Headlines – 24 September 2021

Message from April Gold, Director of Education

Dear Friends,

It was lovely to spend time with so many of you last week at the Head Teacher’s Briefing. I know how difficult things are for some of you at the moment as you try to manage expectations that “life is back to normal” and the need to keep everyone safe as cases continue to be high. Please do get in touch with me if you have to activate your outbreak management plan, so that I am aware when talking to the local authorities and DFE.

You will have noticed that we have a new Secretary of State, and that he is a local MP. There are 22 Coventry Diocesan CofE schools within Nadhim Zahawi’s constituency, many of which are small rural schools. I am hoping to organise a meeting with him and the National CofE team, and it would be good if we could do this locally. If you already have a relationship with him please could you let me know.

Finally, Jen Jenkins is running an online twilight Middle Leader’s network this year (see details below). This two-year programme is suitable for subject or pastoral leaders. The programme will focus on developing leaders through the lens of Christian distinctiveness. Our intention is to grow church school headteachers for the future. Please do encourage your middle leaders to sign up. There is no additional charge for the network, it is part of your regular service agreement subscription.

You remain in my prayers, April


Flourishing Through Leading: A Two Year Programme for Middle Leaders in Church Schools

Dates:      02 November 2021    07 December 2021    25 January 2022    08 March 2022    10 May 2022    28 June 2022

Time:       16.00 to 17.30 – online via Zoom

Cost:        Free for DSA Subscribers

Lead by Jen Jenkins, this two-year programme is suitable for anybody with a role in school as a middle leader for subject development or pastoral care. It includes twelve sessions; one 1.5 hour session per half term conducted remotely on Zoom.  The programme assumes that particulars around subject leadership, monitoring and curriculum development are already being covered through other CPD or in-school support and so will focus on developing middle leaders as people and nurturing them as leaders within church schools so that Christian distinctiveness is recognisable through their leadership. There will be a mixture of input and discussion at each session.  The twelve sessions will cover topics such as:

  • Knowing Yourself as a Leader
  • Learning to Lead
  • Managing Change
  • Curriculums of Hope
  • Flourishing Through Teacher Development
  • Effective Leadership
  • Taking Them With You
  • Risk-Taking and Ethical Decision-Making
  • Wisdom
  • Pastoral Care
  • The Nature of Power
  • Engaged Feedback

To book your place click here.


SIAMS Inspections 2021-22

Schools to be inspected under the SIAMS Schedule were listed in last week’s Headlines following publication on the Church of England website.  Please note, that this list is of schools likely to be inspected by the end of the 2022 calendar year – it encompasses not just the 2021-22 academic year, but to the end of December 2022.  In the Summer Term 2022, the CofE will revert to publishing the list for the academic year 2022-2023.  Jen Jenkins has been in touch regarding support for all of the listed schools.  As explained by Jen Jenkins at the Headteacher Briefing, the SIAMS Evaluation Schedule has been sympathetically ‘tweaked’ to take account of the pandemic and the impact on schools.  You can find the revised schedule and accompanying explanatory documents on the Church of England website: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/education-and-schools/church-schools-and-academies/siams-inspections


Collective Worship – Can You Help Us?

Jen Jenkins is looking to provide Early Career teachers and staff new to a church school varied examples of collective worship that give a good model and overview of what can be expected in church schools.  If you would be happy to film your collective worship and allow us to use this for CPD please do let Jen know:  Jennifer.jenkins@coventrydbe.org


Time to Wonder – Storytelling in RE

Date:  30 November – 10.00 – 15.30

  • Do you want more moments of awe and wonder in your classroom?
  • Do you want to harness the amazing power of storytelling?
  • Is your class ready for sensational, experiential, reflective RE? 

Katherine Taylor, the Author of ‘A Time to Wonder’ will lead this session and begin your journey of mastering reflective storytelling and developing more wonderful, engaging RE.  “Katherine takes us out of the classroom to another plane altogether, simply with the power of her storytelling, now we can all have a go at using this engaging technique. Her book deserves to be used in all schools, it’s the perfect medium by which key faith stories can be introduced to children and quite frankly, we all need some Time To Wonder!”  Quote from Sharon Lord, RE Lead, Link Academy Trust, Devon

There are limited numbers available for this course so early booking is advised.

  • 30 November 2021 – 10.00 to 15.30
  • At Red Hill Christian Centre, Stratford
  • £55 for DSA subscribers

To book your place click here


VA Schools and Academy Own Admission Authorities – Action Points for Autumn Term

  • Your 2023/24 admission policy should be on the governing body agenda to be reviewed (and determined if it is not being consulted on) in the autumn term.
  • Remember to update your LAC definition in line with the new Admissions Code.
  • Once your policy has been determined a copy should be sent to Joanne Evans at the DBE joanne.evans@coventrydbe.org
  • If any significant changes are being made to the policy there must be a consultation period of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January (or if the policy has not been consulted on for 7 years).
  • Your 2022/23 should be published on your website now.

Any questions or queries on admissions contact joanne.evans@coventrydbe.org


Black History Month – October 2021

With Black History Month coming up, just a reminder that for DSA subscribers, we have last year’s CPD recordings on ‘Anti-Racist RE’ and ‘Responding to Racism as a Church School’ which you can still access.  Contact alison.watson@coventrydbe.org for access codes.  You can find other resources for anti-racist RE here:




English Heritage Introduces ‘Hour of Contemplation’ at its Former Monasteries

In a month long trial, visitors are encouraged to enjoy spiritual buildings in relative silence, just as they would have been experienced throughout history. “In a modern world, where people are constantly rushing and expected to be at the end of a phone 24/7, we often find silence disconcerting. It’s important sometimes to take a step back, centre yourself and focus on appreciating the peace and tranquillity that is unique to these historic buildings – monuments to the human spirit and the divine, our ongoing quest for inner peace and fulfilment.”

For further information and list of participating venues go to: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about-us/search-news/pr-contemplation-hour/


The Archbishop of York Youth Trust – Young Leaders AwardFree Twilight Webinars

Introduction to Character Education with input from the Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues

Tues 5th Oct, Wed 3rd Nov and Tues 7th Dec 2021 4.00pm-4.40pm

Introduction to the Young Leaders Award, YLA

  • Primary KS1- Tues 12th, Tues 19th October 4.00pm to 4.30pm
  • Primary KS2 – Wed 20th October 4.00pm to 4.30pm
  • Primary KS1 & KS2 – Wed 29th Sept, Tues 9th Nov, Wed 24th Nov 4.00pm-4.45pm
  • Secondary KS3 – Thurs 21st Oct 4.00pm-4.40pm
  • Secondary KS4/+16 – Thurs 4th Nov 4.00pm-4.40pm

To book a place visit  https://www.archbishopofyorkyouthtrust.co.uk/events  Queries? Contact us on ytevents@abyyt.com


Tales From the Miracle Book – New Films Added

Tales from the Miracle Book have just released another 6 films and worksheet resources for the teaching of classroom RE on Creation and Adam and Eve. Check out the trailer here… https://vimeo.com/611857379  Great for SIMS and accredited by Understanding Christianity, Tales From the Miracle Book is a unique resource; hugely enjoyable whilst being educational for a wide range of ages (both Key Stages 1&2). An annual subscription gives you access to 41 films (with more being added this term), plus a huge variety of cross-curricula quality worksheets to delve deeper into RE and PSHE.  Perfect as a focus for anti-bullying week in November (Bigger Than Giants) and the Christmas films (Christmas Tales) for the end of term. Even the staff love them!!  Check out their website here: https://talesfromthemiraclebook.co.uk/

The Tales From the Miracle Book resource will engage pupils across the primary age range. A fun way into bible stories, providing a helpful stimulus for teachers and pupils exploring these texts.”  Derek Holloway – Former Understanding Christianity & School Character and SIAMS Development Manager, Church of England


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