Headlines – 1 December 2023

School News

Commissioning of a Lay Chaplain at The Canons CofE Primary

Nicola Ugochukwu, Growing Faith Families Worker for Bedworth Parish and Lantern Church writes about the commissioning of a Lay Chaplain for the school on 22 November:

“It was a true joy to join The Canons CofE Primary School to hold a commissioning service for Mrs Kay Orton and officially welcome her into her new role as School Chaplain. Kay has a longstanding, positive and nurturing relationship with the school and over the years has been a huge supporter and part of the school family. Both the staff and children at The Canons will hugely benefit from having Kay in school to journey with them in day to day faith and grapple with life’s big questions together. Kay was presented with a wonderful box of resources to demonstrate the kind of things she’ll be doing in her role; from a box of tissues and a squishy brain toy to a torch and some chocolate celebrations! Collective Worship representatives helped to commission Kay alongside Rev Dave Poultney and Rev April Gold and it was a real treat to have a fantastic medley of songs sung to us by the school choir too. What a special time indeed. We pray that both Kay and The Canons community is blessed as she steps into this role.”

Diocesan Governors’ Annual Conference Last Saturday

Church School Governors enjoyed a rich morning of content at Brandon Hall Hotel last Saturday for the Annual Governors’ Conference. The theme was ‘Standing in the Gap’ and feedback was really positive. If your governors attended do ask them about it!

What Schools Gain from the Supportive Model of SIAMS Inspection

 This recent article from Schools Week might be a good one to share with your governors on how SIAMS facilitates a unique way to evaluate school culture focused on its character and values.

RE:Search Bulletin for This Term – Using Data in RE

This research explores using data in RE, something that also features in the new RE syllabus for Coventry and Warwickshire. The example given also focuses on diverse representation of Jesus, so really relevant to the anti-racism stance CofE schools are encouraged to take. Use the slides for an overview of the research and click through to the RE Online site for two videos from the researchers themselves. Could you use data in a similar way as part of RE in your school?

‘Tales From The Miracle Book’ FREE Films, Collective Worship, Lesson plans and Resources.

‘Tales from the Miracle Book’ is a collection of fun and engaging short films, collective worship or lesson plans designed to bring Bible stories and their meanings to life in a fun and unforgettable way. Accredited by Understanding Christianity and perfect for SIAMS,  Tales From The Miracle Book enables theology to be easily taught by non-specialist staff. It is ideal for for the teaching of RE and PSHE in Primary Schools. Their Christmas book ‘Angel’s Delight’ was Amazon Christian Fantasy #1 last December and the Audio Recording of it was short-listed along side BBC programmes by the Sandford St Martin’s awards for Religious and Ethical Broadcasting children’s category. See their website to sign up to receive 26 FREE films plus their accompanying resources.

The New Children’s Rainbow Bible

The Bibile Society have partnered with RE:QUEST to create a colourful, full-text Bible that has been thoughtfully designed as a multi-faceted experience of Scripture. Many of the activities and illustrations, and even the cover design, were chosen with the input of children. It is accessible for all children and designed to be used by 7–11-year-olds in faith schools across the country. Bev Smith, the Head of Schools Work at Christian online resource site RE:QUEST, worked to make the interactions in the Bible complementary to children’s home lives as well as their educational environments. ‘We wanted it to work for a child connecting with God by themselves at home and when learning in school,’ she said. It is even accessible even for children without faith backgrounds. With articles that answer questions like, ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’ and ‘What’s the meaning of Christmas?’ it’s an invitation for all young people to discover the truth of the gospel. You can download some sample pages from the Good News Bible – Children’s Rainbow Edition, hear more of what the pupils and others thought, and get a copy for yourself at the Rainbow Edition’s homepage.

Pop UK Free Songs for Advent

This Sunday – 3rd December – is Advent Sunday, marking for many the real start of Christmas preparations, with Advent calendars and candles counting down the days to the 25th. The word Advent comes from the the Latin adventus which means coming and Christians see this as a time of waiting for the birth of Jesus, describing his arrival as a light shining in darkness. Pop UK have songs in their Free song bank and particularly ‘He Has Come’ to help you reflect on the theme. To find this and other Christmas songs find their FREE song bank here.



Disney Inspired Shooting Stars – Supporting Girls Aged 5-11 To Develop Fundamental Movement Skills – Fully Funded by The English Football Association

The FA’s Shooting Stars inspired by Disney and working in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust and the National Literacy Trust, uses Disney storytelling to inspire girls to get physically active. Disney inspired Shooting Stars, fully-funded by The FA, actively engages girls in sports and storytelling. This holistic programme is your answer to innovative extra-curricular time! The first 500 schools that complete their free online training by 31 December 2023 will receive a complimentary bundle of limited edition ‘Ella – A Modern Day Fairytale’ books. See the 2 min Youtube here. See their website and sign up here.

Creative Ways to Boost Children’s Engagement with RE and PSHE from Springs Dance Company

 “INCREDIBLE!!!  The workshop engaged all children even those who are not normally keen on dance! The instructions were so clear that all children were able to perform to a very high standard.” Teacher, Elston All Saints Primary School. Springs provides an exciting way for children to interact with the RE curriculum through physical movement and creativity.They are now booking for:

  • The Easter Project – These much-loved workshops provide a fresh and exciting way to explore the Easter story. The workshops can be delivered as a one-off day or a longer project and can culminate in an informal sharing or performance by the pupils.
  • Creation – Introducing the Genesis narrative of creation in a fun, inclusive and engaging way through dance. Children will have the opportunity to explore some key concepts such as who made the world, what God is like and the relationship between creator and created.
  • PARABLE – This is a curriculum-based interactive performance and workshop that re-imagines religious stories based on the parables that Jesus told. Adventurous, interactive and exciting, children will encounter and overcome creative challenges, accomplish tasks and influence the outcome of the performance, whilst absorbed in a vibrant world of professional movement, dance and theatre.

Other popular workshops include The Good Samaritan and You Are Special. Further details on all of the work for schools can be found at: https://springsdancecompany.org.uk/join-in/

To book and to find out more please email touring@springsdancecompany.org.uk or call 07775 628 442

5 Homework Alternatives For Busy Teachers

 Are your staff feeling caught up in the endless cycle of setting and marking homework? Every busy teacher needs a break from the relentless homework every now and again. This 4 minute blog from Team Satchel gives 5 suggestions to use instead of traditional homework to save time while keeping students engaged.

How to Maintain Your Christmas Mojo – Free Wellbeing Webinar from Laughology

Christmas can be a busy, joyful time. Equally, it can be stressful and overwhelming as you navigate maintaining your social battery for Christmas parties, keeping your cool thinking about what to present to buy for whom and managing the family dynamics. In this free 45-minute webinar, our Happiness Expert, Louisa Rodriguez, will talk you through how to maintain your wellbeing and keep a helpful mindset so you can keep your Christmas mojo flowing throughout December.

In the webinar, they will explore the following:

  • Language and behaviours that help or hinder your approach to situations – and the neuroscience behind them
  • Your Daily Dose of Happiness, what it means for you and how it can support you to maintain your wellbeing
  • Practical strategies and techniques you can use immediately to help you feel calmer and more in control as we head into the holiday season.

“Perhaps you’ll also have a few mince pie crumbs around your mouth, but hey, we’re all friends here.” Book your place here.

Stephen Fry on the Value of Philosophical Enquiry

SAPERE is the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education, The UK’s national charity for Philosophy for Children (P4C). Watch this great 4 minute film as Stephen Fry honours the work of SAPERE and champions the immense need for philosophical enquiry in the classroom — and in society at large.


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