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Jan 24

New publication from RE Today for 11 - 16s

Posted by: Rosemary, 24 January 2011

QRE5_Expressing_meaning_coverQuestions: Expressing Meaning edited by Stephen Pett is the latest secondary curriculum publication from RE Today.

This book enables enquiries into four ways in which religions and religious believers communicate: through words, music, images and actions. The enquiries aim to get students to consider their own sense of meaning and how they express what matters most to them. Published in full colour, each enquiry contains stimulus materials, ready-to-use practical classroom activities to deepen 11 - 16 students’ understanding and develop their RE skills, and a set of ‘I can…’ statements.

Questions:Expressing Meaning (ISBN 978-1-905893-47-8) is available from our webshop at £9.50, or by contacting us direct by email or phone (0121 472 4242).

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Jan 20

Curriculum review announced

Posted by: Rosemary, 20 January 2011

Michael Gove lauched the government’s review of the school curriculum today. RE is not included in the review, but the remit for the review contains the following statement about the place of RE in the curriculum:

‘11. As noted in paragraph 2, it is essential to distinguish between the National Curriculum and the wider school curriculum. There are a number of important components of a broad and balanced school curriculum for which, as is currently the case, it would be inappropriate to prescribe national Programmes of Study. This applies, for example, in the case of religious education (RE), where what is taught needs to reflect local circumstances. Religious education will not, therefore, be considered as part of the review of the National Curriculum. The Government does not intend to make any changes to the statutory basis for religious education.’

The remit for the review can be found on the DfE’s website.

The deadline for receipt of feedback is 14 April 2011.

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Jan 16

Letters needed about the EBacc

Posted by: Rosemary, 16 January 2011

If you received one of the standard replies from the DfE to your letter about RE and the EBacc, please reply to it as a matter of urgency. Given here is a suggested response. If you haven’t yet written, please adapt the text below, adapting the points as you wish. When you get your response you might be asked to send your letter to another email address - if this is problematic, use PCU.Correspondence@education.gsi.gov.uk. Please also send a letter along the same lines to your MP.

It seems that the pressure applied by the RE community has already had a significant effect and Michael Gove has said he will listen to reasonable and collaborative arguments. We need to press the case for RE to be added to the EBacc NOW. In doing so we must deal with the misunderstanding that, just because RE is compulsory, it doesn’t need to be inside the EBacc.

We have to show that GCSE RS is a valuable area of study, because it is academically rigorous, it allows young people to evaluate contemporary worldviews and it serves as a philosophical and moral training ground.

Text_for_letter.doc

Please alert all your contacts to the need to write to the Secretary of State.
NATRE and RE Today are using Facebook and Twitter as well as their websites – do check these places for updates.

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Jan 16

Online survey about EBacc

Posted by: Rosemary, 16 January 2011

The EBacc has been introduced as an accountability measure for secondary schools in England and there is a forthcoming curriculum review. NATRE, RE Today and the rest of the RE world, have been lobbying hard to ensure that RE gains its rightful place in these curriculum initiatives.

As part of this lobbying it will be very useful to have some empirical data on what is happening in schools. If you are a secondary teacher we would be very grateful if you could complete a short online survey (it should take 7 – 10 minutes). This will be very helpful in fighting for RE’s place in the curriculum. Your name and school name will be completely confidential.

Do check our websites for updates - www.retoday.org.uk and www.natre.org.uk – and visit us on Facebook and Twitter too. The EBacc question affects secondary teachers at the moment, but the situation about RE’s place in the curriculum affects all teachers of RE.

Thank you in advance

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Jan 14

Press Release!

Posted by: Rosemary, 14 January 2011

The National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) welcomes the Secretary of State’s willingness to take on board constructive comments about the subjects that might count ‘within the five pillars’ of the English Baccalaureate. It has been widely reported that headteachers, subject teachers, professional associations and parents support the inclusion of Religious Studies as making a valuable academic contribution to the Humanities field of study.

Whilst NATRE shares the Secretary of State’s aspiration to create a curriculum of excellence we also believe in the importance of choice and balance. This would make a real and positive difference to the decisions many schools are already making about what GCSE subjects to offer to students.

Ed Pawson, Chair of NATRE says: ‘Our experience, as teachers in the classroom, is that Religious Studies is both a demanding academic discipline and a powerful means of moral and philosophical development for young people today. At a time when our communities are becoming increasingly diverse there is an ever greater need for a more religiously literate society; GCSE RS meets this need.’

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