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

e-newsletter February 2009

New REC publications

The REC has recently published two new items, both available for download from its website.  The first is a Media Toolkit for RE Teachers and is designed to help teachers obtain positive publicity for the work they and their pupils are doing in RE.  The second is a leaflet on the aims and work of the RE Council itself.  The leaflet may also be obtained in hard copy by emailing a request to   

NASACRE Recruitment and Training Programme

The NASACRE recruitment and training programme for SACRE members is taking place in three areas of the country this year. Additional one day conferences for serving SACRE members are being held in: Birmingham on 04.02.09; York on 11.02.09; and London on 26.02.09. Up to three free places are offered to each SACRE in the designated regions, with a maximum attendance of around 75-80 people.

Further information on the project can be found at: http://www.religiouseducationcouncil.org/content/view/95/51/


Shap journal evolves into Shap e-journal

The current issue of the Shap journal, World Religions in Education, on The Environment, will be the last to be published on paper, a decision made partly to increase accessibility and readership, and partly on environmental grounds. This issue draws attention to a wide range of contemporary thinking and action on the environment, and to concepts new to many, such as “green jihad”, “spiritual ecology camps”, and the “conscious kitchen”.  Next year's will take a similarly eclectic and up-to-date look at the place of food in many of the world's religions and beliefs, and will be available at www.shapworkingparty.org.uk in September 2009.  Past journals and the Preface to the latest issue can be read on the Shap website, where you can also buy the journal and the always useful and popular Shap calendars of religious festivals.


Hinduism Award Ceremony

Hindu Academy (Vivekananda Centre London) will be holding its annual Award Ceremony at Brent Town Hall Wembley on Friday 6th February at 7pm. The Head Master of Eton will be giving out awards to the successful GCSE and A level candidates. Some have managed to achieve 100% marks in Hinduism modules at Advanced level.

Public talk on Science and Spirituality 

This talk by Jay Lakhani will take place at Essex Halls, Essex Road, London WC2 on Thurs 19th February at 5pm. It will focus on the cutting edge discoveries of modern science and how they resonate with the concept of spirituality in the Hindu tradition.

Further information on the above two items is given at http://www.hinduacademy.org


Transforming Lives Project

The Transforming Lives Project seeks to raise awareness within the Christian Church of the significant role played by teachers. On 1st January 2009 we entered a second, three-year phase of work during which we will be producing resources and mounting events. The Project is led by Trevor Cooling. See www.transforminglives.org.uk



New resource website providing downloadable presentations for use in schools. Includes bilingual Welsh/English presentations. Site commissioned by DCELLS.
Link: www.collectiveworship.com      


Centre Director for the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby

The Centre (Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB) is seeking a full-time Centre Director, salary £30k.  This offers a unique opportunity to lead this innovative Centre into its next phase of development with responsibility for the overall management, strategy, profile, fundraising and finance. Interview dates: Thursday 19 February and Friday 27 February 2009.  Closing date for applications Friday 6 February 2009

Application packs from Joanna Thornewill, 01332 591285 or


Three Faiths Forum

The Forum has launched a resource on conflict particularly relating to the Gaza Crisis. It is a resource that helps people think about what to consider when teaching about conflict and is aimed at illustrating the complexity of the situation.  The site also includes short 'think pieces' from different people of faith on the Gaza conflict. The resource can be found at http://www.threefaithsforum.org.uk/Conflict.htm


Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

The QCA has issued guidance to advise local authorities, Standing Advisory Councils on RE (SACREs) and Agreed Syllabus Conferences (ASCs) in England on making key decisions about revisions to agreed syllabuses for RE during 2009. The information, for guidance only, is intended to help SACREs, ASCs and local authorities to use their resources to support RE as effectively as possible. The guidance has been agreed with relevant national RE organisations, including the RE Council, the National Association of Teachers of RE, the National Association of SACREs, and the Association of RE Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants. http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_20672.aspx  



This is a 3 year project (2006-9) involving universities from 8 European countries (England, Germany the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Estonia, France and Spain). The project aims to establish whether studies of religions in schools can help to promote dialogue and reduce conflict in school and society. The main research is focused on young people in the 14-16 age group, but there are also some studies of teachers and of religion in different educational systems. http://www.redco.uni-hamburg.dehttp://3481/index.html


The Toledo Guiding Principles for the teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools 

This set of principles has been published by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).  The panel of members involved included authorities on international law (with experience in dealing with legal questions related to the exercise of religious freedom), education and the social sciences. Additional experts in the fields of religion, education and pedagogy were brought in to assist in the preparation of the guiding principles. The full text can be downloaded at http://www.osce.org/item/28314.html 


AULRE 2009 conference  

The theme of the conference is "Religion, Education and Dialogue".  It will take place from Monday July 20th to Tuesday July 21st at the University of Exeter, St Luke's campus. The conference is suitable for anybody researching in field associated with RE or working in ITE. More details can be found at http://www.aulre.org.uk/.


Offer of books from Slough RE Centre  

Slough RE Centre has had to down size its stock of books  because it has moved to a smaller room. They have a numbers of books, all related to religious studies, to give away.  The books would need to be collected from them.  For more information email  or ring Jo Osborne, the resources officer, on 01753 541818.

New publications from the Institute of Jainology 

The Institute of Jainology - www.jainology.org - is planning to publish the second book in its series "Learn Jainism" for Key Stage 2/3 students. The first book in the series – “Discover Jainism” - was written by well known children's author Colin Hynson and designed to meet the national framework objectives. It has been received well in schools with many local authorities organising local launch events for its schools. The book has an accompanying website www.learnjainism.org with activities, teacher notes and games. The second book, also authored by Colin Hynson, will be called “Jain Tales”. It will be available later this year and will have stories from the Jain tradition, with original artwork as well as more online activities.


Teachernet on-line publications  

This site is a convenient access point for all government-related reports - presently over 2000 listed are available in free downloadable format: http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk


Science and Religion in Schools

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (an academic research
enterprise based at St Edmund's College, Cambridge) is holding a course for teachers, from 3-5 April 2009, on Science and Religion in Schools.  Further details at www.faraday-institute.org



Philosophical and Religious Studies Subject Centre (Higher Education Academy)

Dr Rebecca O’Loughlin took over from Dr. Darlene Bird as Subject Coordinator for Theology in January 2008.  The Centre has organised a number of conferences, produced a range of publications and is involved in a variety of types of research related to its areas of expertise.  Some publications, such as the Faith Guides, are available to download free of charge. The Guides are designed to support academic staff in UK HE institutions as they engage with students from a range of religious backgrounds.  If you would like any further information on any of their activities please get in touch at:    Information about all of their activities is also available on their website at http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk.

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