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Home arrow Newsletter arrow Newsletter Archive arrow Newsletter Archive arrow REC Newsletter August 2010
REC Newsletter August 2010 Print E-mail






Congratulations to two REC officers whose achievements in RE-related endeavours have received academic recognition in recent weeks.  Joyce Miller, deputy chair of the RE Council, has been awarded an Ed D by the University of Warwick for her thesis which included studies on religious education and the arts, community cohesion and a practitioner research study in which she applied key concepts from the interpretive approach to teachers' continuing professional development.  Trevor Cooling, REC Treasurer, joins the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University as Professor of Christian Education.  We congratulate them both on their successes and wish Trevor all the very best for his new post.



Plans are moving ahead rapidly for the month long national celebration of RE in March 2011.  Information about the latest developments will from now on be included in a monthly newsletter, for which anyone can sign up via the website at www.celebratingre.org  Articles on the website give a wealth of ideas on how to celebrate for Early Years, primary, secondary, SEN, gifted and talented, SACREs, using wise sayings and using social media; there will be many further additions over the next couple of months.



The REsilience project, designed to build secondary teachers'confidence to handle contentious issues in RE, has now completed its pilot stages in England and Wales.  Project mentors have been trained and the suite of Gateway support materials completed.  Schools are invited to register interest in taking part by signing up on the website at www.re-silience.org.uk  Those interested in following the development of the project can also sign up for the newsletter via the website.



At the end of May,  the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order and Western Buddhist Order changed their names to the Triratna Buddhist Community and the Triratna Buddhist Order. (Clear Vision is run by members of the Triratna Buddhist Order).  The short form replacing "FWBO/WBO" is now "Triratna" (this means Three Jewels or Triple Gem in Sanskrit). Since our tradition was founded in the 1960s, our original names have dated; in particular, we have developed a massive following in India, where they use different names as they are not Western. For a long time it has been our wish to find one unified name. The FWBO/Triratna is mentioned on many syllabuses, including GCSE, as an example of a new western Buddhist movement to be studied. It will take some time for the change of name to filter through, but when you next revise your Agreed Syllabus, do please take note!



Some of you may be interested in a 30-minute talk given recently to the annual Manchester Buddhist Conference, on "British Buddhism Today".  The first half is probably of most relevance to RE colleagues, from a citizenship and community cohesion perspective, as it deals with statistics for UK Buddhists. Statistics are always flawed and questionable, but nonetheless, it does offer some surprises - certainly for most of this Buddhist audience! Please read the text below the video frame.




Hindu Academy has launched a series of programme broadcast three times daily on Hindu faith channel at SKY  807. These programmes are academically oriented and can benefit RE teachers trying to gain a deeper insight into Hinduism and take place daily at the following times:

7 to 7.30am:  Contemplative Hinduism // 4 to 4.30 pm:  Hinduism for GCSE and Advanced levels // 10 to 10.30pm:  Hindu Philosophy

Hindu Academy (http://www.hinduacademy.org)  has also launched this channel with clips on Hinduism at:  http://www.youtube.com/hinduacademy



The Hindu Council (http://www.hinducounciluk.org) sent a Hindu delegation led by Major (Retired) Suryaparsad Upadhya to participate in a memorial service in Neuve Chapelle on 19 July 2010 in response to an invitation from the Prince of Wales office. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to the contribution of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu soldiers in the First World War during a visit to the Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial. The Battle of Neuve-Chapelle saw a huge contribution by the British Indian Army, and the memorial represents the 4,742 Indian soldiers with no known grave who died in the First World War. The Prince of Wales was able to honour and recognise the contribution of the Indian contingents to whom Western history has not, perhaps, quite given the recognition they deserve.


The Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies ran a conference on Courting Controversy: Teaching Theology and Religious Studies in the 21st Century in Leeds in July. The conference brought together academics, school teachers and students to explore issues around the policy and practice of teaching Theology and RS in a multi-faith and multi-cultural society. Resources from this event are available at  http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/view.html/prsevents/460

The Subject Centre has published a Buddhism Faith Guide to complement its existing suite of Guides on Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. The Guides are designed to support staff in UK education as they engage with students from a variety of religious backgrounds. The Guides are available online at http://www.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/publications/index.html#1  or in hard copy for a small fee by contacting  


JAINPEDIA (www.jainpedia.org)

As part of the JAINpedia project and to celebrate the amazing display of Jain manuscripts exhibited at the V&A's Nehru Gallery of Indian Art,  JAINpedia staff  held a  volunteer training session at the Museum on 25th July 2010.  This was conducted by an official V&A Intercultural guide who gave an in-depth tour of the display to a group of potential  volunteers in the gallery.  The session lasted for an hour and the explanation about the 20 objects on display was greatly appreciated by all who attended.  If you wish to attend a similar session you have an opportunity to join a tour at the V&A on 15th August which will be delivered by the same guide.  Places are limited so to book now please contact    It will start from the V&A main reception on Cromwell Road, South Kensington, at 11 am on 15th August 2010.   



CND Peace Education provides young people with information on peace and nuclear issues, and empowers young people to make their own decisions. It has free resource packs for Key Stages 2 to 5. They explore the issues in fun and exciting ways, including the nuclear weapons debate through the medium of the X-Factor! (see the Teachers' TV film on the activity here - http://www.teachers.tv/videos/ks3-4-citizenship-the-bomb-factor-nuclear-weapons).  For younger students, there is the story of Sadako Sasaki, the little girl who attempted to make 1000 paper cranes as a display of peace after the Hiroshima bomb.  Copies of the materials can be downloaded from here: www.cnduk.org/education or paper copies can be ordered by filling in the web form.


RE-ONLINE (www.REonline.org.uk)

During the summer break [perhaps on a wet day] why not take an hour or two to browse REonline? Many comment on the range of resources when they do.  This month RE-Online has started a review and updating of the site with a better Subject Knowledge section, found in Teacher Resources or Lifelong Learning. Share [ www.share-re.org.uk ] is also new; here anyone can set up, or join, one of the networking opportunities for work in RE - and it's free. More changes will follow in each of the coming months so it's worth checking .



Two new resources have recently been released within the Bahá'í community, as part of our programme of youth empowerment.  Discovering Your Gems and Shaping Our Future are two workbooks that can be used with young people aged 12 to 14 to explore spiritual and practical issues.  For more information, visit http://www.grbooks.com/show_auth.php?author_id=168.

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Christian: Ash Wednesday
March 09, 2011

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Japanese: Shunbun No Hi
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