Headlines – 27 January 2023

SIAMS – Guidance on Key Areas

In preparation for the new SIAMS Framework, you have been emailed three new documents written for schools by Jen Jenkins the DBE’s RE and Spirituality Officer. These address the three highlighted areas for development on most SIAMS inspections reports from the National Team’s analysis:

  • Theologically-Rooted Vision
  • Spiritual Development
  • Courageous Advocacy Beyond Fundraising

Please feel free to use them with your staff and governors. You can also find them under the SIAMS section of the DBE website.

Alive! 2023 – Book Now!

Here is the exciting (2 min) launch video for Alive 2023. Please show it to your children, staff, governors and parents to build excitement for the event: https://youtu.be/94-2dOFTGYk. If you have not yet signed your school up please contact Alison Watson. Please note Thursday 15th June is filling up fast, but there is more availability on Friday 16th. Please remember we are contributing up to £5 per child contribution to coach transport to and from the event.

April Gold to Visit Kapsabet

This May, April Gold is joining a Diocesan delegation to Coventry’s link Anglican Diocese of Kapsabet in Kenya. Part of the visit will be visiting church schools and April will be taking small gifts which are highly treasured and much appreciated by pupils and teachers. It would be wonderful to have small school branded items such as pencils, key rings or any small stationery item that could be donated for April to take. Or alternatively any letters or pictures from your pupils. If you are interested in supporting in this way, or if you are interested in creating a formal link with a school in Kapsabet, please contact April to discuss.

SIAMS 2023 – Inspection Question 2

A Curriculum Rooted in Vison and Enhancing Spiritual Development

Jen Jenkins is delivering a number of zoom sessions which will look at each of the new SIAMS Inspection Framework questions and how you can prepare for an inspection from September 2023 onwards. She delivered the second one on a ‘Curriculum Rooted in Vision and Enhancing Spiritual Development’ on Wednesday. If you missed it, please contact Alison Watson for a recording of the session.

Upcoming sessions are available to book here:

IQ3 Collective Worship for Spiritual Flourishing – Tuesday 7th February 2023 16.00-17.30
IQ4 A Culture of Good Treatment – Wednesday 15th February 2023 16.00-17.30
IQ5 A Culture of Justice and Responsibility – Monday 6th March 2023 16.00-17.30
IQ6/7 Effective & High Quality RE – Monday 13th March 2023 16.00-17.30

Getting Ready for Inspection (1) – Wednesday 19th April 16.00-17.30  –  Wednesday 17th May 16.00-17.30

Fair and Just – Religions and Worldviews through Significant Texts

Free Online CPD for RE Teachers – Thursday 09 February at 16.15 – 17.15. There is much going on in the world right now that is not fair. This free CPD session supported by Culham St Gabriel’s and in partnership with the Rose Castle Foundation will give RE teachers a chance to explore what sacred texts have to teach us through the eyes of three guests who will be sharing from their personal experiences and religious traditions. We will be looking at what justice looks like through stories from the Hindu, Jewish and Christian traditions.

This event is free. You can find out more and sign up here.

Free Resource to open up Discussion Around the Topics of Death, Grief and Bereavement with Children and Young People

Thunks™ are ‘beguilingly simple-looking questions’ that make your brain go ouch. They grew out of educator and writer Ian Gilbert’s work on Philosophy for Children and have proved incredibly popular with teachers around the world as a quick and easy tool for getting children and young people’s brains to hurt. This particular set, a collaboration between Winston’s Wish and Independent Thinking, is specifically designed to open up thinking and discussion around the topics of death, grief and bereavement. Download the free resource here. Other free bereavement resources for schools including policies and guides can be found on the Winston’s Wish website here.

Fair Trade Fortnight – 27 February – 12 March – Courageous Advocacy

Fairtrade Fortnight offers pupils the opportunity to learn about, and take action on injustices in our interdependent world. They can see the real impact of climate change, think critically about issues that face our global society and learn that we all have the power to make a difference. For primary and secondary schools, there are teaching and learning ideas, activities and assemblies on the Fairtrade Schools website here: https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/. And on the Cafod website here: https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Education-resources/Fairtrade-school-resources

Creating a Happy Classroom – 5 Ways to Spread the Happiness

Creating a happy classroom is more than just smelly stickers and an extra five minutes of break time. It’s about understanding what happiness really is and developing the necessary skills to use now and in the future. In this 5 minute blog from Laughology, Steph Caswell shares what these skills are and how to teach them in your classroom.

What’s it Like to be a THRIVE School?

Thrive are delivering FREE online Open Events where you can hear first-hand how schools and settings are using Thrive to support the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and the impact they have seen. Open Events are free to attend and offer the ideal opportunity for you to put your questions to fellow educators already using the Thrive Approach.

Upcoming Open Events (all online):

Thurs 16th March, 16.00 – 17.00 – Rothesay Nursery School
Hear from an early-years setting with Thrive ambassador status, including how they are working with families whilst meeting the social and emotional needs of children through early intervention. Click here to book your FREE place

Thurs 27th April, 14.00 – 15.00 – Barwic Parade Community Primary
This session will focus on how Thrive can support and boost attendance in primary schools. It is a great opportunity for you to find out how the school have implemented Thrive and the impact they have seen. Click here to book your FREE place

Tues 7th February, 10.00 – 11.00 – Meridian High School
Meridian are a Thrive Ambassador School with awards in four areas. They will share insights into what Thrive looks like in a secondary setting and the difference it has made to pupils and staff. Click here to book your FREE place

Prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day – Friday 27 January 2023

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) are encouraging people use this prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day, today – 27 January, and throughout the year.

Loving God, you care for each
and every human life. All people
are cherished as your beloved
children, no matter how ordinary or
extraordinary their stories are.
Today we come before you to
remember the victims of the

We lament the loss of the six
million Jews who were killed in the
Holocaust, the millions of other
victims of Nazi persecution, and
victims of all genocides.

May our minds be clear and attentive
to their memory, and our hearts be
moved to bear witness to their lives.

Help us all to turn away from hatred
and division, and to build a world
where genocide is no more.
Strengthen us so that we, in our
own ordinary ways, may show
extraordinary love in the world


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