Headlines – 2 February 2024

School News

Lucy Bosley, Headteacher at Harbury CofE Primary writes about their fantastic ‘Faith and Art Week’:

“During our faith and art week, we focused on the Big Frieze by Artist Emma Yarlett. The purpose of the week was for staff and pupils to become familiar with the eight core concepts of the Big Frieze. Each class took on one of the concepts and our art leader incorporated an artist which each class was to focus on to bring the eight core concepts to life.  We also spent lots of time discussing what pupils noticed about the Big Frieze and how we interpreted the drawings, which we acknowledged may be different for different people. Time was spent in RE using drama, poetry, writing and prayers to explore the Big Frieze.

The artists we focused on were:

Creation-Kurt Schwitters and Megan Coyle

The Fall – Svitlana Lee Mark and Paul Cezanne

People of God- L. S Lowry

Incarnation-Henri Matisse and Piet Mondrain

Gospel-Hokusai and Rembrandt –  Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee, Monet

Salvation-Georges Seurat (Creator of Pointillism) and Paul Signac

Kingdom of God-Kandinsky and George Seurat. Year one also used Mixed: An Inspiring Story About Colour by Arree Chung.

Each class then worked together to produce a final canvas piece. We were delighted to then have an exhibition for all families to attend.”

Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership – National Conference ‘Growing Faith – Sustaining Hope’

The National Conference took place yesterday in London with a further day for leaders from the Flourishing Trusts Network today. The Archbishop of Canterbury launched the secondary school resource ‘Difference’ which has been piloted in our diocese. The primary resources are expected early next year.

April Gold spoke about Alive 2023 in one of the afternoon workshops showcasing Growing Faith. There were inspiring keynotes from Laura McInerny, founder of TeacherTapp and Krish Kandiah, Author and Broadcaster as well as inspiring primary school worship lead by iSingPOP with local pupils and secondary school pupils from Nottingham.

Launch of the New RE Agreed Syllabus – Monday April 22

 You are invited to the launch of the new Coventry and Warwickshire Agreed RE Syllabus on Monday 22 April 2024 – 14.00-17.00

In-person at Coventry Council House or online via Microsoft Teams. The rooms (in-person and online) will open 30 minutes before the start to facilitate networking and will remain open for the same amount of time at the end also.

Complete this form to register your means of attendance.

New Agreed Syllabus Resource List

Following requests for a resource list for the new syllabus, Jen has provided one here.

A request from Jen for mixed-age class teachers…

Jen Jenkins is appealing for teachers with mixed-age classes who are willing to join a remote meeting with her to talk about the implications of this for the new syllabus. If you have staff who would be able to do this, contact Jen on jennifer.jenkins@coventrydbe.org

Do You or Any of Your Colleagues Lead on RE Beyond Your School?

Culham St Gabriel’s are now taking applications for their two year Leadership Scholarship Programme. The aim of the programme is to provide opportunities for emerging Religion and Worldviews leaders to expand and deepen their reflections on educational leadership in the subject, through receiving mentoring, structured challenges, research insights, inspirational networking events, and experience of professional development delivery. Find out more on the Culham website here. Do feel free to pass on the link to colleagues.

Introducing Religion and Worldviews

Dr Tim Hutchings, Associate Professor of Religious Ethics at the University of Nottingham has developed ‘Introducing Religion and Worldviews’ which is a free, accessible video series for primary and secondary teachers of RE who want to find out more about this exciting new approach.

There are eight short videos, each featuring academic experts and real teachers and a helpful infographic.

No Place Like Home – Art and Poetry Competition for Schools

The Sanctuary Foundation has launched an exciting new art and poetry competition that invites all students age 7-18 to reflect on what life is like for the 43.3 million children around the world who are displaced.

Students can create either a piece of artwork or a piece of poetry illustrating their empathy with or experience of being separated from the place they call home. These creations will be judged by a fantastic panel of celebrities, refugees, and journalists with the top 30 entries going on display in The British Library during National Refugee Week (17th-21st June 2024). They will also be featured in a special national online assembly, in the press and elsewhere. The prize ceremony will be at the British Library on World Refugee Day (20th June 2024)

Deadline for submissions: 20th May 2024 (free entry if submitted before 20th March)

Find out more on the Sanctuary Foundation website here.

Free Peace Week Teaching Pack

These free resources from the Quaker Peace Education Team will enable you to deliver a week of peace education in your primary or secondary school.

The Peace Week can be run at any time. It can be an exciting way to start a new term, or a positive way to celebrate the end of the school year. The sessions will help your staff and pupils explore the kind of society you want to live in. You can then develop the attitudes, values and skills needed to create it.

The Peace Week pack includes tools to help you organise:

  • lesson plans
  • resources
  • staff training materials
  • tips

Peace Week was created by the Peace Education Programme with help from schools. It is part of Quakers’ ongoing work for peace. You can find this, and other teaching and worship resources related to peace and social justice on their website here.

Last Minute Resources for Children’s Mental Health Week and Empathy Week

Children’s mental health week starts next week, with Empathy Week following shortly from 26 Feb – 1 March. The Children and Young People’s Mental Health coalition have collated some resources which you may find helpful with your plans to support the awareness events or to start vital conversations with children and young people about mental health.

The Learning Team at Forestry England have also got some great resources such as an adaptable tree of life wellbeing activity which provides a handy structure to help young people pause and think about the positive things in their lives. Find this and their other fantastic teaching and wellbeing resources here.

How Can Student Councils Improve School Mental Health and Wellbeing?

 As the leaders of their school community, student council members can set the tone for peer interactions. By creating an inclusive environment where all students feel welcome and valued, and that they belong student council members can help create a culture of care and support that extends beyond the classroom.  This culture of trust, belonging and connection is the foundation for any approach to mental health you may be developing to support pupils. Check out this (5 min read) article from Worth-it Positive Education to find out more.

‘Fair Begins Here’ – Show Your Heart for Refugees this Valentine’s Day

Together With Refugees has collaborated with Schools of Sanctuary to produce an activity pack specially aimed at schools organising a Valentine’s Day action on 14 February for its ‘Fair Begins Here’ campaign – you can download a campaign toolkit with suggested activities here.

You can find further supporting resources from City of Sanctuary here.

Vacancy for Your Parents’ Newsletter… 

Growing Faith Families Worker – Coventry All Saints

Coventry All Saints are keen to recruit a Growing Faith Families Worker to enable and facilitate the growth of faith in young parents, their children and young people, to have life-enhancing encounters with Jesus. You would be building on the excellent relationships our church has in this parish through services, outreach events, groups, local schools and community organisations.

Up to £13,000 gross per annum for 20 hours per week + pension (including some evening and weekend work, three-year position).

For an informal conversation about this role please contact Rev Pam Howell on 07413391870. To find out more and apply see the Diocesan website: https://www.coventry.anglican.org/current-vacancies.php

Closing date for applications 5pm on Tuesday 12 March 2024 with interviews to be held shortly after Easter 2024 with the position to begin as soon as the successful candidate is available.

Wellbeing – ‘The Rule of Life’

One thing that many people find beneficial to leading a healthy life is developing their own ‘Rule of Life’. The idea of a Rule of Life developed in Christian monastic communities, the most famous of which is the Benedictine community which date from the 6th century. St Benedict described a Rule of Life as “a handbook to make the very radical demands of the gospel a practical reality in daily life.”

Bishop John Stroyan, former Bishop of Warwick, commended developing a Rule of Life – “The discipline of a Rule of Life, freely chosen, can help us in our relationship with God, with ourselves and with others and be an important anchor in our Christian life and discipleship. There are a few parishes in the diocese where a Rule of Life has become an integral dimension of the corporate life of the people and a foundation for the ministry and mission of the church. In addition to this, there are many individuals who observe a Rule of Life, a number of whom are oblates or tertiaries of Christian monastic or missional communities.”

The Revd Craig Groocock, Vicar of St Andrew’s, Shottery, has had a lot of experience in developing Rules of Life. He has written a short paper entitled ‘Developing your own Rule of Life’ which is designed to help people design a Rule of Life that works for them. You can view it here.


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