Headlines – 17 February 2023

Turkey and Syria Earthquake – School Response

Dunchurch Boughton CofE Junior used the recent Turkey and Syria Earthquake resource from Picture News with their pupils and linked it with ‘kindness’ one of their school values. Tracy Miller, Head of School writes: “Yesterday, I led an assembly linked to the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria.  I also set a kindness challenge for the day.  For every Kindness value sticker that was given out, the adults in the building donated money for this cause.  So far, we have raised £50.  Well done to the children for turning their kindness to each other, into kindness to others.  5K and 6CM were top on the leader board for kindness.”


RE:Search Group – 07 March

Jen’s Jenkins RE:Search Group are due to meet on Tuesday 07 March 16.00-17.00. The speaker is Dr Jasjit Singh and he will be talking about his research into digital religion regarding Sikhi and how we might use this within our classroom approaches to sharing Sikhi with pupils.  Here are some links to his work:

Research of the Month – RE:ONLINE (reonline.org.uk)
The Place of Colonial Terminology within Religious Studies – Sikhi, “Sikhism,” Sikhism, or Sikhi(sm) – Practical Theology Hub

If you are interested in joining this group which looks at how educational research can positively impact RE teaching in school, contact Jen Jenkins.


Church of England Lent Campaign – ‘Dust and Glory’

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.”  This Lent we are all invited to explore how we can live well with the mess of everyday life.  Dust and Glory encourages us to take a fresh look at the frustrations and failings that every day brings, seek to learn from them and grow closer to God through them.  Find out more about how to join this Lent journey of faith, failure and forgiveness and follow the daily reflections from the Church of England website here.


Archbishop of York Youth Trust – Free Lent Resources

With 6 weeks of content, Look IN, Look OUT  explores how we can Look IN and Look OUT at the world around us. The 6 sessions focus on different aspect of community: family, friends, school, the local community, our country and the world. Look IN, Look OUT challenges pupils to ‘Look In’ at themselves and then to ‘Look OUT’ at their communities, identifying how they can make a difference and improve the lives of others.  Each week includes:

  • Introductions
  • Bible links
  • A video
  • Questions and Challenges
  • A prayer

This resource can be used in the classroom or in collective worship. Challenges can be done individually or as a group or class. Sign up here to download the resources.


God and The Big Bang – Discussing the Compatibility of Science and Faith

A number of our primary church schools were at Coventry Cathedral last week to hear all about ‘God and The Big Bang’.  The pre and post surveys they completed show some encouraging results. Particular highlights include:

  • Students answering ‘yes’ to ‘can science support faith in God?’ moving from 30% to 69%
  • Students answering ‘no’ to ‘does science make it difficult to believe in God?’ moving from 21% to 54%

There were also some great comments, including ‘today made me think about things in a different way’ and ‘I liked learning about different points of view and how faith and science overlap’.  God and the Big Bang is a national education project based at the University of Durham which explores the compatibility of science and faith. They provide workshop days for Years 5-13 which give students the opportunity to discover some of life’s biggest questions, enter into discussion with experts and engage in debate with their peers, forming and sharing their own opinions throughout the day. The workshops are interactive and engaging, developed with input from educational specialists from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. They provide an excellent opportunity to develop cross-curricular learning and critical thinking. For more information and to make a booking, get in touch with the Schools Development Officer, Sarah, by emailing sarah.moring@durham.ac.uk


Fair Trade Fortnight 27 February – 12 March – Free Resources

Fairtrade Schools – (all key stages) – Fairtrade Schools provide a range of teaching resources to support global learning in your classroom. They have free teaching resource library to access a range of lesson plans, assembly plans, films, activities and games. The teaching tools are designed to support learning about Fairtrade and global issues at all key stages and levels, from nursery through to secondary school. Register for a Fairtrade School Award to gain recognition for your schools work on Fairtrade.

Christian Aid – (primary and secondary) – Resources include primary assemblies, and for secondary pupils -The Chocolate Game – a simulation game that looks at cocoa farming and the cocoa trading chain. It takes about an hour and involves students taking on the roles of big chocolate companies, supermarkets, shoppers and journalists. The game highlights the role of international trade in the manufacture and marketing of chocolate and the way that the trading system affects the lives and livelihoods of the farmers.

Papapaa – (KS2 and KS3) – This is an excellent set of resources produced by Comic Relief (with Trading Visions and Divine Chocolate). There are free resources online but you can also order a Key Stage 2 or 3 Pack with photos and a DVD. They also run Papapaa Live where, for an annual subscription of £40, you can view webcasts from a school in Ghana in a cocoa farming community.

Oxfam – (KS2 and KS3) – Updated with new facts, photographs and stories, this cross-curricular resource will help learners aged 7-11 to discover where their food comes from. Learners can gain a vivid insight into the banana supply chain and research the countries where bananas are grown. They will get to grips with Fairtrade and think critically about the enormous impact it can have on the lives of smallholder farmers.

Learn more about how your pupils can contribute to global social justice and sustainability…

Courageous Advocacy – Global Citizenship

Wednesday 08 March – 16.00 to 17.30 – online via Zoom

This CPD session, led by DBE Officer Joanne Evans and Alison Brown from Christian Aid’s Global Neighbours, will give you tools and resources to explore global citizenship with your pupils to inspire a culture of justice and responsibility and help them become courageous advocates with a spirit of hope and aspiration. Book your place or to receive the recording click here.


For Half Term – Forestry Yoga for Teachers

 Take time out for yourself. This 20-minute yoga class, set in the beauty of the forest, has been created with the support of Mind, the mental health charity.  It is designed to help you feel uplifted and reconnect with your environment.  And if that inspires you, there are free educational resources to download for your pupils of all ages. They are curriculum-linked, cover core subjects and are easily adaptable. Find the resource you’re interested in, be it activity sheets, lesson plans or bigger teaching packs, and fill in your email to get the resource downloaded straight away.  Find them on the Forestry England website here.


Shakespeare Week – 20 – 26 March

Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration giving primary school aged children opportunities for enriching and enjoyable early experiences of Shakespeare. It organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for people of all ages and stages of interest. You can access hundreds of free resources including online workshops, storytelling and cross curricular resources linked to Shakespeare’s works, life and times. The wonderful creative teaching resources are available year-round, plus there is a Shakespeare Week Competition 2023 where children are invited to create a home-made Shakespeare-inspired book. Find this all on the Shakespeare Week website here.


An Uplifting 3 Minutes of TV Gold to End Your Week…

If you haven’t already seen it, this is a particularly beautiful moment from Channel 4’s new talent show ‘The Piano’. The 3-minute video shows 13 year old Lucy who is blind and neurodivergent flawlessly performing Chopin’s Nocturne in B flat minor at Leeds City Railway Station.  Click here to play.

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