Headlines – 11 November 2022

SIAMS – The New Framework

Following the SIAMS National Update on 03 October, Jen Jenkins delivered a follow-up session for SIAMS Leads in Coventry Diocesan  schools on Tuesday. You can watch the recording of the session here.  Key SIAMS documents and resources can be found on the Church of England website.

Further support from the DBE

In order to gauge how schools are feeling about the new Framework for SIAMS we would really appreciate it if you could spend a couple of minutes giving us feedback on this SIAMS questionnaire: https://forms.office.com/r/Szbc6QtecC

Jen will also be delivering a series of Zoom sessions which will look at each of the new inspection questions in term and how you can prepare for an inspection from September 2023 onwards. Please click on the links below to book places (or if you want the recording afterwards).

Wednesday 11th January 2023 4.00-5.00pm: IQ1 A Theologically-Rooted Christian Vision

Wednesday 25th January 2023 4.00-5.00pm: IQ2 A Curriculum Rooted in Vision and Enhancing Spiritual Development

Tuesday 7th February 2023 4.00-5.00pm: IQ3 Collective Worship for Spiritual Flourishing

Wednesday 15th February 2023 4.00-5.00pm: IQ4 A Culture of Good Treatment

Monday 6th March 2023 4.00-5.00pm: IQ5 A Culture of Justice and Responsibility

Monday 13th March 2023 4.00-5.00pm: IQ6/7 Effective & High Quality RE

Wednesday 19th April 4.00-5.00pm Getting Ready for Inspection (1)

Wednesday 17th May 4.00-5.00pm Getting Ready for Inspection (1)


To Clifton on Dunsmore CofE Primary who have a winning Spirited Arts entry! Alida Weeks, the RE Subject Lead writes:

“The whole school had a fantastic RE day in the Summer Term participating in the NATRE Spirited Arts Competition. We took on the theme ‘Searching for God.’ Teachers explored this theme with their classes in a range of ways and then children worked individually, in pairs or groups to produce a piece of art for it. An entry by a group of children in Year 1 won and we are super proud of them. Please check out their artwork and their comments about it on the NATRE website which all showcase their RE subject knowledge.”  You can look at their work here: https://www.natre.org.uk/about-natre/projects/spirited-arts/spirited-arts-gallery/2022/split-a-tree-in-half/

St Margaret’s CofE Junior School Vision Sculpture


Just before the half-term break, the St Margaret’s CofE Junior School community welcomed guests into school to join in a special whole school collective worship to celebrate the school’s Christian vision and to inaugurate the school’s vision sculpture that welcomes families and visitors to St Margaret’s.  The sculpture design represents the Christian vision, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity’ (Psalm 133 v1), as well as the Federation vision shared with Briar Hill Infants ‘Flourish as a family, love to learn, make memories, shine!’  Guests included: school governors, friends of the school, the Bishop of Warwick, the Rt Rev John Stroyan; Jen Jenkins the RE & Spirituality Officer at the DBE and the Mayor of Whitnash, Cllr Barry Franklin. All of the guests were blown away by the St Margaret’s children’s wonderful behaviour, music skills and the quality of the children’s uplifting singing. They could all clearly see the school’s Christian and Federation visions in action. Well done to everyone who made the event so incredibly special!


St Lawrence CofE Primary, Napton

In honour of the fallen today at St Lawrence CofE Primary they were carrying on a tradition in Napton with one of the Year 6 boys leading the 2 minutes silence on the Tenor Horn.


Racial Justice Logo Competition – Voting is Now Open – Please Spread the Word

The Race Equality Advisory Group launched a diocesan-wide art competition which asked church school pupils to design a logo to identify Coventry Diocese’s ongoing commitment to Racial Justice. Thank you to those schools that took part and submitted entries. The work is fantastic and shows real thought, empathy and creativity. The designs are now in and all of our church school communities – teachers, governors, family, friends and neighbours are invited to participate in judging which designs go through to the next level of the competition. Take a moment to view the entries and vote and do pass on the link to your school communities.


Voting closes at 20.00 on Sunday 20 November. The unveiling of the final artistic composite will be during a special celebratory service on Racial Justice Sunday at Coventry Cathedral Sunday 12 February 2023.


Free Understanding Christianity Refresher Training

Understanding Christianity Refresher Training – Free for DSA Subscribers

Dates:      15 November 2022 / 14 March 2023

Time:       16.00 to 17.30 – online via Zoom

This two-part course has been designed for schools that are not currently making the most of their Understanding Christianity resource. This might be because those that originally undertook the training have left, or that current teachers are unsure how it fits into the wider curriculum or that the scope of the resource is overwhelming. Whatever the reason, these sessions will consolidate and clarify the best use of this rich and exciting resource. Delegates will go away feeling more confident in their RE teaching and practice. This course assumes that the school has previously engaged with Understanding Christianity and has access to the full re  Click here to book places.


Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award Free Advent Resources 2022

“Follow the Star – Advent Journeys”

As we journey towards Christmas this Advent season, the ABYYT invite schools to join them in exploring some of the journeys made in the Christmas story and to consider how these can help and inspire us on our own journeys in life. Take a look at the journeys made by Mary as she visits Elizabeth, by Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem and by the shepherds and wise men as they travel to meet and celebrate Jesus. The journeys offer us an invitation to hope, search, follow and rejoice. Over four weeks the FREE resource will explore what we can learn from these journeys and how they can inspire us to reach out and make a difference to others in our communities this Advent. Download the free resources here.

Additional News about the Young Leaders Award

Back in July the work of the Young Leaders Award became part of the CofE National Education Team. This has allowed for the Award to now have a greater national focus as part of the National Society’s responsibility for promoting education in England and Wales. The vision and mission of their work remains the same. “To see a generation of young people empowered to transform society and be the change in their communities.”


For Own Admission Authorities

Just a reminder that you should be in the process of reviewing and determining your admission policy for 2024/25 (if you haven’t already). If you are making any changes to this policy you need to publicly consult and you haven’t got long! The consultation window is 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January. If you require any further support in this process or just a chat about the options do contact: joanne.evans@coventrydbe.org  It is a statutory requirement to send your policy to the DBE so please do send it to Joanne once governors have formally determined it.


Alive Praise Party June 2023

Don’t Forget to Reserve Your Coaches and Let us Know!

Just a reminder to use the booking links provided on the letter that came out last month to let us know your arrangements for the Praise Party at Stoneleigh next June. Thanks to those schools who have already done this.  If you need us to send you the link again, or you would just like to email us with the details contact: alive@coventrydbe.org


Free Support and Resources for Staff Wellbeing 

We wanted to flag up to you and your staff the charity Education Support which has been supporting the education sector for over 145 years and understand the challenges you face. They support individuals and help schools, colleges and universities to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their staff. They also carry out research and advocate for changes in Government policy for the benefit of the education workforce. There is a wealth of free resources for you and your staff including a telephone helpline, videos, articles, guides on a range of topics including anxiety, stress, burnout, working life, depression, grief, personal life, self-care and finances. And for organisations – audit tools, best practice and leadership guidance. Do look at their website: https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/resources/


Earth Cubs

The Environmental Learning Platform for Primary Schools with Lots of Free Resources

Earth Cubs has free teaching resources, interactive lessons, presentations, creative activities and fun videos to engage and inspire children.  Why not try out the free Global Goals Pack as a starting point? To check out the teaching resources, head over to the Earth Cubs website: https://earthcubs.com/ where you will find positive storytelling, planet-saving gaming, and action-based learning about sustainability, the environment, climate change, equality, and much more. For 3-11 year olds.


Register your School’s Interest in the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award Scheme 

First announced last year at COP26, the National Education Nature Park is a concept that will consider the whole physical education estate in England, including playgrounds, playing fields and school gardens, as one virtual nature park.

  • The Nature Park will engage young people with the natural world and directly involve them in increasing biodiversity.
  • The climate action award scheme will celebrate the teachers and pupils who make a real contribution to establishing a sustainable future for us all.

A partnership led by the Natural History Museum, with the Royal Horticultural Society and supported by a range of other organisations will deliver the Nature Park and a climate action award scheme. Once up and running, the Museum’s digital platform will provide high-quality teacher resources for all subjects and phases of education to bring sustainability and climate change into the classroom. You can find out more information on the initiative by reading more on the Gov UK Education Hub or by visiting the Natural History Museum’s website.


Free ‘Reaching Out’ Notecards for Anti-Bullying Week

For Anti-Bullying Week next week, the theme is ‘Reaching Out’. 52 Lives – School of Kindness have developed these ‘Reaching Out’ notecards to encourage children to write a kind note to connect with someone. You can download them free here.


Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January

In preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day in January there are lots of free resources online for both primary and secondary to help you lead assemblies, activities or lessons with students. Contact the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Senior Education Officer today for help and support and to get started: education@hmd.org.uk  You can also add your school to the HMD map here to share your involvement. www.hmd.org.uk


Taking on the John Lewis Christmas Ad!


Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School in Pershore is taking on John Lewis – the store famous for producing a Christmas Ad! The school decided to make their own Christmas ad, promoting creativity and kindness, and tips on how to get into the Christmas spirit without spending a fortune! Last November their then Year 2 class, worked with a small team of film makers to devise and sequence a story that embodied the true meaning of Christmas…love.  You can watch this wonderful  (2 min) film by clicking here. Enjoy!

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