NATRE Network Day

The RE Team welcomed Stephen Pett and Fiona Moss from NATRE to Edge HIll for the Annual RE Network Conference.  This year the Conference was generously supported by the Jerusalem Trust and drew together Undergraduate and Postgraduate students from Edge Hill as well as guests from Liverpool Hope’s RE PGCE.  Around a dozen of our Mentors were able to be released from school for the day to take part in this worthwhile CPD.

Stephen shared some work on advertising and happiness (‘Why live a good life when the good life is on offer?”) as well as some innovative approaches to planning an enquiry based RE scheme of work. Fiona explored some of the issues surrounding teaching controversial issues in RE.  All of this was delivered in a very hands on, practical, interactive way.

One of the mentors, Hannah, commented:

“This has been a really valuable day.  It is always great to go on some CPD where you actually leave with things that you can use straight away in class.  I’m going to go home and start planning next week’s lessons using some of the ideas from today!”

We hope to be able to welcome NATRE back again next year and will talk to Mentors about what they would like the Network to do next year.

New Draft RE Curriculum

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The RE Council have been working this year to produce a new framework document for RE, in the light of the DFE’s production of curricula for other subjects.  Following the publication of the Draft Programmes of Study for RE  interested parties are invited to take part in a final round of consultation – as explained in the RE review consultation letter 7 June 13 which must be competed by 5th July 2013.

There are two ways to respond:

Holi Festival of Colour comes to Edge Hill

MAY 9, 2013

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Schoolchildren helped Edge Hill University recreate the Holi Festival of Colour to highlight why it’s important to keep Religious Education on the national curriculum.

For the first time in the north-west, replicating India’s popular springtime religious celebration, students, staff and pupils from Nutgrove Methodist Primary in St Helens took part in throwing bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike as they celebrate the arrival of spring.

The idea behind the event on 10th May was to show how taking risks with learning makes it more meaningful and that RE can generate a more creative environment in the classroom.

It was also used to reiterate why RE should be included in the ever-changing curriculum.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said RE would remain a statutory requirement at all ages for local authority and direct grant maintained schools, but no programme of study would be prescribed. Parents can also choose to stop their children from attending RE classes.

Maggie Webster, Edge Hill University’s Primary RE Subject Leader organised the Festival of Colour and a lecture about creativity and the Holi in conjunction with student Chris Kirk.

The author of Creative Approaches to Teaching Primary Education explained: “We wanted to recreate our own Festival of Colour as a celebration and to raise the profile of the Foundation subjects, in particular RE as a result of the new national curriculum. In a way, the subject is being side-lined so we are showing that RE fits into all areas of knowledge and creativity. It links into music, dance, culture and life and is a good way to show teachers that risks can be taken in the classroom to make learning more fun.”

On the day, there was a discussion around creative education, the value of RE and the cross-curricular nature of the subject.

“By letting people take part in paint throwing it will give our teachers of the future ideas to demonstrate how pedagogy and theory can be applied in practice within a school setting,” explained Maggie. “Hopefully it will encourage them to develop creative approaches in all curriculum areas.”

The event was also used to raise money for children’s charity NCB.