Local Group News Board

The St James C of E RE Hub is flying the flag for the next generation of RE teachers. Using the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus and “Understanding Christianity” resource alongside other RE Today resources, their innovative teaching methods must be commended.

Tanya Harris, RE Lead and Year 4 teacher from St James’ Church of England primary school led the local RE hub, joining community schools to share RE teaching information.

The meeting began by reviewing the latest available resource, Understanding Christianity. This is a clear, manageable resource written by RE Today. For schools partaking in the new agreed syllabus, this resource provides a fantastic opportunity to develop the teaching of Christianity in schools. Going forward, the group is assessing how more schools can benefit from this resource, especially where there are budgetary constraints in place restricting access.

The group went on to discuss how RE is one of the few subjects within schools that require students to “ask” rather than “tell”. This shift in terminology also indicates a movement within educational teaching methods. Presenting students with alternative, newfound or conflicting views to their usual knowledge bank enables the child to actively engage their mind: challenge their perceptions and discuss their thoughts. This method of teaching is what makes RE so critical within the school environment, and educators such as Tanya and the entire group of delegates are the active forces in delivering this exciting subject.

Other methods such as Talking Tubs provided at the SACRE conference have been used and tested within the classroom, with great results. The use of physical props has also been paired with song, video and drama to engage the child through various mediums. Other classroom ideas included responding to an image, re-sorting stories and performing acting sequences alongside a spoken story.

Overall the meeting was a success, and part of a larger review of RE within the group. The ability to come together, share ideas and new methods in which to teach the recently adopted agreed syllabus will make the delivery easier for teachers.

The next meeting will discuss the popular topic of assessment in RE, with the group sharing ideas on how to act fairly and assess pupils work in a better-informed manner. They will also discuss any particular units which are tricky to teach, and reflect upon what Greater Depth RE is, and how it will be provided to pupils.

Next meeting: 10 June 2019 4pm -5pm

Ideas for your local group meeting:

  • Which NATRE resources are working well in your school or not so well? Discuss.
  • Terminology review – what vocabulary are educators using to inspire pupils and spark curiosity?

  • Sensory schooling – what senses and medium are you using to engage pupils in RE classrooms?

example of a talking tub