Main contact: Local Groups Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
What are NATRE-affiliated Local Groups?
There are over 200 local network groups across the country, connecting over 2000 teachers and RE professionals. These groups are formed to support all teachers of RE, providing networking opportunities and engagement that can be invaluable to teachers who have begun to feel isolated. Each local group is affiliated with NATRE which enables it to benefit from the support we can offer. Our aim is that every teacher of RE should have a NATRE- affiliated local group within 10 miles (or 30 minutes) of where they live or teach!
Who are they run by?
Groups are run mostly by teachers in their own schools or by diocesan RE advisers, school improvements advisers or independent consultants. Some groups are formed following a local or national conference or through the RE Quality Mark achievement award. Others are formed groups of teachers wishing to meet to share good practice in RE and support one another. Often it is as a result of feeling isolated in their post as head of department or subject leader that teachers will set up a local group.
What do Local Groups do?
Local groups consist of teachers from all types of school. Quite often teachers meet in the school of the local group leader but also in any place where they feel comfortable about sharing good practice, swapping ideas, supporting each other, planning projects, assessment and celebrations.
Each group plans its own agenda, usually based on the needs of the teachers involved. Sometimes a ‘guest speaker’ is invited, other times the local teachers ‘bring and share’ or run an RE TeachMeet style meeting. Refreshments always feature in a local group meeting – nourishing the body as well as the brain.
Supported by NATRE with further support from RE Today Services and Trusts such as Culham St Gabriel's or agencies such as Ofsted, local groups aim to open up the RE ‘world’ to class teachers, many of whom are non-specialists. Groups might explore subjects such as cross-curricular links, assessment, creativity; primary school groups might discuss links to Early Years Foundation Stage; secondary groups might discuss GCSE and A level examinations.
NATRE provides a termly newsletter for group leaders which can be shared with their teachers. Each newsletter include national updates, news of local group activities, forthcoming courses, conferences, competitions and awards as well as reviews of new resources. NATRE also offers support by email, phone and mail for group leaders and their group members.
Click on the map to find your Local Group.
No Local Group in your area? Could you start one?
We will support you throughout the process: we have a support pack available and advice on-hand to offer you specialist support. If you are interested in setting up a new NATRE-affiliated local group, please email Juliet Lyal, our Local Groups Officer, via email@example.com.