Headlines – 1 October 2021

Headteacher Wellbeing – Video from Dr Kate Middleton

Feeling like there’s nothing in your tank?  This season of ‘re-entry’ involves so many things that you might expect to be positive – returning to something much more like normal, the tantalising hope of settling into a routine and a more stable term. But most people are finding it surprisingly hard.   Kate explains why this season is so emotionally complex, why you STILL feel so tired and not back to your normal self, and why things you normally would have thought nothing of, now can feel overwhelming or leave you feeling utterly drained. And she shares three things you can do to help your mind recover – and to start to feel back to normal again.  Dr Kate will also be available for a drop-in session for Headteachers on Zoom on Thursday 7 October at 4.30pm if you’d like to chat about anything. No DBE staff will be present.

To access the video please contact alison.watson@coventrydbe.org

Dr Kate Middleton is a psychologist with a particular interest in the way our emotions affect us. She’s passionate about helping people keep emotionally healthy in spite of what life throws at them and making sure they reach their full potential. She’s a church leader, speaker and author, and is also project leader of Headstrong, an online wellbeing space for teenagers and young people created as a partnership between us and Youthscape. She regularly works with Headteachers and has worked with a number of Dioceses and the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership.


Louise Bomber – Author of ‘Know me to Teach me’

Presentation on Trauma

As part of the Church of England Foundation’s Trauma Informed Schools Network, Louise Bomber – Author of ‘Know me to Teach me’ and ‘What About Me?’ and ‘Inside I’m Hurting’ gave a fantastic and thought provoking presentation about trauma in children. Louise is a strong advocate for attachment aware and trauma informed interventions within education, as at present many pupils who have experienced toxic stress are misunderstood and even excluded from schools.  The hour-long video is available for you to watch for the next three weeks. Please do not share beyond your own school.

To access the video please contact alison.watson@coventrydbe.org


Pupil-Led Worship – Advent – Bring your pupils to this online event

Monday 18 October – 13.00 – 15.15  (Bookings close on 11 October so book now by clicking here)

Lead by Jen Jenkins, the DBE’s RE and Spirituality Officer we invite you to bring four pupils (per adult, per screen) to learn about Advent and work together to give your pupils a toolkit of ideas and possible structures for leading worship for Advent in your school.  The themes of Advent will be around:

  • The Annunciation
  • The Journey to Bethlehem
  • The Nativity- incarnation
  • Shepherds and Angels
  • Kings/Magi/Wisemen

Schools should come away from this fun workshop with a planning template full of ideas and resources to implement the Advent collective worship and pupils will build on their skills as pupil worship leaders.


RE and the Environment/Climate Crisis – Fully Funded Teacher Fellowship Programme

Do you teach RE?  Looking for ways to connect with pupils on the environmental crisis? Apply to take part in a new fully-funded Teacher Fellowship Programme.

  • What do Religions and Worldviews teach and practice with respect to nature?
  • How do they understand and respond to the environmental crisis of the 21st Century?
  • How can these questions best be explored through RE?

RE:Connect is a new project designed to help deepen teachers’ understanding and confidence for exploring the environmental crisis through the lens of religions and worldviews in RE. We are seeking 8 creative RE teachers (4 primary, 4 secondary) who are seeking to connect with their pupils on the environmental crisis to take part in a 6 month teacher fellowship programme, beginning September 2021. The initiative is run by Dr Jeremy Kidwell, Senior Lecturer in Theological Ethics at the University of Birmingham and Dr Ian Jones of St Peter’s Saltley Trust, supported by a steering group of experienced primary and secondary specialists, environmental scientists and practitioners.  The programme will offer opportunities to:

  • Deepen subject knowledge on the intersection of religion and ecology
  • Work with cutting-edge subject specialists on religious ethics/practice, ecology, and climate change policy
  • Work as part of a supportive and dynamic team to create and trial new approaches and resources for teaching on this theme
  • Become a champion for teaching and learning on religion and environmental crisis

The Teacher Fellowship Programme will involve monthly workshops from Autumn 2021 to Spring 2022, with tasks to undertake between workshops. Project funding will cover costs to the schools of participating teachers, so there is no cost to the teacher or school.  Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. For more information and to apply see the website here: https://www.saltleytrust.org.uk/reconnect-teacher-fellowship-programme-on-re-and-climate-crisis-open-now/


Collective Worship – Can You Help Us?

Jen Jenkins is looking to provide Early Career teachers and staff new to a church School varied examples of collective worship that give a good model and overview of what can be expected in Church Schools.  If you would be happy to film your collective worship and allow us to use this for CPD please do let Jen know: Jennifer.jenkins@coventrydbe.org


VA Schools and Academy Own Admission Authorities –Action Points for Autumn Term

  • Your 2023/24 admission policy should be on the governing body agenda to be reviewed (and determined if it is not being consulted on) in the autumn term.
  • Remember to update your LAC definition in line with the new Admissions Code.
  • Once your policy has been determined a copy should be sent to Joanne Evans at the DBE joanne.evans@coventrydbe.org
  • If any significant changes are being made to the policy there must be a consultation period of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January (or if the policy has not been consulted on for 7 years).
  • Your 2022/23 should be published on your website now.

Any questions or queries on admissions contact joanne.evans@coventrydbe.org


Generation Earthshot – Free Teacher Toolkit

On Friday 17 September Prince William announced the 15 brilliant finalists of The Earthshot Prize, including 14 year old Vinisha Umashankar.  The Generation Earthshot website has been developed to help you inspire students that they can win the Earthshot Prize one day.  The free teacher toolkit is for teachers to help students aged 10+ use their innate creativity to generate big, bold ideas. It follows a simple 4-step process, based on the principles of design thinking, to help students learn how to solve problems creatively.  It aims to unlock the potential of “Generation Earthshot”: a generation of inventors, innovators and leaders who will help repair and protect our planet.  Anyone can join in. The activities and worksheets are flexible enough to fit within different subject areas, educational settings and age groups. The rest is up to you!   Check out the website here: https://generation.earthshotprize.org/

The World’s Largest Lesson – Artivism for Nature

The World’s Largest Lesson new ‘Artivism for Nature’ project has received over 1000 submissions since launch last week. Can you help us get to 2000 by the end of this month? Please keep encouraging your students to take part especially in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26.  https://artivism.worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/


The Festival of Hope

A Coventry community arts festival exploring the theme of hope in a post-pandemic world

A celebration of creativity will be lighting up Coventry during our City of Culture year. After we have lived through a strange time, this is the moment to inject some positive energy into the world. We are therefore encouraging artists to express hope – hope for our personal lives, our city, our nation and our world.  See our website at https://www.festivalofhopecoventry.org/about  The first online stage of the festival will take place from September this year, with a curated website to showcase artistic expressions of hope, mainly from local people, but also from people across the world. We’ll consider contributions from painters, illustrators, sculptors, conceptual artists, photographers, story-tellers, poets, writers, craftspeople, dancers, singers, instrumentalists, bands, songwriters, composers and more. Students, amateur and professional artists are all invited to submit their work.  The second phase will begin in the autumn of 2021, and will comprise a 16-day real-world festival, with exhibitions, concerts, readings and other events. The Festival includes a community stream, which will accept submissions from any local children, adults and groups.  For interviews or information please email: info@festivalofhopecoventry.org.

How churches can get involved

Please pray for and promote the Festival of Hope to your congregation. The Festival is officially supported by Churches Together in Earlsdon and Chapelfields. We accept contributions from anywhere in Coventry and beyond, and we welcome contributions from people of any faith or no faith.  We’d love that the Festival stimulates dialogue and reflection on the theme of Hope, and we especially invite Christians to be a part of this. If you have practising artists in your congregation, whatever field they may be working in, please do let them know about the Festival. The online exhibition is already open for contributions, so please encourage them to share any relevant material they may already have produced. The FoH website is a space where they can gain publicity for their work, including biographies and links to their own websites. Amateur artists and occasional dabblers may also submit material. All contributions will be considered by our curators for the main pages of the exhibition, and any work submitted by non-professionals will very likely be included on our community page in any case.  If you would like to organise any community arts events please talk to us.  The Festival of Hope is a great way for churches to engage in Coventry’s City of Culture year.







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