Headlines – 22 September 2023

School News

Lynn Lee Headteacher of Leigh CofE Academy writes:  “At Leigh CofE Academy, we provide an ambitious curriculum in which our pupils can ‘Aim ever higher’ all pupils are enabled to be the best learners they can be. A huge aspect of this is the experiences and opportunities that we provide for our children, bringing their learning to life and allowing them to use something tangible with which to learn, as well as using the idea of awe and wonder to hook them in!  Year 6 visited the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey to explore the relationship between monarchy and government. As you can imagine, many of our pupils haven’t been out of Coventry so they experienced some amazing things and learnt so much.”


Headteacher Termly Briefing

Thank to those who were able to join us for the Heads’ Briefing yesterday afternoon. If you were not able to attend please email alison.watson@coventrydbe.org for the recording of the session and copies of presentations.


For Own Admission Authorities – Action This Term

Just a reminder that own admission authority MATs and VA schools should be in the process of reviewing and determining their admission policies for 2025/26 this term.  If you are making any changes to this policy you need to publicly consult on this. The consultation window is 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January.  If you require any further support in this process or just a chat about the options do contact Joanne Evans.  It is a statutory requirement to send your policy to the DBE so please do email it to us once governors have formally agreed it.


Growing Faith Strategic Leaders’ Programme – Applications are Now Open

Please do feel free to pass on to anyone you know who might benefit in getting involved!  The Growing Faith Strategic Leaders’ Programme is a chance for leaders and aspiring leaders from broad and diverse contexts to come together to learn how to instinctively think about children and young people in their mission and ministry. Through a careful blend of online and in person learning opportunities, participants have the space to grow in their leadership competencies and capacities, allowing God to deepen a sense of calling and future direction for local and regional contexts. Learning is embedded throughout the year-long programme in the form of 6 coaching sessions, a residential and regional gatherings. If you would like to hear more, please do get in touch with the programme lead Stephen Beamond  Watch the mini-intro video here!  And…apply here!


Pupil-led worship – online CPD

If you are looking to revamp worship in school and encourage children to lead, Picture News are running a special online training session for all your future worship leaders!  The training is free of charge and open to all children and adults.  Tuesday 26th September, 10.45-11.45am    Full details and registration found here


Understanding Christianity Training with RE Today

Understanding Christianity

Understanding Christianity is a substantial resource used in over 6,500 schools!  Split over 3 dates, with complimentary access to a teaching resource handbook, this best-selling course will support teaching Christianity in RE:

Course starting from 26 September 2023 with Trainer Fiona Moss

  • Session 1: Tuesday 26 September 2023
  • Session 2: Wednesday 6 December 2023
  • Session 3: Monday 11 March 2024

Course starting from 15 November 2023 with Trainer Julia Diamond-Conway

  • Session 1: Wednesday 15 November 2023
  • Session 2: Monday 12 February 2024
  • Session 3: Tuesday 23 April 2024

Timings: 1-4PM  Cost: £210 for the course

Book Understanding Christianity course – 26 September 2023  Book Understanding Christianity course – 15 November 2023

Understanding Christianity Concepts

Are you using Understanding Christianity in your school? Does your agreed syllabus teach through key concepts? This session is designed for anyone using Understanding Christianity to increase their subject knowledge on the concept of incarnation, use some of the resources and think about planning.

  • Date: Friday 13 October 2023
  • Time: 1 PM-4 PM
  • Trainer: Fiona Moss
  • Cost: £115

Book Understanding Christianity Concepts – 13 October 2023


Fully Funded NPQs for You and Your Leaders

Starting in the West Midlands in November 23 and February 24

In conjunction with the Church of England, the Diocese of Worcester is offering National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) to all schools in the Midlands area.  From a teacher looking to deepen their expertise, or a school leader wanting to stretch themselves to the next transition in their career, there is an NPQ programme for all stages of a teacher’s career.  All of the NPQs are fully funded, with additional support available to help cover aspects of the participant’s release time.

NPQ Suitable for
Leading Teacher Development teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school.
Leading Teaching  

teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase.

Leading Behaviour & Culture  

teachers and all school staff who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school.

Senior Leadership  

school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.


school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.

All courses are a combination of online webinars, self-study and face-to-face sessions.  They are underpinned by recent research, and allow participants to embed this into their own practice and policies.  The Church of England NPQs also benefit from small group coaching sessions, which further explore participants’ learning.

For further information about the courses please click here or contact Spencer Morris, Deputy Director of Education by email on smorris@cofe-worcester.org.uk or by telephone on 07494 721498.  Diocese of Worcester NPQs leaflet  Diocese of Worcester NPQs – Video


Church of England National Younger Leadership Groups –

Invitation for Primary Schools

The Church of England are running National Leadership Groups again this year, exploring with young people how to use their voice to enable flourishing. A number of schools are re-joining, but they are looking for more schools to get involved. The sessions will be facilitated by the AYLA team online offering pupils the opportunity to:

  • Be leaders who use their voice and engage with key issues that matter to them.
  • Connect with other schools nationally to discuss and share ideas.
  • Help shape the work of the CofE Education office and the wider Church.

This year we are initially focusing on primary schools and are the DBE have been asked to invite three primary schools that haven’t been part of NYLG before to join in and register. They are looking to take 4 pupils from each school take part, with an appropriate balance of gender and ethnicity. It is a 1-year commitment involving 5 online sessions, plus some leadership development activities to do in-between sessions.  They are encouraging schools to invite a parish partner (clergy, lay person, youth worker etc.) to be part of these sessions with pupils, because research shows that when church and school are connected, faith flourishes. They see it as a great opportunity for the parish to engage with pupils and also to be resourced in how they could replicate a similar model of pupil voice in their wider work with the school and their own settings.

To find out more and to put your pupils forward contact Joanne Evans. Places will be on a first-come first-served basis.


A National School Assembly for Black History Month

Sanctuary Foundation are inviting all schools to join them for a special assembly to celebrate Black History Month!  On Tuesday, October 10th at 9:05am, they will be hosting a live broadcast for primary and secondary schools across the country.  This fast-paced, age-appropriate Great Big Live Assembly will feature:

  • BAFTA-nominated Children’s BBC presenter Gemma Hunt, BAFTA-winning 12-year-old presenter Jeriah   Kibusi and award-winning author Dr Krish Kandiah OBE as hosts.
  • A focus on this year’s Black History Month theme: “Celebrate Our Sisters”.
  • A live link-up with a Black History Month exhibition.
  • Opportunities for students to be inspired by Black women of influence around the world.
  • The chance to learn about practical things they can do to help make a difference in their communities.

The 20-minute assembly will be streamed live on Sanctuary Foundation’s website. A special schools’ resource pack will be prepared nearer the time. Find out more and register here or play the YouTube video here.


Windrush Voices Competition for Your Eligible Pupils –

‘Connect to your history. Remember their legacy.’

Windrush Voices is a national youth competition by charity, Action for Race Equality.  It is open to young people, aged 10-18, whose relatives may have migrated to the UK between 1948 and 1971, principally from the Caribbean but also former Commonwealth countries.  Whether through oral storytelling, written narratives, poetry, artwork, or digital media, young people across the UK are invited to connect with the experiences, struggles, and triumphs of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.  The closing date to enter is 15th October. For further details, eligibility and to enter click here. There will be a prize-giving ceremony as part of the Windrush-related Black History Month event with Descendants Youth on October 28th.


Anti-Bullying Week 2023 – 13 – 17 November

This year Anti-Bullying has the theme ‘Make A Noise About Bullying’ and will take place from 13th to 17th November. The week will be kicked off with Odd Socks Day on Monday 13th November, where adults and children wear odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.  The theme of Make A Noise About Bullying came about following consultation with teachers and pupils by the Anti-Bullying Alliance which coordinates Anti-Bullying Week every year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Teachers and children wanted a theme that empowered them to do something positive to counter the harm and hurt that bullying causes.  As usual, schools will be able to download free teaching resources and themed assemblies. These will focus on the activities we can take to encourage young people to consider what bullying means, how banter can turn into something more hurtful, and what we can do to stop bullying. They will also be developing a media, social media and community based campaign to help bring Anti-Bullying Week to life whether you’re at home, work or in school. Primary and Secondary resources are available on the website here: https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week-2023-make-noise-about-bullying/school-resources


Creative and Imaginative RE and PSHE from Springs Dance Company

Springs provides an exciting way for children to interact with the RE curriculum through physical movement and creativity.  They are now booking:

  • A Christmas Story: Refugee – Inspired by Anne Booth’s Christmas story Refuge, these workshops will guide pupils on a journey of dance, drama and discussion. Children will uncover a relevant and meaningful telling of the first Christmas, through learning, creating and performing movement.
  • The Nativity Project – Want to try something different this Advent? This Nativity brings to life the traditional, much-loved scenes of the Christmas story, then continues the story after the birth of Jesus, highlighting the importance of showing hospitality to others. Springs’ professional dancers can create a unique performance with children, over the course of a longer project, for them to share with family and friends.
  • The Easter Project – These much-loved workshops provide a fresh and exciting way to explore the Easter story. The workshops can be delivered as a one-off day or a longer project and can culminate in an informal sharing or performance by the pupils.

Other popular workshops include The Good Samaritan, You Are Special, and Creation, as well as the interactive PARABLE performance. Further details on all of the work for schools can be found at: https://springsdancecompany.org.uk/join-in/  To book and to find out more please email touring@springsdancecompany.org.uk or call 07775 628 442.  Watch this video to get a taste of what’s on offer.






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