/images/ stories/pdf/resilience_liv_hope_conf_report.pdf

Introducing the REQM What is the RE Quality Mark The RE Quality Mark (REQM) is an accreditation system which recognises good practice in religious education. It is designed to be a mechanism for whole school improvement beyond religious education since its principle focus is enhanced pedagogy. The REQM will be available to all community schools and, in consultation with the National Society, there will be additional requirements for Church of England schools to enable them to achieve the REQM. The REQM is currently supported and funded by St Gabriel’s Trust and is managed by Jane Brooke and Mary Myatt with the backing and support of the REC. The REQM works at the three levels of Bronze, Silver and gold awards. Schools will apply for the REQM through the website and trained assessors will visit their school to validate the quality mark. The Pilot: A pilot will take place in 30 schools by the end of the summer 2012, the paper work will be refined and a further pilot involving 200 schools will take place in 2012-13. It is planned to be available from September 2013. Further details: Jane Brooke scrolls2@btinternet.com or Mary Myatt marymyatt@me.com

!

PAGE 5


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

Visting the Hajj exhibition London and the South East Group Visit the Hajj; Journey to the Heart of islam Exhibition During the Spring term our regional meeting was held at the Institute of Education during the morning and then some of us went to the Hajj exhibition at the British Museum. Claire, our chair, had bought a group ticket and due to some people not being able to come we gathered a very surprised Muslim couple into our party as we went in. The exhibition, which is now closed, was in the circular reading room at the museum so you travelled on a journey round a spiral reminiscent of the pilgrims circling the Ka’ba. There were maps and information on how people used to travel to Makkah, taking months to get there, and many atlases and maps from antiquity showing Makkah and the Ka’ba as the centre of the world. There was information, too, about Thomas Cook who was the official agent of the Hajj in the 19th century. Particularly interesting were the diaries from the 1930’s of Lady Evelyn Cobbald who was the first British woman to make the Hajj, and other reports from non-Muslims who had managed to get there without being found out. There were pictures of how Makkah and the Hajj have grown over the years, and of Muslims wearing their Ihram taking part in all the activities of the pilgrimage. There were also some priceless objects of great beauty, a kiswa (curtain) for the door of the Ka’ba and a waistcoat made from the internal Kiswa. The ‘star’ of the exhibition was the mahmal which was a large empty structure which was carried on top of a camel across the desert as a beacon to the pilgrims. It was bright red and beautifully decorated with silver and gold thread embroidery and symbolised the power of the Sultan who were the overlords of the Holy places. There were also numerous copies of the Qur'an, some were hundreds of years old and all very beautiful. The exhibition was excellent, although there was a lot of reading to do. Everything about the Hajj was explained clearly and there was even a key to the Ka’ba, however there was no word of what might be inside. Although the exhibition is closed now the British Museum website has numerous video clips of visitors who were asked to share a particular moment of Hajj or Umra to help create a picture of what the journey is like which could be a good resource. Penny Smith-Orr

!

PAGE 6


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

Book Reviews Developing Reflective Practice: A guide for beginning teachers McGregor, D and Cartwright, L (2010) ISBN: 978-0335242573 £20.23 [Amazon UK] This accessible and useful book which combines sound educational theory with professional excellence will be of interest to all AREIAC members who work with beginning teachers in the all-important task of developing professional reflection. Written by experienced teacher trainers, the book is enhanced by many real-life examples from across the curriculum. RE isn't one of the subject areas from which case studies are drawn but that doesn't detract from their general usefulness. A chapter that will be of particular value to RE specialists, by Mary Dunne, addresses the complex relationship between personal identity, beliefs and how they impact on professional practice. There is much room for reflection there. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who works with those who need to improve their management of teaching and learning and who may struggle to engage in in-depth reflection, which doesn't come naturally to many. Joyce Miller

More than caring and sharing John Cox (2010) ISBN: 978-0335242573 £20.23 [Amazon UK] While this book has been written for church schools with the intention of helping them define more clearly the distinctive ethos of Church of England schools, it has important messages for all schools. John Cox encourages schools to think more deeply about their values and the underpinning rationale for ‘why things are done here the way they are’. When the values of a school are properly articulated they are evident in the processes, the relationships and the very business of a school. Careful consideration of why we do the things we do in the way we do is particularly timely in light of the renewed emphasis on spiritual, moral, social and cultural emphasis in Ofsted inspections. John Cox provides a very helpful summary of the history of church schools and their relationship with state schools. Without the concerted efforts of various elements within the Christian tradition

!

PAGE 7


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

it is likely that the commitment to universal entitlement to education would have taken much longer. Whether one comes from a faith background or none it is probable that respect for all is articulated somewhere within most schools’ values and mission statements. The difference in church schools is that this is underpinned by the Christian understanding that God is everywhere, expressed in Psalm 39 as reverence for the whole of God’s creation. In the best schools, whether church or not, service to others is the highest expression of love. This can be seen in the quality of relationships, the purposefulness of all in collaborating for excellent and in the transforming possibilities of reconciliation. There is no sense of a cosy, easy, self sufficient attitude in John’s book. He tackles the difficult issues, for instance of God as a loving father, when not all have experienced the love of a good father. He also considers the obligations of church schools in including those with the most challenging behaviours and the consequences for excluding pupils. In one example he considers how, for instance, a head teacher balances the school’s commitment to inclusion and the extent to which this might affect the learning of the mainstream. But his message is one of high expectation in the worth of every individual. He explores how the Kingdom values such as love, justice, forgiveness, gratitude and generosity can be expressed in a school’s daily life. We don’t need to be working in a church school to pay attention to such important principles. Finally, he reminds us that distinctiveness does not happen without deep thought, imagination and discipline. A great reminder for us all. Mary Myatt

If you are interested in submitted a book review, or have a booka that you would like to be reviewed, or another form of resource (DVD, Video, Website etc...) then please send this to web@areiac.org.uk and it will be considered for the newsletter.

!

PAGE 8


ASSOCIATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INSPECTORS, ADVISERS AND CONSULTANTS !

SPRING 2012

BACK PAGE & DATES FOR YOUR DIARY And Finally ... • Keep up the pressure on your MP and the DfE and everyone

Contributors JANE CHIPPERTON

else about the place of RE as the curriculum review takes place - and remind them that School Curriculum IS NOT the same as

SARAH SMALLEY

National Curriculum • You can now order the best religious calendar the hSap calendar from www.shap.org • Some details of the REC action statement on the future of RE can be seen on the REC website at www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk

JANE BROOKE PENNY SMITH-ORR MARY MYATT JOYCE MILLER

WEBSITE Are you keeping an eye on the website? The website is updated and changed most weeks so you should be visiting at least once a week. You could contribute a butterfly or a link to your agreed syllabus or an example of good practice. The more you contribute the better the site is for everyone and adds value for your membership fee. As a new experiment a digest of website items will be sent you about once a term.

PLANNING AHEAD THE EFTRE CONFERENCE is in August 2013 and will be in Malmo in Sweden (just across from Copenhagen, Denmark). The conference theme is on “Dealing with difference” Religion, Agape, Fraternos, Eros and Charitas. A wonderful change to meet with colleagues from new places and to expand your horizons. To find out more and to book a place visit www.eftre.net

PRODUCTION All articles and information in this newsletter are copyright to AREIAC unless otherwise stated. Copies may be made for personal use by members of AREIAC. If you would like to submit an article for the next edition of the newsletter please contact Phil Leivers [pleivers@solihull.gov.uk] Typesetting and newsletter design by Paul Hopkins [www.mmiweb.org.uk]

!

PAGE 9


AREIAC Newsletter - Spring 2012