As part of their study of Judaism the Year 2 RE Trainees enjoyed a ‘Joy of Judaism’ day at Stencourt Shul, Prestwich Manchester. The day was led by David Arnold an old friend of the RE team who made us all really welcome. David gave us an insiders view into the vibrant Jewish community of North Manchester.
After a tour of the Synagogue we discussed Jewish belief and practice in detail. David had brought a specially baked Challah loaf for us and it was devoured in record time by the group. The significance of Kosher food and the role that food in general plays in Jewish family life became somewhat a theme for the day.
Holding onto the food theme, perhaps the highlight of the day was the delicious Kosher meal that we enjoyed at J.S. Restaurant, chicken soup all round, seemed to be the order of the day. Despite the lovely challah bread that the group had eaten just beforehand, some brave souls also managed kosher ice cream sundaes.
After lunch there was also time for a quick visit to the Judaica shop across the road for all those artefacts that every trainee RE teacher could wish for.
Good company, good food and all in all a very good day. I am already looking forward to next year’s kosher fish and chips!
Year 2 Undergraduates who have been studying Judaism this semester took their knowledge and skills into school for two days recently.
Lathom High School held a two day conference for their Year 10 pupils. On the first day Staff from the school were joined by RE undergraduates from Edge Hill as the whole year was taken off timetable to work in small groups to study the religion. Staff from the school were grateful for the help of the students and commented very favourably on the way they were able to work with pupils who they had not met before.
This groupwork was to prepare pupils for the highlight of day 2 – when Edge Hill trainees helped to supervise the Year 10s as they met firstly David Arnold and then Jack Aizenberg – a survivor of the holocaust.
This was an excellent opportunity for the students of Edge Hill to put their Jewish Studies into perspective, gain more experience of working with a diverse range of Key Stage 4 pupils and to hear Jack’s story.
Year 2 trainees enjoyed an enlightening visit to the beautiful Triratna Buddhist centre (22.11.12) gaining the insider’s perspective on what it really means to live as a Buddhist in 2012. Our speaker, Munisha,(Clear Vision) offered us a very warm welcome and a much appreciated brew, before telling us the story of the Manchester Buddhist centre. We then experienced the peace of the main shrine room, which demonstrated how calm surroundings produce more peaceful states of mind. After a fascinating Q/A session we were left with a deeper understanding of key Buddhist values, especially right livelihood and the importance of spiritual friendship. As always Munisha made the perfect host, thoughtful,open and generous in her responses to trainee questions. Everyone said how much they enjoyed the session and we only wished we’d had more time for more questions! I’m sure that the visit will result in future RE school trips when our year 2 trainees become RE teachers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and am already looking forward to the PGCE visit in December. After enjoying such good company this morning, it seems appropriate to finish with some words of the Buddha:
“The company of the wise is joyful, like reunion with one’s family.Therefore, live among the wise, who are understanding, patient, responsible, and noble. Keep their company like the moon moving among the stars” [Dhammapada, 15: 207-208]
Year 2 Undergraduates welcomed Emma McVittie to Edge Hill to lead a session on planning for Spiritual Development.
Emma is an independent RE Consultant and the Primary Leader for REonline. Her passion for improving educational standards led her to become a teacher educator, advisor and speaker where she enjoys having a larger influence in educating people about R.E.’s place in the 21st century. Her whole career has been spent within primary education and she has taught in a range of settings including: Pupil Referral Unit, special schools and small, rural, mixed key stage schools through to large urban schools with many hundreds of pupils. Emma has an international reputation and speaks, on all aspects of RE from school development to staff motivation using a variety of modern, innovative, and creative methods that will enthuse staff and children alike
Emma spoke about some of the theoretical background to Spirituality in Children before using some of the resources from her ME! resource to enable the students to learn experientially.
All the students reported that the session was superb and gave them an insight into spiritual development as well as practical ideas which they hope to use in their school placements after Christmas.
The sun shone brightly on the stars of the BA(Hons) Key Stage 2/3 Religious Education degree course as they were awarded their degrees and celebrated their achievements. As the self proclaimed ‘Best RE class ever!’ the 14 graduands were awarded their degree by the Chancellor, Professor Tanya Byrom, describing Edge Hill graduates as “not only ‘Outstanding’, but ‘Exceptional’!”
This indeed was our best year yet for Undergraduate RE students, with a third of graduates achieving a First class degree – and another half getting a II:i classification. One student, Chris Lawson, received a special award for the highest mark in the Faculty for a dissertation. His study of primary to secondary transition in Catholic RE departments is likely to be published soon. Almost two-thirds of the group were judged to be ‘Outstanding’ in their final teaching practice and most have already secured employment for the next academic term – in primary and secondary settings.
As part of their third year undergraduate module on Islam, students visited Preston to hear first hand what life was like for a Muslim in the UK in the 21st century. In the morning the trainees visited Fulwood Academy where they were able to interview a number of young Muslim students. They found the youngsters to have widely varying ideas of what it meant to be a Muslim, from the very observant to those who seemed ready to challenge.
After a quick lunch we visited the Medina Mosque in the afternoon. As well as a tour of the facilities and the opportunity to observe the zuhr congregational prayers students were given a very thorough presentation of Islam as a deen by Waqaus Ali of Thinkbrite Services. Waqaus talked of how faith could be thought of as having three levels: Islam, Iman and Ishan. He also spoke about historical and contemporary issues surrounding Islam.
“it has brought the religion of Islam out of the textbook and into real life and society that we can now transfer into the classroom”
Here are a selection of photographs taken during the fieldtrip:
Postgraduate and Final Year Undergraduate trainee teachers came together to spend a day in the Theatre of Learning with Sue Phillips.
As well as being introduced to the experiential pedagogy in theoretical terms, we were able to visit both ‘The Island’ and ‘The Cave’. Sue showed how these approaches can yield huge benefits in terms of pupil development and motivation. Ways of improving religious literacy at Key Stage 3 and Exam results at Key Stage 4 were explored.
We hope to welcome Sue back to Edge Hill later in the year as part of an event for RE teachers in Partner schools …. Watch this (web)space!
Year 1 Undergraduates completed their History of Christian Thought and Culture Module with a Christian Question Time. Three Christian Curches were represented by Tom Cullinan, (Benedictine Monk, formerly at Ampleforth and presently a priest within the Archdiocese of Liverpool), Melvyn Kelly, (Methodist Minister in the Lancashire West Circuit and a member of the Chaplaincy Service at Edge Hill) and Tony Harrington ( Core Leader of Today’s Community Church, Wigan) together with Isaac Olurankinse. Jason took the Dimbleby role in chairing the discussion which was wide ranging and informative.
What do you believe happens after death?
Do you agree with gay marriage ceremonies in Church?
Do you think Jesus will return to earth?
Are men and women equal?
Do you think there are advantages or disadvantages to priests being celibate?
How do you explain the Trinity?
Can the rich get into heaven?
How damaging to the Christian Church are controversies such as the Child abuse scandals in the Catholic Priesthood.
Do miracles happen nowadays?
Is Christianity the only way?
The answers caused a lively debate and gave students a fascinating insight into the different theologies of individuals within these three different denominations.
A small group of Year 2 Undergraduate RE students were invited along to Lathom High School in Skelmersdale to assist with their Y11 RE Day. These outstanding students put their all into interacting and leading learning with groups of 10 Lathom students.
This is outstanding and I can’t thank you enough for this level of enthusiasm and commitment to making partnership work – really outstanding. Dean of Faculty of Education
The students acted as facilitators for the Year 11 pupils as they worked through a series of Leadership ‘challenges’
The highlight of the day was being able to meet and hear the story of a former Irish terrorist leader who now is a leader in a Pentecostal Church in England. It would have been worth going just for this!!
We are absolutely delighted with all the backing we are receiving. Thank you. Trevor Hodson AHT – Director of Learning Lathom High School