Headlines – 29 April 2022

Book for the Headteachers’ Termly Briefing – Thursday 19 May

14.00 – 15.30 – online via Zoom  Book your place here


  • 14.00       Opening Reflection – April Gold
  • 14.10       ‘Dirt is Good’ – Free Courageous Advocacy Resource for Schools
  • 14.25       Feedback from HTRAG – Chair of HTRAG
  • 14.30       Beacon Project update – Jessica Moore
  • 14.45       Archbishop of York Youth Trust – Project Update – Elizabeth Howat
  • 15.00       Education Update – Lindsay Nash
  • 15.25       Closing Prayer


Upcoming CPD

SIAMS Shorts: Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Monday 23 May 2022, 16.00 to 17.00 – online via Zoom

This SIAMS Short will look at a central theme for Coventry Diocese; reconciliation. It will help you in exploring this with pupils and will introduce ways of engaging with related concepts, such as forgiveness, empathy and restorative practices.  Book here

SIAMS Shorts: Diversity and Equality

Wednesday 8 June 2022, 16.00 to 17.00 – online via Zoom

This SIAMS Short will look at the importance of diversity and equality as core Christian ideas relevant to what Church Schools do. It will make links with the doctrine of the Trinity and anti-racism.  Book here

Understanding Christianity One-Day Refresher Training

Friday 10 June 2022, 09.30 to 15.00 at the Diocesan Offices, Rugby, Cost: £125 (bring your own lunch)

This one-day course is suitable for:

  • teachers new to working in a school that is already using the Understanding Christianity resource; and
  • teachers from schools who are still embedding the Understanding Christianity resource.

The training will consolidate and clarify the best use of the fantastic resource. Delegates will go away feeling more confident and excited in their RE teaching and practice.  Book here


Coventry Cathedral Diamond Jubilee Arts Competition

To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Coventry Cathedral they are running a competition to showcase the amazing work of your students.  Here’s the brief – Create a piece of art that encapsulates 60 years of Coventry Cathedral. The entries can be in whatever form you wish e.g. photography, sculpture or collage etc. The winning entry will be awarded a prize and be placed on display in the new Pavilion.  Open to all School aged children, one entry per student. Please email Jessica.Weale@Coventry.anglican.org or message our social media for an accompanying entry form.  Closing date for entries is 25 June.


Picture News – Four Week Free Trial and School Advocates

Picture News is offering a 4-week free trial this half-term for primary and secondary schools wanting to try the weekly news resource.  Schools can register here to take part: https://picture-news-online.co.uk/4-week-trial/  To find out how other schools around the country are using Picture News in their collective worship and curriculum (and see who is closest to you!) they have an interactive map showing their ‘advocate schools’ and a description of how they are using the resource. You can find it here: www.picture-news.co.uk/blog/advocates  Here is an example from a church school primary in Lincolnshire:

Picture News has transformed the ‘Soul Health’ of our entire school community. We begin each week with our whole school family together in worship focusing on the ‘Big Question’ where everybody is given time to consider, think, reflect, respond, pray (if they wish), hope, dream, imagine make connections. It is making current events more real, relevant and easier to comprehend. Weekly whole school worship is followed the next day by class-based worship where every single member of our school family can dig deeper into their own thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the focus topic, gaining a greater understanding of how these impact on the way they live their own lives.  Thanks to the quality, content and timely weekly arrival of the Picture News resources, our Collective Worship is inspirational, invitational and inclusive. It is helping to develop a level of emotional literacy across our entire community that has the power to change lives; to heal; to bring hope. Making explicit the links to FBV and UN Rights of the Child is empowering children (and adults) to believe that they have the ability to colour the world … one act of kindness at a time.  

Fiona Booth, St Nicholas CE Primary Academy, Woad Farm Road, Boston, Lincolnshire.


Still Time to Enter the NATRE Spirited Arts 2022 competition!

There is still time to join hundreds of schools from around the world taking part in this year’s NATRE Spirited Arts competition. Winning entries will provide a good response to one of the 5 themes, and judges will be asking: Is it original? Is it well-crafted? And (most importantly!) Is it excellent RE?


  1. “We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us.”
  2. God’s good earth? (“Beautiful World, wonderful God?”)
  3. Searching for God
  4. A view of the world
  5. Celebrations: big days and big ideas

They welcome entries in any art form your pupils can think of, including:

  • Art (painting, drawing, sketching etc)
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Sculpture
  • Poetry
  • Dance
  • Drama

Pupils can enter individually, in pairs or groups, or as whole class, year or school entries. We have also been pleased to receive entries from whole community groups on previous years.  You can get inspiration from previous art pieces by clicking here.  All entries must be received before 31 July 2022. To find out more and enter click here.  Many schools host their own Spirited Arts competition and send their 10 winning entries in to our international competition. What a great way to engage all your teachers and pupils and raise the profile of RE in your school. To enable teachers to incorporate the art competition into their RE lessons, many schools have an ‘Spirited Arts’ unit of work, or a special learning RE/arts week.


God and the Big Bang – Half Day Workshop in Your School?

God and Big Bang recently ran a pilot science-faith festival in Ely Diocese, where they visited 9 schools over 4 days, delivering a shorter version of the usual workshop days in each. With this festival model, they are particularly focussing on smaller, rural schools who may usually struggle to access events. They are asking whether groups of schools or MATs would like to take up this opportunity at a cost of £5 per pupil.  The half day would include:

  • Two interactive workshops looking at different topics such as evolution, climate change and curiosity, giving students an opportunity to discover, discuss and debate where science and faith overlap
  • A Q&A session for the students to challenge the workshop leaders with their big questions.

They would be looking to work with between 30 and 60 students at each school. They work on a reduced price and minimum numbers for this model based on the fact that the travel costs are reduced working in the same area for a few days, so they are looking for schools that are relatively close together.  To find out more about the work of God and the Big Bang go to their website here: https://gatbb.co.uk/  If your consortium, group or MAT would like to take advantage of the half day workshops contact Sarah Moring sarah.moring@durham.ac.uk


Looking for a Talented Newly Qualified EYFS or KS1 Teacher from September?

Jen Watson, who is known to some of us at the DBE, is an EYFS and KS1 specialist ECT, qualifying in July, looking for first teaching position from September. This is what she says:  “A passionate Christian, I would love the opportunity to join a Diocesan school and use my professional skills, personality and faith to support children to explore life in all its fullness. Having spent 4 years working as a Children’s and Families’ Worker at a parish church, I have a wealth of experience working within Coventry Diocese providing pastoral care for local families, encouraging and working with schools to engage with the church calendar, delivering services and leading as part of the Growing Faith project. A reflective practitioner, I am enjoying developing my skillset and utilising past experiences to engage children with the curriculum. I am looking to find a role ideally within the areas of Nuneaton, Bedworth, Coventry and the surrounding area.”

If you would like to get in touch with Jen, contact joanne.evans@coventrydbe.org in the first instance and we’ll send you Jen’s CV and contact details.


Pray for ‘Mary’s Meals’ in May

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious school meals to children living in some of the world’s poorest countries. The promise of a good meal attracts these hungry children into the classroom, giving them the energy to learn and hope for a better future.  Mary’s Meals has been built on a foundation of prayer and the many little acts of love from those who support them. The charity will be running a ‘Pray in May’ campaign and they are inviting schools and churches across the UK to join them in prayer to celebrate the wonderful work of Mary’s Meals and give thanks that they are now reaching more than 2 million children with a nutritious meal in 20 countries every school day.  This might be something you’d like to include in your collective worship and for more information about the work of Mary’s Meals go to their website: https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/


7 Ways to be a Brilliant School Leader – Not for Ofsted, But for You!

When you meet a brilliant school leader, it’s often quite easy to pick out their redeeming qualities. What it is about them that makes them inspirational and a joy to work for. It’s these attributes that can make you assume they came out of the womb and ‘Future Leader’ was written on their hospital tag.  But actually, to be a brilliant leader – or even a great one – you don’t have to have it written in your DNA. Leadership is a learnable skill. It can take a while to get it right but when you do, it makes all the difference to the team or community you’re leading.  So what are these skills that can help you in your quest for brilliance? This blog from Laughology unpacks 7 of the most important ones for you to consider.


For Your School Library?

A Powerful Story of Empathy and Friendship – The Boy with Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis

David is the boy with flowers in his hair. He’s sweet and gentle, just like his petals. But when David’s flowers begin to fall – a single petal at first, then every last blossom – his best friend never leaves his side. And through kindness and creativity, he even finds a way to give David his colour back… Beautifully illustrated, this story is about being there for someone when they’re at their most vulnerable.  “…a sweet and inclusive tale of kindness and creativity, simply, deftly and tenderly drawn using collage and colour delightfully” – The Sunday Times.

See the book being read by a young reader on YouTube here.


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