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RE – Realising the Potential

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  1. RE – Realising the Potential Alan Brine: National Lead for RE Oldham SACRE Conference September 2013

  2. A new syllabus, a new opportunity Thinking, Enquiry, Creativity, Response Oldham Agreed Syllabus 2013 Add presentation title to master slide | 2

  3. Initial response • Opportunity to improve and raise profile of RE • Focus on enquiry (pg 5) • Contribution to SMSC (pg 12) • Sustains community cohesion (pg 14) • Strong literacy/numeracy links (pg 7) Add presentation title to master slide | 3

  4. Linking RE to local priorities • Oldham Council works for community cohesion and respect for all, for high standards in learning for every child and for a better education service where thoughtfulness, understanding and community are highly valued. Pg 3 • The census of 2011 gives teachers of RE important information about the local population’s diversity. All teachers of RE, and all pupils, should use this information in suitable ways to build a realistic picture of our local area. Pg 15 Add presentation title to master slide | 4

  5. Ofsted Triennial RE Report: Headlines • Across Key Stages 1-3 progress and teaching in RE is not good enough in 6 out of 10 schools • Better at KS4 – BUT issues with GCSE • Too many pupils leaving schools with low levels of knowledge and understanding of religion • Weak progress reduces ability of RE to contribute to pupils’ learning and personal development Add presentation title to master slide | 5

  6. The bigger picture • Government neglect of RE • EBacc and changes to SC - down by 28% • Fears about provision in secondary – time/staffing • Undermining of SACREs – academisation/cuts • End of QCDA and exclusion from NC review • ITT and CPD weakened • Shift in culture around statutory status Add presentation title to master slide | 6

  7. But good news • RE Council to publish RE Review in October • All Party Parliamentary Group set in in 2012 • Strengthened community sense in the RE world • SMSC higher up agenda • RE Quality Mark/RE Ambassadors • Innovation in academies – scope for networking • National Association of Teachers of RE – JOIN!!!!! Add presentation title to master slide | 7

  8. Discuss with a biblical twist In your school: What are the positive things going on which provide good seed ground for implementing the new agreed syllabus? Where are the rocky bits which might get in the way? Add presentation title to master slide | 8

  9. What is getting in the way in primary? • Status – rhetoric v reality • PPA issue • Teacher confidence and expertise • Curriculum fragmentation and isolation • Confused purpose • Uncertainties around enquiry Add presentation title to master slide | 9

  10. What is getting in the way in secondary? • Misconceptions about the ‘Ofsted’ lesson • Key Stage 3-4 continuity and progression • Non-specialist issue • Lack of challenge • Patchy provision Add presentation title to master slide | 10

  11. So what is enquiry? With thanks to David Leat • A process of thinking driven by curiosity, hunches and questions – it is not routine • Can be independent or supported; formal or informal; individual or collaborative • Fed by other perspectives and voices opening us up to being changed • Learners assume as much responsibility as possible • It can be troublesome! Add presentation title to master slide | 11

  12. Why is enquiry important in RE? RE should: • be about asking open questions • explore issues about the truth, meaning and value of religion • go beyond the factual • allow for different perspectives • value and help promote the views of pupils • be relevant to the pupils Add presentation title to master slide | 12

  13. Enquiry in your syllabus (KS2) • Investigate the evidence of religion in Oldham, Britain and the wider world. • Seek answers to questions about how significant figures in religions and beliefs have demonstrated their beliefs and values. • Find out about and debate the purposes and functions of key artefacts, places, symbols and symbolic language associated with the religions and beliefs studied. • Discuss their own and others’ views of religious truth and belief, expressing their own ideas. Add presentation title to master slide | 13

  14. Effective enquiry ……thanks to David Leat Add presentation title to master slide | 14

  15. Successful enquiry…….. • is not age limited • requires sustained learning • allows enough time for pupils to gather information and draw conclusions before asking them to reflect on or apply their learning • regularly invites pupils to reconsider their initial thinking and extend their enquiry as they begin to see new levels of possibility • places the emphasis on ‘impersonal evaluation’ Add presentation title to master slide | 15

  16. Successful enquiries ………………. • use big questions to generate enquiry • build in reflection and experiential learning • use enquiry to investigate religions • promote questioning and discussion • use digital technology to support enquiry • build skills of debate, discussion and argument Add presentation title to master slide | 16

  17. Enquiry – barriers to success • Not capitalising on a good start   • Rushing too quickly to ‘learn from’ religion  • Not taking risks or looking for ‘happy ending’ • Losing the focus of the enquiry   • Not giving pupils enough time to process their findings and extend their enquiry • Focusing too much on the product of the enquiry rather than the process Add presentation title to master slide | 17

  18. How can our new AS drive improvement? • Help teachers develop a clearer sense of the heart of RE • Provide the basis for staff training and shared planning • Encourage experimentation and innovation • Raise the level of challenge and promote sustained learning • Allow pupils’ own concerns, questions and interests to come to the fore • Make RE more exciting for teachers • Promote cross-curricular learning and literacy skills Add presentation title to master slide | 18