Local Group News Board

Group leaders Catherine Atkinson & Mandy Mason hosted a very successful local group on 3rd February 2020. Hosted by the Rivers Teaching Alliance who are based at St Clement’s Primary School, the group was attended by over 15 delegates. Teachers came from both faith and community schools to attend the local group. Local groups are a fantastic opportunity to come together and share similarities, opportunities (which are available to both community and faith schools) and discuss best practice.

The local group covered the popular, timely topic of RE deep dives and updates in light of the recently released Ofsted framework. Since the release of the framework, schools have been able to review over 101 primary and secondary reports in their references of RE. This helped teachers to understand what inspectors are looking for when assessing schools RE capabilities and areas of success.

NATRE updates were next on the agenda. NATRE aim to provide key policy and RE community updates for keeping teachers and local groups up-to-date. NATRE affiliated local groups receive valuable information through the group leaders and the local groups newsletter. This segment of the local group was found useful by all who attended.

Worcestershire will be receiving a new Agreed Syllabus, so this was discussed in the local group, giving teachers the opportunity to voice any questions, queries or concerns they may have. Prior introduction and discussion to the syllabus makes it easier to adapt the teaching and learning in readiness for the launch of the syllabus.

Finally, the group discussed two key questions, one for key stage 1 (KS1) and one for key stage 2 (KS2). The questions were: What does it mean to belong to a faith community? (KS1) and What do religions say to us when life gets hard? (KS2). Discussion of key questions helped the teachers to influence their classroom knowledge and pedagogy techniques.

The delegates found the most interesting part the sharing of information to discuss the key questions. Gathering as a collective to discuss larger RE questions helps to provide alternative teaching methods, classroom options and debate forums. Another major part of the local group was coming together to share experiences and touch base. In extremely busy school environments, taking a small amount of time to network and meet like-minded teachers helps to develop the sense of community that the RE world has developed.

Next meeting: 15 June 2020 at 4pm

Focus: At the next local group meeting, the group will be discussing the new RE syllabus and what that looks like for local teachers. If you’re a teacher in the area, be sure to attend and have your say!

Ideas for your local group meeting:

  • Discuss pending local Agreed Syllabus changes
  • Have a dedicated slot to reviewing the NATRE provided resources from the local group newsletter or the website
  • Share differences and similarities in RE taught at community and faith schools

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