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Home arrow Newsletter arrow Newsletter Archive arrow Newsletter Archive arrow e-newsletter April 2009
e-newsletter April 2009 Print E-mail

Welcome to this issue of the REC e-newsletter. If you have information you’d like included in the next one please email it to me by 28th May 2009. It should be in the format of a heading, two or three sentences giving the basics and a website or email address where readers can obtain fuller details.
Best wishes,
Sarah Smalley, Executive Support Officer, RE Council of England and Wales


Global Gateway
This website, supported by the DCSF and a number of partner organisations, offers opportunities for links with schools and other educational institutions throughout the world. It also has details about projects, collaborations and funding avenues.
Full details of many interesting events and developments are on the website at http://www.globalgateway.org/
Family Week
Readers may be interested in the activities planned for National Family Week from 25th to 31st May 2009. The organisers say the week is about ‘bringing families together’ and that ‘regardless of age or stage, shape or size, belief or background, National Family Week promises something for everyone’. Its purpose is to celebrate family life, and its list of supporters includes a number of religious and belief organisations. Further details on the website at http://www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk/
QCA RE Update

Four documents that have recently been put onto the QCA website are relevant to RE, SACREs and others working in these areas. They are:
1.    Timing of Agreed syllabus revisions: Guidance for SACREs coming up for agreed syllabus review in 2009, published December 2008, http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_20672.aspx
2.    SACREs and community cohesion: the 2008 annual analysis of SACRE annual reports, focusing on community cohesion. This can be found with the other QCA SACRE documents in http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_7882.aspx
3.    Spiritual and moral development across the curriculum: guidance notes, principles of good practice and two case studies. This was published on the QCA curriculum website in December 2008. Go to  http://curriculum.qca.org.uk and search spiritual and moral development
4.    'I didn't know they could do that!': a report on the cultural understandings of science project, exploring Muslim contributions to scientific thinking and discovery and its impact on current scientific understanding. This can be found in http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_20410.aspx
The full QCA RE update is available on the RE Council website
The World Congress of Faiths
The WCF is a community of individuals of many traditions. Its journal, Interreligious Insight, and its newsletter, One Family, express its inter faith witness. Details of its varied and wide ranging programme for 2009 are on its website at www.worldfaiths.org
RE Today
RE Today is wanting to appoint a new (primary) RE Adviser for 1st September. The advert and information are on the NATRE website ('Free resources' section) and was in the TES on 27th March. The deadline for applications is the 1st May - with interviews on the 19th May.
See www.natre.org.uk for full details.
Creating Spiritual Spaces for Children and Young People

This event, organised by NCB on behalf of Spiritual England, is an innovative one-day conference exploring spirituality, well-being, emotional and mental health in children and young people. Following the recent Good Childhood Inquiry from the Children’s Society, and the Government’s current focus on well-being, this conference provides a timely opportunity to reflect on how best to support children’s and young people’s spirituality.

The conference on 21 May in London brings together social workers, teachers, early years, play and youth workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, religious leaders and policy officers to discuss how to make schools, homes, youth clubs, places of worship and neighbourhoods more supportive of children and young people’s emotional and mental well-being.

For more information, visit http://www.sspaces.eventbrite.com or contact the NCB Conferences Team on 0207 843 6441 or
On-line Subject Knowledge Booster Course

An on-line Subject Knowledge Booster course has been developed by REOnline and TeachRE. This is for those who are looking to train to be an RE teacher and will be an on-line distance learning course. More can be found on the RE Online website at www.reonline.org.uk
Religious Education trails

A project is developing to gather information about Religious Education trails. Can you help? If so please contact Paul Hopkins at or Sharon Artley at . You can see more information at the temporary website at www.mmiweb.org.uk/heritage_trails/
Association of University Lecturers in RE (AULRE) conferences
1.    Engaging Religious Education: A one day conference on RE, Thursday 7th May, 2009, 10. 00 – 4.00, Liverpool Hope University. For Religious Education to be inspiring and effective it calls for constant reflection on how pupils and teachers might engage imaginatively with the subject. Taking the notion of 'engagement' in its widest and fullest sense, this timely one day conference encourages papers from lecturers and teachers on this important theme. For more information see www.aulre.org.uk and click on ‘News’.
2.    There are still places at the AULRE conference in July (20th/21st). The conference theme is "Religion, Education and Dialogue" and takes place at St.Luke's campus, University of Exeter. For more details see www.aulre.org and click on the conference button. This conference will be of interest to all those researching RE or working with RE teachers at HE level.
European Forum for Teachers of RE (EFTRE)

The Spring 2009 EFTRE Newsletter is now available at the EFTRE website (www.eftre.net). There are also details of a series of spring seminars EFTRE ran in London in March. Essential for those who would like to know more about RE in other European countries.
Cambridge Primary Review
The Cambridge report on the primary curriculum has now been published. This report is very important as part of the review of the primary curriculum in England and the report has some interesting ideas which might affect RE. The report can be found at http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Publications/CambridgePrimaryReviewrep.html
The situation in Gaza and British government policy

An interview with Sadiq Khan MP, about the situation in Gaza by two young Muslims, this gives a fascinating insight into this very difficult area. See the link at the NASACRE website (www.nasacre.org.uk)
Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies

1.  The Subject Centre for PRS is running a one day event for ‘Aspiring Academics’ in London on 19th May 2009. Aimed at those who are relatively new to teaching in Higher Education, or those who are planning to begin a career in academia in the UK, it will cover the following areas:
•    Philosophy
•    Religious Studies
•    Theology
•    Biblical Studies
•    History & Philosophy of Science, Technology & Medicine
Please visit the event webpage for further information, including how to register, at: http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/view.html/prsevents/429
2.  They are also supporting an event being jointly run by the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Museums on 21st May 2009 entitled: Abstracta in Concreta: Engaging Museum Collections in Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Research. This seminar will provide research students in philosophy and religious studies with the tools to engage critically with museum collections, such as those held by Glasgow Museums.
For further details of this event please go to: http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/view.html/prsevents/434
3.  The SC for PRS’s journal, Discourse, is now available as an e-journal. The latest edition Vol.8(1) may be of particular interest as it contains articles that emerged from our conference on progression and transition from ‘A’ level to first year degree, held in Oxford in July 2008. This issue can be found at http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/publications/discourse/8_1.html
4.  There is also a similar event for philosophers in Oxford on 2/3 July 2009 entitled: A level above? Progression to Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy. Further information can be found at  http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/view.html/prsevents/420
Information about all their activities are available at: http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk.      
RE and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Electronic Handbook
One of the strands of the RE Action Plan, in partnership between the REC and the DCSF, is the development of an electronic Handbook to support CPD in RE. The resource will be web based. There is a Steering Group chaired by AREIAC supported by NATRE, AULRE, SHAP and the REC. The Steering Group has appointed Angela Gluck to be the Chief Editor and Professors Liam Gearon and Julian Stern as Assistant Editors. The resource will include sections on the teaching of religious traditions and also the range of pedagogies involved in the teaching of religion. Also, it will include sections on the teaching of controversial issues in RE and Community Cohesion. For each section, there will be a scholarly input and classroom based practitioner inputs. This will include links to key sites, resources for CPD at University level and audio-visual examples from actual classroom teaching. Writers are in the process of being commissioned and beginning to produce draft contributions. The resource will be completed by Spring 2010.
Learning outside the classroom news
Many congratulations to Buckfast Abbey and Southwark Cathedral who are the first recipients in our sector (Sacred Space) of the Quality Badge for Learning Outside the Classroom. The badge has only just begun and we are delighted that two ‘sacred spaces’ have already been accredited. The National Advisory Group on LOtC is convinced of the value of the badge: it sets clear standards to ensure that children and young people have really worthwhile learning experiences. Of course, not everyone will want to go for the quality badge but if you do, there’s plenty of advice available on the LOtC website: www.lotc.org.uk .
To promote learning outside the classroom the newly formed Council for LOtC is running four regional conferences. Details are on the REC website and we hope that they will be well supported. We are developing exciting plans for the sacred space sector and we hope to share these with you very soon. Do remember that our display stands and bookmarks are available for free loan to support your conferences and courses. See www.reonline.org.uk/sacredspace .

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