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RE Today Services

RE Awareness Course Pilot

RE = Religious Education

With the importance of religion and belief in public life and substantial media coverage of issues relating to religion and belief, it is crucial to ensure that all young people are religiously literate and able to understand and question the accuracy of claims about different belief systems, regardless of whether they are themselves religious or not.

RE Today and NATRE (National Association of Teachers of Reigious Education) have identified that there is an opportunity to support headteachers and governors to broaden the benefits of teaching RE, and positively influence attitudes and behaviours within a school.

Many schools do not understand the legal requirement, and nor the benefits of teaching RE. There is not a National Curriculum (NC) for Religious Education (RE); despite this, all schools must follow the NC requirements to teach all pupils a broad and balanced curriculum.

All maintained schools have a statutory requirement to teach RE; academies, schools with a religious character and free schools are contractually required, through the terms of their funding agreement to make provision for the teaching of RE.

Despite there being large quantities of information regarding the teaching of and requirements for RE, there is no practical, straightforward introductory course that outlines the requirements, breadth, and benefit of teaching the subject in schools.

We feel there is an opportunity to educate SLT’s (School Leadership Team), Headteachers and Governors to the broad benefits of teaching RE, and our idea for a course would be an excellent vehicle and opportunity to change attitude and behaviour within a school.

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To address this situation, we would like to pilot a ‘RE Awareness’ course designed and written to work with Headteachers, Governors, and classroom teachers with leadership responsibility for RE, with the aim to open up their thinking about the need to take RE seriously in their schools. In particular, we want to target failing or non-compliant schools, those without religious designation.

It will be a 4-hour course that will include a trainer, course materials, and a book / online template policy documents and curriculum development. The course content will be informative and educational, with enough takeaways and easily accessible resources that delegates can take back to their school. Initially, we will be covering four main areas:
 
Legal obligations and compliance - Identifying and building solutions on: What should governors be doing; What should headteachers be doing; and DfE and Ofsted expectations

School improvement - why is RE important - By promoting: The well-being of pupils in school and promote community cohesion; Religious literacy in the Staffroom – all religions and non-religious beliefs; and Developing strategies to help schools understand the needs of parents in their communities

Developing pupils awareness of RE - Focussing on Identifying beliefs and values that can be celebrated and explored; Encouraging pupils to explore their own beliefs; Teaching pupils to develop respect for others and to consider their individual responsibilities
On-going RE support for your schools - Developing and maintaining your RE audit; RE Curriculum planning; and RE strategy going forward

The learning from the pilot will help develop the final version of the course that will be rolled out nationally to all schools.
 
For more information:
www.retoday.org.uk