The NATRE North West Network saw over 50 trainee teachers from Edge Hill, Hope and MMU and around a dozen serving RE teachers from our Partnership had an excellent day’s CPD with Stephen Pett from NATRE. It was the last day at University for our Final Year Undergraduates and PGCE students at Edge Hill came out of school for the day. It was free for all to attend thanks to the support of the Jerusalem Trust and Edge Hill University.
The day was as always focussed on classroom practice, and totally interactive, with sessions on happiness, assessment, ultimate questions and planning an enquiry based Scheme of Work. Feedback from students and serving teachers was totally positive.
“In 12 years of teaching this is the best CPD I have had” – Rachel, Head of RE
Next Year’s event is destined to be earlier in the year – so keep Monday 15th December 2014 in mind, and school based partners can begin to mention this date to their line managers. You can read about 2013’s event here. Lots more photos from the day are on Flickr and below!
Around 20 Secondary RE teachers were able to attend the recent RE Subject Network Meeting at Edge Hill. We are fortunate to welcome Alan Brine, HMI for RE, who talked us through the findings of the latest Ofsted Report into RE RE: Realising The Potential. This is a key report for RE and comes at a very important time for the subject.
The School Based Partners were joined by both Undergraduate and Postgraduate RE students who were keen to hear what Alan had to say. Alan outlined some of the findings of the report including many of the features of poor RE lessons that he has been able to observe. He dealt with some of the political issues which have not helped the case of RE, but was able to see many positives from the response of the RE community. He talked enthusiastically about an enquiry based approach to learning in RE and laid to rest suggestions that there is a magic formula for an Ofsted-approved lesson. Any lesson where pupils make outstanding progress is an outstanding lesson!
There were plenty questions at the end, many of them around how we a re going to judge progress (in RE and other subjects) if there are no longer nationally prescribed levels.
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.
Almost a dozen Mentors, Lecturers and consultants were able to attend the RE Subject Network’s recent twilight session held at Byrchall High School.
We were privileged to have the input of Emma Mcvittie who explained how her ME! resource was helping pupils develop spiritual literacy in both primary and secondary settings nationwide. This was followed by a general discussion of good practice from around the partnership led by Gill Robinson of Rose Bridge High School.
Waqaus Ali spoke to us about the work of ThinkBrite Services who can lead Inset for staff, provide visitors to schools or create a tailored day visiting a local Mosque. Edge Hill Students have benefited from Waqaus’ expertise for many years.
Gill concluded the evening with some national updates, around many issues including the RE Council’s consultation report on the proposed New National RE Framework. It was a while before people left, though, as people spent time with our visitors exploring the possibility of doing further work together.
Following on from the success of our Subject Network Launch last summer, we are holding our first school based RE network meeting on Wednesday 14th November at 4.15 pm at Byrchall High School, Wigan. Many thanks to Mark Scott, Head of RE at Byrchall High, who has kindly obtained use of the school’s CPD centre for us.
The Edge Hill RE Subject Network is open to all secondary RE teachers, whether they be Mentors from the partnership, former students or local RE teachers who may want to join us. The aim is to create a friendly, informal and supportive network for professional up-dating and exchange of good practice. A schedule is attached.
We look forward to seeing you. Please let either Francis or Paul know by e-mail if you intend to join us.