The Best of British Islam
During the autumn term of 2012, NATRE was pleased to work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to distribute the 7-DVD set The Best of British Islam, to teachers in its secondary local groups. Response to the resource was excellent.
Challenging RE Conference
NATRE's North of England two-day residential conference for 100 RE teachers took place in May 2011 at Burn Hall Conference Centre in York. Generous funding by Culham St Gabriel's Trust, enabled NATRE to offer an excellent programme in a pleasant setting, and at a greatly subsidised fee for teachers. NATRE values greatly Culham St Gabriel's ongoing support of its work for teachers.
Bursaries for Special Schools
RE Today invited Special Schools linked to NATRE local groups to apply for two bursaries in order to develop spiritual development opportunities for their pupils. The work was completed to a very high standard by the autumn term 2011.
Curriculum Bursaries Supporting Celebrating RE Month
With generous funding from the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) and All Saints Educational Trust, NATRE worked with eight NATRE local groups on curriculum projects designed to culminate in a local event in March 2011 as part of the Celebrating RE initiative. Each local group was awarded a bursary of £1,000 - £2,000, and, in addition, advisory support to help plan and deliver the event along with provision of CPD opportunities to meet the specific needs of each group. NATRE is grateful for the ongoing support of BFSS and All Saints for their work with and for RE teachers.
Excellent RE in Areas of Social Need
NATRE was pleased to be working with the St Peter's Saltley Trust over two years to enable twelve primary and secondary schools to improve their RE through working collaboratively and with high quality subject specialist advice. NATRE is grateful to the St Peter's Saltely Trust for its support of NATRE's work with teachers.
Ambassadors of Religion & Belief Conference
In July 2010, at Mulberry School, in Tower Hamlets, NATRE held a Conference for Ambassadors of Religion & Belief. The event was for up to 100 students and 50 teachers and aimed to give young people an opportunity to explore religions and belief. The conference was made possible by a generous grant from the St Gabriel's Foundation.
RE and the Secondary Curriculum
NATRE and RE Today worked with the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) during 2007/10 to support the roll out of the secondary curriculum for RE on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
Project Funding to Develop RE
During 2008/9, NATRE made available twenty funded opportunities for Local Groups to develop curriculum materials and resources for RE. Each grant was worth up to £1,500, due to generous funding by the Culham St Gabriel's Trust and DCSF.
Project Funding to Develop Promotional Films
During 2008/9, NATRE developed four promotional films about RE, thanks to generous funding from the DCSF. The films were launched in April 2009.
Conferences for NATRE Local Group Leaders
In the spring and summer terms 2008 and 2009, NATRE provided six one-day conferences for NATRE local group leaders. Each conference provided a range of professional development opportunities for teachers. The conferences were free, due to generous grant funding by Culham St Gabriel's Trust.
Support for RE and ICT
During 2007/9, NATRE and RE Today worked with Becta on a range of initiatives to support the use of ICT in RE. Work involved provision of ITT opportunities for secondary ITT students and ITT tutors, development of a resource to support the use of ICT in GCSE Religious Studies and entitlement documents for primary and secondary RE.
Secondary Teacher Network Project
NATRE, working alongside AREIAC and ‘Advisers in Education', won a tender from the TDA to pilot the delivery of CPD through secondary teacher network groups. This project involved the nine North and East London local authorities, six advisers and 18 teachers and aimed to develop teachers' understanding and skills in assessment with a focus on Learning Outside the Classroom.
National RE Framework
Our consultancy and writing role with the National RE Framework (DfES, QCA, 2004) has enabled teachers' voices to be heard. Deborah Weston (Chair of NATRE) was the lead consultant for QCA's unit of work (2005/6). See: www.qca.org.uk.
SEN and RE
NATRE is pleased to have been the agency by which BBC has made two special needs strands to their new secondary broadcasts 'Curriculum bites RE', one featuring some students' from Anne Krisman's school, another using a multi-sensory approach to festivals. These were first broadcast in February 2005.
Christian Artists Working in Schools.
The Jerusalem Trust awarded grants to fund two projects in which Christian artists worked in schools with 16 - 19 year-olds. Rhema Theatre worked with the RE and Drama departments at Keswisk School in Cumbria, and stained glass artist Cate Watkinson worked with the RE and Art Departments at Durham Johnston School. The details of the projects, with guidance for schools wishing to do similar things, was disseminated through RE Today publications.
Spirited Arts Publications
Funding enabled the production of primary and secondary Spirited Arts publications to include 8 x A4 colour prints. These publications were edited by Rachel Barker formed part of the September 2005 REtoday mailing.
Teachers of Faith: Representing Religions in the Classroom
This was a project to develop authenticity and integrity in RE teaching through a multi faith teachers' symposium on 'what I want teachers of RE to know about my religion'. Financial support was provided from the St Luke's College Trust and the Spalding Trust. Published in 2004, this was distributed free to nearly 600 new entrants to the profession in 2004/5.
Able, Gifted and Talented in RE
NATRE worked with QCA on challenging RE for more able, gifted and talented pupils. A two-day training course on this topic ran successfully for over 300 RE specialists. Working with pupils was also promoted. G & T pupil days continue to be offered - contact NATRE for details.
After REFIT: RE from IT, NATRE's five year project to link RE and ICT teaching effectively, which culminated in a free CD-ROM for RE to all RE Today subscribers, NATRE continued to work with RE Today and Becta to promote more and better uses of ICT in RE. NATRE also worked with the BBC on their 'digital curriculum' project, starting with key stage 2.
Links with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where RE associations have co-operative relations with NATRE, continue: by participation for example in the recent NI conference on inter faith RE.
'Four Religions' Day Courses for Teachers
This repeating course ran once or twice a year in each of four years, enabling NATRE members who are both faith practitioners and RE professionals in one of the four religions to share insights.
Assessment for Learning in RE
This small project developed ideas and practice in Assessment for Learning (AfL) with a group of six teachers, exemplifying methods and standards for some excellent assessment activities and ideas. Generously funded by the St Gabriel's Trust, the project was published through the RE Today mailing.
NATRE continues to have a role in collaborating with broadcasters. Such award-winning serie's as 'Tackling Issue' (1997-9), 'The Test of Time', 'Curriculum Bites RE 11-14' and '14-16' (2003, 2005), are at the front edge of curriculum development in broadcast RE.
NATRE provided support for a national network of Advanced Skills RE teachers and other classroom experts, including national meetings to hone best practice and spread it wider. Meetings were held in June 2003, September 2004 and November 2005.
NATRE consultants contributed examples of eight-level scaling in action for teachers from work based on six different religions, NC Action website going live in 2004. NATRE supported and provided training for 2000+ teachers on this topic.
Assessment for Learning in RE
A course on 'how to use assessment for learning in RE' running in 2004-5, benefited over 400 teacher participants. This was followed by a project in 2005 to 'road test' these ideas in primary and secondary classrooms.
A written product to address the need to improve transition at the transfer to secondary school was developed, and published through the RE Today subscription service.
RE and the Media
NATRE participated in this national competition and award made by the Sandford St Martin Trust in order to reward excellence in the RE media. Awards were made in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, and winners included broadcasts, video products and ICT / CD-ROM materials.
Project on RE and Thinking Skills
This commenced with the Education Show 2001, with funds granted by the DFES through the Best Practice Research Scholarship scheme. Eight teachers worked on this for 7-14 year olds; and completed their work in 2003.
RE for All 16-19
NATRE worked with many local authorities and the Jerusalem Trust to provide day courses to enhance the quality and provision of RE for 16 - 19s. Working with up to 100 students at a time, these opportunities helped model good practice in this neglected area of provision in RE.
This project involved work with eight schools around Bradford, four 'white' and four with Muslim majorities. This exciting school-twinning project brought pupils together, examining RE's contribution to attitudes of tolerance and respect. The project benefited from further funds granted from the DfES Innovations Unit in summer 2004.
Conferences for Beginning Teachers were held in April 2001, and April 2003 for 'student reps' from all ITT institutions. A free opportunity for teachers of RE in training to participate in an inspirational residential RE conference. Supported by the Sandford St Martin Trust and the Dulverton Trust.
Faith in the Future
This project involved research into pupils' writing on religious and spiritual topics, with consultant Dr Rebecca Nye and a team of researchers. Curriculum development resources were published. There was a major focus on the implications of listening to children in RE, published and for sale as 'Listening to Children in Primary RE' and 'Listening to Children in Secondary RE'.
AS and A level Teachers' Conferences
Conferences supporting teachers in dealing with the new specifications and with contemporary theology, RS and key skills. Four lectures and five seminars in three days, plus supporting events. Brilliant teams of speakers have included Archbishop Rowan Williams, Dr Robert Beckford & Prof. John Hull.
RE for Teachers with Other Specialisms
The 'TWOS' project was part of the Brunel University National RE Centre 'RE and School Effectiveness project, providing help and training to meet the needs of 'non specialist RE'.
Participation and provision of a multi-religious team of facilitators in the Golden Jubilee Young People's Faith Forum at St James' Palace in June 2002.
RE in 14-19 Vocational Programmes
Materials for leisure and tourism, business and health and social care which are both good RE and good Vocational Education were developed. This project was developed with Christian Aid and resulted in the publication ‘Global Learner' in 2002.
RE and Citizenship
This project developed classroom activities and resources from faith communities which are both good RE and good Citizenship and supported RE teachers who want an open frontier with Citizenship. The outcomes were published in early 2002 in primary and secondary versions.
RE in EAZs
Professional development package was created to support RE in Education Action Zones and other situations of social need. This initiative was supported by the St Peter's Saltley Trust. A conference was held in November 2001.
The National RE Festival
This was NATRE's major celebratory project in RE for the late 90s, and attracted involvement from 14 000 schools, 9000 faith community groups and about 1.25 million children.
This consisted of a Series on Values, Communications, Achievement, Classroom and Culture. Exploring RE for the 21st Century edited by Terence Copley, and was published as a reader. It was distributed free to new RE teachers over two years, and also put on sale.
Standards for Subject Leaders
In cooperation with TTA, CULRE and AREIAC, on 'RE: standards for subject leaders' was published in 1999.