Headlines – 17 November 2023

School News

Armistice Day in Bedworth

Children and Staff from The Canons CofE Primary School attended the Armistice Day Parade in Bedworth on Saturday 11 November. It is said that the annual parade in Bedworth is one of the biggest in the country outside London.  Local schools, including The Canons, contributed to design of the memorial peace podium and gates (pictured here) when they were installed in 2021.


Saluting the Fallen in Wolvey

Andrew Edwards, Executive Headteacher writes:  “As a school which is proud to serve our local military barracks,  Remembrance Day is a big event for pupils and staff at Wolvey CofE Primary School. This year, our service of remembrance was joined by three serving soldiers who reminded us of the significance of this day and then walked with the children to place our wreaths in the local church. With over one-third of our children living on camp and coming from serving families, our military club placed their own special wreath and saluted the fallen alongside the soldiers.”


Courageous Advocacy and Congratulations!

Congratulations to Barford St Peter’s CofE Primary who, as a result of children’s hard work, have been awarded a GOLD safety standard award by Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS). Barford St. Peter’s is very proud to be the first school in Warwickshire and the 2nd school in the country to achieve the award.  In June the children took part in water safety week organised by the RLSS and as part of their work towards the RLSS Water Safety Accreditation Award, children listened to an assembly about water safety, as well as taking part in a series of lessons. Each lesson addressed one of the four points of the national Water Safety Code. Year 6 also included a visit to the river Avon in Barford to discuss the potential dangers and as part of their courageous advocacy work they wrote to the PCC to suggest safety improvements around the river.  The picture shows Andy Lane who is the educational lead for the RLSS presenting pupils with the certificate this morning. The Royal Life Saving Society UK is a charity which works to reduce incidents of accidental drownings and near misses across the UK, through providing FREE water safety educational resources to schools. Find out more here.


News from the Church of England

Nigel Genders, Chief Executive of The National Society has announced that Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Portsmouth, has been appointed as the new Lead Bishop for Education and Chair of the National Society with effect from 1st January 2024.  The current Chair, Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham is due to retire.  Bishop Jonathan brings passion, commitment and enthusiasm to the church’s work in education and schools and is a massive advocate for Growing Faith and for the vital link between church and school in the mission and ministry with children and young people.

In case you missed it last week…

The Church of England Curriculum and Inclusion Team have produced a short document to help school leaders and teachers as they seek to support in the best way possible during a time of significant international conflict.  Called ‘Considerations for Schools in Supporting Pupils and Staff at times of International Conflict’  you can find it here.


The World is Waiting… Interactive Advent Calendars for Collective Worship

The Diocese of Guildford have kindly shared these interactive Advent calendars for primary and secondary schools. They do not contain pictures of elves and snowmen, but instead each day takes you to a picture of the nativity by an artist from a different country or culture. Also a story from the Bible about one of the people who was waiting for the birth of Jesus.  When you click on the door you will find:

  • an image;
  • some wondering questions;
  • a video of the story or a song;
  • the Bible reference for the story.

For the weekends, there is a picture and a video that families may enjoy watching together, and some questions to wonder about at home. The videos are a mixture of thought provoking and fun!  The calendar runs from 1st – 15th December, the last day of term. You can find overview documents and the links to the Advent Calendars (plus other great Advent resources) on the Diocese of Guildford website here.


NATRE Spirited Arts 2024 Competition

Join hundreds of schools from around the world taking part in this year’s NATRE Spirited Arts competition. The competition runs from the beginning of the school year to 31 July 2024.  It’s a fantastic way to engage teachers and students while boosting the profile of RE in your school. Some schools integrate the competition into RE lessons with a ‘Spirited Arts’ unit or a RE/arts week.  Find out more information about the competition here.


Want to Foster International Education Across Your School?

As ‘International Education Week’ draws to a close today, find out about the The British Council’s International School Award which is a free school development programme, supporting you to embed international learning across your school.


Additional Support for Talking to Children about Conflict and War

  • From DECSY, a compilation of lesson plans and resources for “Processing the Violence in Israel and Gaza”.
  • Philosophical conversations in a crisis – Director of P4C, Grace Lockrobin, talks about her approach to opening up conversations with students on difficult topics in the news.
  • Advice from UNICEF on talking to children about conflict and war contains some useful principles, including that we should start with what children know and feel, that we should not minimize their concerns; that we can approach even the most vitriolic disagreements with compassion (caring); to remember “that it’s OK to not have the answer to every question”.
  • Advice from NPR, in particular that you can be proactive (don’t assume, if the topic doesn’t arise, that children aren’t hearing things and thinking about it already); note that “kids can handle tough topics”, and that especially “Older children with access to the internet should be encouraged to be skeptical of videos shared on social media and offered help with evaluating news sources”, as well as “brushing up” on the facts yourself.

Israel/Gaza Conflict – What Information do Teachers Need?

ACT (The Association for Citizenship Teaching) and NATRE (National Association of Teachers of RE) have created a questionnaire to gather information on what would be most useful for teachers in terms of training and resources, in light of the current situation in Israel/Gaza. They would be grateful if you could complete and share with your colleagues who are teachers.


New Resources Focus on Disability and Girls’ Education

If you’re a child with a disability in a low-income country, what are your chances of being in school? The shocking answer, according to the UN, is only one in 10. Going to school every day is something we take for granted in the UK and many other countries. But for millions of young people around the world, just getting into a classroom can be a massive challenge.  Theirworld is a global children’s charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation. They have produced new teaching resources for UK schools focussing on two groups who experience these issues disproportionately – girls and young people with disabilities.   The packs for both primary and secondary, help pupils understand and discuss the obstacles and solutions. Using engaging and thought-provoking activities, they build on our existing teacher resources for primary and secondary schools, which include support for refugees, health and wellbeing, climate action, and skills and employment.  Find them on the following links:


Get involved in the Free National Education Nature Park Programme

The National Education Nature Park programme is a key element of DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.  The programme will provide young people with opportunities to increase their engagement with nature in their local environments through their education settings.  These free programmes will provide educators with the resources, support and guidance needed to put nature at the heart of education. Embedding nature across everyday teaching and learning will give every child and young person in England the opportunity to develop a meaningful connection to nature, contribute to nature recovery across the country and build resilience for a changing world. Find out more and register your school here.


YMD Boon Services – Health and Safety

The health and safety team at YMD Boon currently provide support to a number of Diocesan academy trusts. They offer a supportive and pragmatic approach to health and safety, training and management systems. If you would like to know more about their services see their website or see their information booklets on health and safety support and health and safety training.

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