Just a quick hello...

Dear colleagues,

It is an honour to be writing to you as the newly appointed Chair of NATRE.

I have been teaching for 16 years at Haslingden High School, a large, 11–18 comprehensive school in beautiful Lancashire. I am fortunate to work every day with a great team of RE teachers (thanks to Lisa, Alex, Karen and Meg) in a school where RE is seen as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. We enter all of our students for GCSEs(around 275 a year) and have a large A-level group.

I find teaching about religion to be endlessly fascinating. As a subject, religion is just so eye-catching! I’m yet to find an area of religion and belief that isn’t interesting in some way, and with so many ways of studying religion, there is never a dull moment. And in the classroom, I find students to be curious about a world they often know very little about. I always enjoy those moments when students’ thinking moves on a step as they connect things together or realise the importance of something. Teaching about religion just might be the most endlessly interesting job in the world!

I believe that NATRE is a wonderfully positive force for RE. As an organisation it has developed useful links with many other important organisations, including the Department for Education and Ofsted, that enable us to promote RE and represent those that teach it. Being able to speak on behalf of members, in the press, to those with influence, is a key part of my role, and the more members we have, the louder our voice can be. As Chair, I will be looking for NATRE to continue making the case for good RE for all students in all schools. If RE can work in my school, it can work in any school!

On that note I would like to say 'thank you' to all of you who are working hard in and out of the classroom to teach or champion RE. I would also like to thank our members for being a part of NATRE; your membership enables us to continue our work in lobbying for RE, ensuring that RE is high up on everyone’s agenda and does not get forgotten. If you’re not already a member, I hope you’ll join us soon

I look forward to meeting you at one of our courses, webinars or at the next conference, 20:20 RE, which will be a residential held in Crewe on 13 / 14 October.

My best wishes for the Summer Term and beyond.

Ben

From Ben Wood, Chair of NATRE
Subject Leader for Religious Studies at Haslingden High School

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