The Collective Power of Networking

Chris Giles is one of our NATRE affiliated local group leaders and co-leads the Worcester Secondary and Worcester University NATRE Group. Chris has also just been appointed one of the Regional RE ambassadors. Here he shares his views and updates on networking in Worcestershire:

“Teachers need to know they are not alone and that there are so many networks and avenues of support available.

Many of us work in isolation as teachers, therefore networking is vitally important, especially when you have a subject area that is marginalised. Building on the strong partnership we have hosting Worcester University trainees at South Bromsgrove High, we have just launched a networking group together for Secondary RE teachers and other representatives across Worcestershire, providing resources, research and mutual CPD support.

At our initial meeting in October, we discussed our responses to the ‘Commission on RE’ report and what we hope to achieve as a group. Some of us have written to local MPs to ask them for support on the ‘Commission on RE’ and we have already gained a positive response from Nick Gibb at the DfE. We ended our group with a share and inspire session looking at teaching resources that PGCE RE trainees from the University of Worcester had created.

In January we will meet to share ideas for a Summer Term conference for primary and secondary staff to raise awareness of our subject and support RE in schools where provision is lacking. I believe that any member of staff can start a networking group or partnership with your local University, creatively resourcing your subject, increasing confidence and giving you hope that you are not alone.

Chris Giles – Head of RS South Bromsgrove High