Headlines – 13 January 2023

January Headteachers Termly Briefing 

Weds 18 January – 14.00 to 15.30  (please email alison.watson@coventrydbe.org for the zoom link to join)


  • Opening Reflection – April Gold
  • Alive 2023 Update – April Gold
  • ‘Lifesavers’ – Just Finance Foundation – Paul Street
  • Feedback from the Heads’ Reference and Advisory Group (HTRAG) – Chair of HTRAG
  • Picture News Collective Worship – Kate Harrison
  • Ofsted Update – Carl Thornton
  • Beacon Update – Jessica Moore
  • Closing Comments and Closing Prayer


Alive Praise Party June 2023 – Thousands of Pupils Already Booked to Attend!

Exciting plans are already underway with the  groundbreaking Alive 2023 Praise Party at Stoneleigh in June. We now have nearly three thousand KS2 pupils already booked to attend over the two days! Thanks to those schools who have already booked their coaches and let us know they’re coming.  Remember that the DBE will contribute £5 per child for coach travel and we need to know how many children you anticipate on your allocated day (either 15th or 16th June).  You have already been sent the details with a unique booking link along with a letter for parents.  If you need us to resend this, or you would just like to email us with the details contact: alive@coventrydbe.org

SIAMS 2023 – Inspection Question 1. A Theologically-Rooted Christian Vision

In light of the announcement of changes to the SIAMS Inspection Framework and the inspection process from September 2023, Jen Jenkins is delivering a number of zoom sessions which will look at each of the new inspection questions in terms of  how you can prepare for an inspection from September 2023 onwards.  She delivered the first one on a ‘Theologically-Rooted Christian Vision’ on Wednesday. If you missed it, please email alison.watson@coventrydbe.org for access to the recording.

Upcoming sessions are available to book here:

IQ3 Collective Worship for Spiritual Flourishing  – Tuesday 7th February 2023 16.00-17.30

IQ4 A Culture of Good Treatment  – Wednesday 15th February 2023 16.00-17.30

IQ5 A Culture of Justice and Responsibility  – Monday 6th March 2023 16.00-17.30

IQ6/7 Effective & High Quality RE  – Monday 13th March 2023 16.00-17.30

Getting Ready for Inspection (1)


Education Support for You and Your Staff

Education Support, the UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers, have some inspirational new resources to help support yourself and your colleagues.  Any don’t forget their free and confidential helpline, is there to support you and your staff every day of the year.  08000 562 561.  “Call us. We’ll listen.”  This helpline poster can be downloaded for display in your staffroom. You can find it by clicking on the image.


Childhood Trauma and PTSD – Resources from the UK Trauma Council

The UK Trauma Council has produced four new short animations about post-traumatic stress disorder to support young people and the adults around them.  The animations have been produced with the involvement of young people themselves, and are designed to help young people and the adults around them recognise the signs, feelings and behaviours of PTSD. They also suggest ways of coping with scary memories, explain the science around the best treatments, and answer any worries you might have about getting support.


Resources for World Religion Day – 15 January 2023

The BBC have a collection of classroom resources for primary and secondary schools to support teaching around World Religion Day. World Religion Day 2023 takes place on Sunday, 15 January.  World Religion Day takes place each January, aiming to promote understanding and peace between all religions as well as mutual understanding and tolerance between peoples from different backgrounds.  There are also some nice explanatory resources on the Bahai RE website.  And for younger children, the ‘Belonging and Believing’ series of books from Books at Press is the perfect set of resources to help you celebrate and educate.  The 8 Belonging and Believing books focus on the ‘lived experience’ of children, their families and communities, bringing real lives into the classroom through the lens of a five year old child.  “It is fantastic to have a whole series of books about children from families with such a wide range of faiths and worldviews specifically aimed at children in Early Years. The range includes worldviews that are less well resourced and this makes this series particularly valuable not just for Early Years but for Key Stage 1 as well.” Catriona Card, EYFS Teacher.


News from the Archbishop’s Young Leader Award

Free Twilight Webinars – Introduction to the Young Leaders Award

Looking for a programme that supports pupils to develop courageous advocacy, leadership and character through social action? Come and find out more about the Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award Programme through our free online sessions this term for both Primary and Secondary schools. Find out more and sign up at: www.abyyt.com/events

Building Connections Between School and Church

Their latest blog, ‘How the Young Leaders Award can connect schools and local churches’, gives lots of examples of how schools have used the Young Leaders Award to facilitate and improve relationships with their local church. You can read the blog here: www.abyyt.com/news


‘Empowering Student Voice and Leadership’ – Free Online Event from Schools of Sanctuary

In this short one-hour webinar, representatives from Schools of Sanctuary and Oxfam Education will look at ways in which schools can facilitate and develop student voice and leadership in sanctuary activities, a key part in being recognised as a School of Sanctuary. Drawing on a practical resource and guidance developed by Oxfam, John McLaverty, Youth Campaigner at Oxfam Campaigns will present on the strategies and approaches teachers can use to encourage ethically informed student efforts.  Teachers from a number of Schools of Sanctuary will then outline examples of how they have employed these techniques with their students and what students have achieved as a result.  Come along to be inspired, connect with other Schools of Sanctuary and learn some practical activities you might wish to adopt with your students! Register here.  An accredited School of Sanctuary is one that has received recognition from City of Sanctuary UK (of which Coventry is one) or a partner organisation in the form of a Sanctuary Award for its good practice in fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion.  The Schools of Sanctuary award, resources and events are completely free and you can find out more about the work and what is involved by going to their website: https://schools.cityofsanctuary.org/become-a-school-of-sanctuary


Protected Characteristics and British Values through the Picture News Resource

Explore how Picture News can help provide context for children and help them gain a greater understanding of both British Values and the 9 protected characteristics.  The (1 hour) recorded session can be viewed here.


Focus Groups for Education Professionals Working with Refugee and Displaced Young People

The UK Trauma Council are currently developing resources to help educational professionals both identify and support the mental health needs of children and young people who are refugees or seeking sanctuary in the UK. Through focus groups, they will be gathering what’s helpful or what’s missing in educational communities supporting trauma-experienced students.  If you are interested in attending a focus group or would like to find out more information, please sign up for the following dates:


A Mindful Way to Find Awe and Wonder in Your Day

From ‘Leading with Presence; it’s an inside job’ by Maggie Farrar

Why not, at the start of 2023 make a conscious decision to find moments when you slow down and deliberately invite awe and wonder into your day?

See through the eyes of a child

Why not take an ‘awe walk’ round school with a couple of children, opening up your senses to what’s magical, what we love about this school, what makes us smile – then share that with the staff and invite them to do the same. Many leaders I work with have incorporated this into their schedule and have shared the restorative and uplifting nature of the experience.

Take a fresh mindset

Our sense of wonder can sometimes fade, because our ‘thinking mind’ takes over – analysing and evaluating our experience, so it quickly it becomes common place. Instead why not practice ‘beginner mind’, as if coming to an experience for the very first time with curiosity, perhaps asking ‘what else might I notice here that I am missing?’, ‘what’s intriguing about this’, or ‘how might I stay open to new possibilities beyond my own immediate thoughts and ideas?’

Make awe and wonder an everyday experience

During your day-to-day leadership, when you find yourself caught in ‘disenchantment’, try deliberately turning to that which invites awe and wonder – perhaps a piece of music, a walk into the art room, or a wander round the playground. Consciously savouring everyday wonder is important because it doesn’t come naturally and so needs to be cultivated. Negative experiences tend to stand out in our minds, while positive ones can be easily dismissed or forgotten. In order to find renewal in that which is wonderful about leading a school we need to be intentional about reaching for the positive and savouring it.

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