Headlines – 12 January 2024

School News

Congratulations to Ettington CofE Primary who had their SIAMS inspection at the end of November. The inspection found that the school was living up to its foundation as a church school. You can read the report here.

iSingPOP Partnership Announcement

We are excited to share with you our Diocesan Partnership with iSingPOP for 2024 to make sure we are Stayin’ Alive in 2024!

This is the Bundle of FREE resources you can access:

  • All Primary Schools will continue to receive Classroom Worship for during 2024 incorporating a weekly resourced prayer activity to use in school – the information for this half term were emailed to you yesterday but if you need them again to get in touch.
  • We will be offering 20 schools (or groups of schools) a 4 day Main Event
  • Up to 30 schools can sign up for a 1-day Workshop
  • All Schools and Parishes will have access to the full catalogue of iSingPOP songs and videos
  • Every school will receive a new edition of the Popbox later in the year to use with their Parish Church to plan worship in school and Church or to use for after school clubs.
  • We will be offering the opportunity for iSingPOP to help host leavers services to for those schools who do not currently have a strong parish link due to a vacancy or lack of Clergy capacity.

We will have our own dedicated iSingPOP worker Emma, who will be available to advise on using the resources, help you consider how to improve the worship life of your school, and provide training to staff, Clergy and Young Worship Leaders. More details will be provided as we go through the year starting with our Head’s Briefing on 24th January.

We are looking for Early Adopters

We would like to hear from school who would like to host Main Events or Workshops in February or March. The dates available are:

  • 5-7th February Main Event with Concert on 22 February
  • 19th-21st February Main Event with Concert on 29th February
  • Week of 26th Feb – 2 one-day Lent Workshops
  • 4th-6th March Main Event with Concert on 14th March
  • 11th-13th March Main Event with Concert on 20th March
  • Week of 18th March – 2 one-day Lent Workshops.

You can find out more about the resources here and If you are interested in one of these events, please contact Joanne.Evans@Coventrydbe.org  and Emma.Kenyon@ising-pop.com to find out more!


Headteacher Termly Briefing – Wednesday 24 January 2024

 Don’t forget to join us for the Heads’ Briefing on Wednesday afternoon 24 January 14.00-15.30 on Zoom.

Book a place here.


Opening Reflection

DBE Update

iSingPOP partnership

HTRAG Update

The Beacon Project Update

Headteacher Conference Update

Closing comments and prayer

Headteacher Reference and Advisory Group Meeting

You will know from the Headteacher Briefings that a small group of Headteachers who represent your deaneries meet in the morning prior to the briefing to discuss and advise the DBE on its strategic work with schools.

They are keen to hear feedback from colleague Headteachers to bring to the meetings. This could be issues in your deanery that you think the DBE should be aware of, areas of support you and your colleagues feel the DBE could help with, news to be celebrated or anything else you feel is relevant.

Here is a list of the Deanery Reps and links directly to their email addresses – please do take the opportunity to contact your representative to feedback to the DBE.

Alcester Deanery – Andy Simms – Headteacher of Bidford upon Avon CofE Primary

Coventry Deanery – Allison Underhill – Headteacher of St Andrew’s CofE Infants

Fosse Deanery – Lindsey Oscroft – Executive Headteacher of Wellesbourne and Tysoe

Kenilworth Deanery – Tracy Drew – Headteacher of Berkswell CofE Primary and Sarah Rayson – Headteacher of St Nicholas CofE Primary

Nuneaton Deanery – Hannah Carvell – Headteacher of Queen’s CofE Academy

Rugby Deanery – Jill Vavasour – Headteacher of Knightlow CofE Primary

Shipston Deanery – Sam Welsby – Headteacher of Newbold and Tredington CofE Primary

Southam Deanery – to be confirmed – you can email the DBE or your nearest rep

Warwick and Leamington Deanery – Suki Owers – Executive Headteacher of St Margaret’s CofE Junior Warwick

Upcoming CPD This Term…

Global Christianity in RE

30 January 2024

16.00-17.30 – online via Zoom; or book to receive the recording

Hosted by Jen Jenkins and with content from invited speakers, this RE CPD session will focus on the Christian worldview and the diversity of Christianity as a worldwide religion. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

SIAMS Termly Update

07 February 2024

16.30-17.30 – online via Zoom; or book to receive the recording

Led by Jen Jenkins, DBE RE and Spirituality Officer, these termly sessions are intended to support those schools who are due for inspection within the next two academic years. The session will guide delegates responsively depending on what schools need, and there will be an update on any local and national information on good practice. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

The Governors’ Role in Monitoring and Evaluation for Christian Distinctiveness and SIAMS

04 March 2024

17.30 – 18.30 – online via Zoom

Led by Jen Jenkins, DBE RE and Spirituality Officer, this online session will show governors what to look for in terms of Christian distinctiveness and the role governors play in the Christian vision of the school. Delegates will be given tools to help monitor and evaluate as part of their strategic role to ensure the flourishing of pupils and adults. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

School Admissions and Appeals for VA Schools and Academies – For Presenting Officers, Governors and Office Administrators

07 March 2024

14.00 to 15.30 – online via Zoom

£25 for DSA subscribers/£50 for non-subscribers

This training session, led by Joanne Evans, the DBE’s Admissions and Appeals Officer, aims to ensure an understanding of the admissions and appeals process, what is lawful and what is not, and delegates should go away feeling more confident in their knowledge and practice. Book a place (or to receive the recording) here.

NPQs with Stour Federation MAT 

The Stour Federation MAT will be running two NPQ qualifications in association with The Church of England. The cohort will start in the spring.

They are offering:

The National Professional Qualification for Leading Teaching (NPQLT)

The National Profession Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)


Further details and how to apply can be found on the Trust’s website here. The applications window will close on 2nd February 2024

Picture News – 4-week trial for 2024!

Picture News are offering the first 4 resources of the year free of charge for you to use in school. Centered around an engaging image from the news and a ‘big question’, the resources can be used as a weekly class or whole school worship, and supports an interactive reflection area. Sign up here!

Lent Resources

As Lent starts next month this a reminder that we have lots of Lent related resources including creative prayer and collective worship under the ‘six core theological concepts’ resource area of the DBE website. Any reference to a password should now be the new updated password which DSA subscribers have been given (contact us if you need a reminder).

Prayer Spaces Free Online Session – Focus on Lent and Easter

Monday 22nd January from 19:30 to 20:30

Prayer Spaces will be looking at how to run a Lent or Easter prayer space, helping pupils to connect with the Easter story in a creative and reflective way.

And even if you’re not planning an Easter prayer space, there will still be lots to inspire and equip you to run your next prayer space.

More information and register your place here.

Also see Lent Workshop days in school with iSingPOP (see above).

Free Mental Health and Trauma Awareness Network from the Growing Faith Foundation

In recent years, the impact of mental health difficulties and trauma on our children and young people has been highlighted as never before – bringing into focus the critical need for churches to be informed about the sorts of trauma that impede children from flourishing. For some, trauma has resulted from their earliest childhood experiences, others have been impacted by a singular traumatic incident; we also know that for a large number of children, challenges such as COVID19 and other personal, local, national and international situations have heavily impacted upon their wellbeing, through isolation, instability and bereavement.

The Growing Faith Foundation benefits from partnerships with many experts in these fields through parachurch organisations and diocesan teams. We are delighted to be able to work with them to provide a peer support and learning network which comprises 10 online meetings with expert input and the opportunity to interact, discuss and learn with peers.

This would be most suitable for family workers, chaplains or volunteers in the interconnecting Growing Faith ‘spheres’ (church, school, household) concerned with the spiritual flourishing of children and young people. Do feel free to pass on the link to anyone you think might benefit.

For more information about the content and dates of the online sessions click here and to sign up click here.

Free CPD for Teaching Religion and Worldviews

Introducing Religion & Worldviews videos. Tim Hutchings and Celine Benoit who supported the Christian Worldviews and Advocacy project and are part of the current REC/syllabus team are behind these videao. They will be great for helping RE subject leaders introduce staff to this approach.

Free courses from Culham St Gabriel’s on Religion & Worldviews, curriculum, subject knowledge and research for RE. They also have an ECT course on there and NATRE also have ECT webinars.

AYLA Free Online Information Sessions

Are you looking to support your pupils to become courageous advocates, taking an active role within their communities? Do you want to develop the social skills, confidence and resilience of your students? Are you keen to find ways to develop SMSC, Character Education and promote pupils’ Personal Development?

The Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award (AYLA) is a fully resourced leadership and character education programme that could support your school in enabling pupils to flourish. Come and find out more about the AYLA programme through our free online sessions this term for both Primary and Secondary schools.

Register for a place at www.abyyt.com/events

Resources for Upcoming Awareness Events

 Children’s Mental Health Week is 5-11 February

Place to Be

Literacy Trust

School of Kindness

Random Act of Kindness Week is 13-19 February

NSPCC Kindness Challenge Fundraiser

School of Kindness

Empathy Week is 26 Feb – 1 March

Find out more or sign up now here.

Mental health and wellbeing school calendar Spring term 2024 from Mentally Healthy Schools – download it here.

Supporting Education Staff – Let’s Get Talking about Menopause and Perimenopause Webinar

23 January – 16.00-17.00

This webinar from Education Support will examine what the menopause and perimenopause are and how they can affect education staff in different ways, with advice on how to create a menopause safe and stigma-free culture at school. They ask for a small donation (min £1) to attend. Find out more and book here.

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