Visits and Visitors
What do we need to consider?
Do we know enough about our local community and its potential for partnership with the school?
Many schools are developing a fruitful relationship with religious and faith groups and individuals within their local community. Some schools have included an exploration of their local community within the RE programme itself, perhaps even designing a 'religious trail'.
Are RE visits and visitors organised imaginatively, effectively and efficiently, so that they make a significant contribution to RE’s learning objectives?
Organising visits and visitors can be time consuming but, without doubt, a well-planned and tightly organised visit (whether RE-specific or combined with other aspects of the curriculum), or a visitor who communicates clearly and relates with young people, can create memorable and challenging learning experiences. The 'sacred spaces' section of the Learning Outside the Classroom website includes ideas and guidance about visits as well as further links.
Do we make sufficient use of the pupils themselves as an RE resource?
We know that most pupils enjoy exchanging ideas and experiences and there has recently been a growing use of 'faith ambassadors': that is, pupils from particular faith family backgrounds talking openly and in dialogue with others about their own experiences of life. This can take place across a school (usually upper primary and secondary) or through school exchanges, real or virtual, nationally or internationally. For a project developing international links, see Face to Faith: www.tonyblairfaithfoundation.org.