Headlines – 6 January 2023

Peace Doves at All Saints CofE Primary Nuneaton

Shortly before Christmas, Year 6 at All Saints CofE Primary in Nuneaton made beautiful Peace Doves to display in their Peace Garden.

Miss Edwards, the Year 6 class teacher and Deputy Head said:

“These are the peace doves which year 6 created as part of the final lessons on World War Two. They thought about what peace means to them and wrote their ideas on origami doves.”


January Headteachers Termly Briefing

Weds 18 January – 14.00 to 15.30 – online via Zoom

Free for DSA Subscribers – book here


  • Opening Reflection – April Gold
  • Alive 2023 Update – April Gold
  • ‘Lifesavers’ – Just Finance Foundation – Paul Street
  • Feedback from the Heads’ Reference and Advisory Group (HTRAG) – Chair of HTRAG (see more details below)
  • Picture News Collective Worship – Kate Harrison
  • Ofsted Update – Carl Thornton
  • Beacon Update – Jessica Moore
  • Closing Comments and Closing Prayer

Do Contact Your Deanery Rep Prior to the Heads’ Briefing…

The Headteacher Reference and Advisory Group (HTRAG) meet on the morning of the Heads’ briefing to discuss and advise the DBE on its strategic work with schools.  They are keen to hear feedback from colleague Headteachers to bring to the meetings. This could be issues in your deanery that you think the DBE should be aware of, areas of support you and your colleagues feel the DBE could help with, news to be celebrated or anything else you feel is relevant.  Here is a list of the Deanery Representatives and links directly to their email addresses – please do take the opportunity to contact your representative to feedback to the DBE.


CPD Coming Up in January…

Christian Distinctiveness Deep Dive Short – Looking at CPD

Monday 09 January – 16.30 to 17.30 – online via Zoom

What does flourishing look like when we think about CPD? Ensuring staff at all levels understand the contribution they make to the school’s distinctive Christian vision and that  all staff have opportunity to flourish and develop as practitioners within their distinct roles in school.  Free for DSA Subscribers – book here

SIAMS IQ1 A Theologically-Rooted Christian Vision

Wednesday 11 January – 16.00 to 17.00 – online via Zoom

In light of the announcement of changes to the SIAMS Inspection Framework and the inspection process from September 2023, these Zoom sessions which will look at each of the new inspection questions in term and how you can prepare for an inspection from September 2023 onwards.  Free for DSA Subscribers – book here

Early Career Teachers – RE Subject Knowledge Intent in the RE Curriculum

Thursday 12 January – 16.00 to 18.30 – online

What is the intent of RE in the curriculum in your school?  What are effective teaching and learning strategies to implement RE in the primary classroom?  Run by Leicester Diocese and led by Fiona Moss. This programme is essential for all new teachers, whether starting a teaching career in a CofE school or community school. The recent OFSTED RE research report and the ECT framework are clear on the essential nature of subject knowledge CPD. RE is often a subject that teachers feel less confident teaching and these sessions will improve both RE subject knowledge and confidence. There is also the opportunity to complete gap tasks for a short self-study course through Teach RE.

Cost: £40 for DSA subscribers (which includes a second session on 19 April on ‘Religion and Worldviews’)  Book a place here

SIAMS IQ2 A Curriculum Rooted in Vision and Enhancing Spiritual Development

Wednesday 25 January – 16.00 to 17.00 – online via Zoom

In light of the announcement of changes to the SIAMS Inspection Framework and the inspection process from September 2023, these Zoom sessions which will look at each of the new inspection questions in term and how you can prepare for an inspection from September 2023 onwards.  Free for DSA Subscribers – book here

CD Deep Dive Short – Wellbeing/Pastoral Care

Monday 30 January – 16.30 to 17.30 online via Zoom

What happens when it all gets a bit much? Ensuring a distinctive Christian ethos supports all in the school community in the ows and wows of life.  Free for DSA Subscribers – book here

RE:Search Group

Tuesday 31 January – 16.30 to 17.30 online via Zoom

This group looks at how educational research can positively impact RE teaching in our schools. Joining this group will involve committing to read one research article/paper per half term and to join a half termly Zoom meeting to discuss the research’s merit and implications for teaching. Research will be focused on RE teaching or may be more broadly educational but applicable to RE teaching.  In January’s session, John Semmens will be joining the group to explore Philosophy in KS2. Do still attend if you are secondary as we will be looking at how to lay philosophical foundations that can be built upon in KS3 as part of the discussion.  To access John’s work in advance:

To join book here.


Colouring Book – Coventry’s Story of War, Peace and Reconciliation

If you’re looking to encourage or reward your pupils with an educational gift then take a look at “Coventry’s story”. It’s a colouring book which fits nicely with the national curriculum and tells the story of War, Peace and Reconciliation through the eyes of the Cathedral. Available online with discount for a class set of 30.  The book was produced by Coventry artist Cathy Renken who gives advice to budding young artists….See her talking about this on a short YouTube video here.  The book is suitable for 5-14 year olds and aligns with the curriculum for KS1,2 and 3.


SACRE Updates

CPD on Worldviews Approach and Multi-Disciplinary Approach (essential training for getting ready for the new AS) is available here: https://schools.warwickshire.gov.uk/education-resources/standing-advisory-council-religious-education-sacre/5 (scroll to bottom of the page)

Update on plans for the new syllabus now on the AS page: https://schools.warwickshire.gov.uk/education-resources/standing-advisory-council-religious-education-sacre/3

There is also a document which presents some of the key data related to religion from the 2021 Census, released on Tuesday 29 November 2022: https://schools.warwickshire.gov.uk/education-resources/standing-advisory-council-religious-education-sacre/4

The RE Spring Bulletin will be sent to RE Leads and will be on the SACRE website in due course. If you would like a copy sooner, do let us know.


RE Today

Understanding Christianity Full Course Starts in January

Understanding Christianity is a substantial RE resource used in over 6,500 schools! For those schools who have not yet engaged with the training, this programme from our friends at RE Today will support and equip you to start rolling out Understanding Christianity in your school.  The course is delivered online and spread over three sessions:

  • Thursday 12 January 2023
  • Monday 15 May 2023
  • Monday 3 October 2023

Time: 1-4PM / Trainer: Julia Diamond-Conway / Cost: £210 for the course (ALL NATRE members get a 25% discount)

See the flyer here.  For more information and to book click here.

Free Webinars from RE Today for Teachers who are New to RE

Are you a primary or secondary Early Career Teacher of RE or an experienced teacher who is new to the teaching of RE?  These online sessions (4-5.30pm) are a series of FREE monthly webinars designed to support you develop your subject knowledge skills. It will also provide evidence to meet the ECT standards.

  • 09 Jan – Focus on non-religious worldviews
  • 13 Feb – Focus on Hindu Dharma
  • 13 March – Focus on Judaism subject knowledge

For more information and to register click here.


A Song of Hope for 2023 from Pop UK

‘SIGNS OF HOPE’ – A FREE song for all primary schools.  An uplifting melody with lyrics that point children to the signs of hope around them, even in difficult times.  Available FREE from Pop UK’s online song bank. Listen here


Chalking the Doors for an Epiphany (6 January) – 20+C+M+B+23

Epiphany (also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three Kings Day) marks the occasion of a time-honoured Christian tradition of “chalking the doors.”  The formula for the ritual is simple: take chalk of any colour and write the following above the entrance of your home: 20 + C + M + B + (last two digits of current year).  The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar — who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus Mansionem Benedicat: ‘May Christ bless the house.’ The + signs represent the cross, and the 20 at the beginning and the final two-digit number at the end mark the year.  Chalk is used in this tradition because it is an ordinary substance of the earth, ‘dust’ put to holy use. It reminds us that we are of the dust of the ground, the most ordinary of substances, and yet are fashioned as holy beings for holy purposes. Chalk will not permanently mark the dwelling. Weather will likely cause the marking to fade over time, but each time we view the inscription upon entering our homes and schools we will remember the reason for it and rededicate ourselves to that purpose.  The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world. It is an easy tradition to adopt, and a great practice whereby we dedicate the year to God from its very outset, asking His blessing on our homes and schools and on all who live, work or visit there.

A liturgy that could be adapted for use in school can be found here.

See how a vicar from the Peak District delivered a ‘chalking the door’ Epiphany collective worship at his local CofE Schools.


Free Resources for the International Day of Education (24 January)

from The Dirt Is Good Schools Programme

Get started by exploring Global Goal #4: ‘Quality Education’, with your students using an informative free factsheet designed for KS2 & 3 students. Start the conversation in your school by exploring the issue of educational inequality across the globe, before helping your students think collectively about the action they could take to address this.  Click to download: KS2 Quality Education Factsheet or KS3 Quality Education Factsheet

Register on the Dirt Is Good Project website for free access to the full suite of assembly packs, lesson plans and accompanying worksheets, and factsheets for each one of the 17 Global Goals. Resources provide everything you need to guide your students through the process of uniting in compassion with their peers to understand their shared values and take action on the causes they believe in. Sign up here: dirtisgoodproject.com


For Your Governors and Trustees –

Church School Governance Online Training Programme from Liverpool Hope University

Aimed at Governors and Trustees (Directors) in both church schools and schools with a distinctively Christian ethos to provide support for Governors and Trustees (Directors) committed to working on school improvement. Specifically designed by experts and professionals with a background in church school leadership, governance and inspection to raise awareness of the changing expectations of Governing Boards and meeting today’s challenges in the education sector, whilst still holding on to the mission and vision of a church school.  Collaborative online programme with interactive discussions between participants and tutors. Minimum expected engagement of 12 hours (1 hour per week). Key themes include the changing context, mission, vision and values, collaborative learning, decision-making and accountability.

Dates: January 2023 – June 2023

Suitable for: Governors and trustees (directors) working in church schools and Governors working in other designated schools

Delivery: Online

Cost: Full Fee: £350 – Subsidised Fee*: £50

*For 2023 only, Liverpool Hope University is able to subsidise up to 35 places on this course, meaning that the first 35 applicants will pay just £50. Subsidised places are available on a first come first served basis.

Watch Anne Messer, Chair of Governors and previous course participant talk about her experience of the course

To book onto any of the above courses, please email pld@hope.ac.uk with your details and confirm that you accept our PLD Terms and Conditions 2021/22.


Awareness and Celebration Days in Spring Term 2023


  • 04 January – World Braille Day
  • 05 January – Twelfth Night
  • 06 January – Epiphany
  • 07 January – Orthodox Christmas
  • 14 January – Orthodox New Year
  • 15 January – World Religion Day
  • 16 January – Martin Luther King Day
  • 18 January – Winnie the Pooh Day
  • 22 Jan – 5 Feb – Chinese New Year
  • 24 January – International Day of Education
  • 25 January – Burns Night
  • 27 January – Holocaust Memorial Day
  • 28 January – 5 February – National Storytelling Week


  • 02 February – Candlemas and Time to Talk Day
  • 03 February – UNICEF Day for Change
  • 06 – 12 Feb – Children’s Mental Health Week
  • 07 February – Safer Internet Day and Charles Dickens Day
  • 11 February – International Day of Women & Girls in Science
  • 12 February – Darwin Day
  • 14 February – St Valentine’s Day
  • 17 February – Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • 21 February – Shrove Tuesday
  • 22 February – Ash Wednesday Start of Lent and World Thinking Day (Scouting)
  • 22-23 February – International Mother Language Day
  • 24 February – International Stand up to Bullying Day
  • 27 Feb – 11 March – Fair Trade Fortnight


Women’s History Month/ Veggie Month

  • 01 March – St David’s Day
  • 02 March – World Book Day
  • 03 March – World Wildlife Day
  • 06 – 12 March – Food Waste Action Week
  • 07 March – World Maths Day
  • 08 March – International Women’s Day
  • 10 – 19 March – National Science and Engineering Week
  • 13 March – Commonwealth Day
  • 14 March – Pi Day
  • 17 March – St Patrick’s Day and Red Nose Day
  • 18 March – Global Recycling Day
  • 19 March – Mothering Sunday  and St Joseph’s Day
  • 20 March – World Storytelling Day and International Day of Happiness
  • 20 March – 26 March – Shakespeare Week
  • 21 March – World Poetry Day and World Forestry Day
  • 25 March – Annunciation and Tolkien Day and Earth Hour

(For Key Dates for other Religious Festivals see the SACRE termly bulletin)


Holocaust Memorial Day – 27 January 2023

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) have a huge range of free resources for teachers that you can browse and download at www.hmd.org.uk/schools

Online book launch event for teachers

On Wednesday 11 January, 4-5pm the HMDT are hosting an online event with Holocaust survivor and author Peter Lantos talking about and reading from his new novel The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Die, which describes an extraordinary journey made by Peter at the age of five, through war-torn Europe in 1944 and 1945.  You can submit questions to Peter in advance, and prize draw will be conducted during the event for one attending teacher to win a classroom set of books, donated by the publisher – Scholastic Children’s Books.

Register for free here.

Ordinary People Film

New for HMD 2023, a short version of the UK Online Commemoration film has been created, suitable for screening at local HMD activities. Perfect for schools, local councils and many more settings, this 20-minute film will provide an introduction to your own HMD activity and set the scene for your audience as we hear testimony from Holocaust and genocide survivors about their experiences.  Download the film for free here.

Do let the Trust know if you are commemorating HMD in school. They can add your Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2023 activity to their interactive map and become part of the national picture of HMD across the UK.


Mental Health and Wellbeing Calendar for Spring Term

Mentally Healthy Schools and the Anna Freud Centre have produced a calendar of curriculum themes and occasions linked to mental health for the 2023 spring term, with activity ideas and suggestions for each theme.  The calendar covers awareness days and themes throughout the 2023 spring term, including:

  • Children’s Mental Health Week
  • Safer Internet Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • Secondary school offer day
  • Anti-Bullying Week

For each date, the calendar highlights key themes linked to the RSHE curriculum and other UK curricula; as well as suggested activities and free resources to help students and staff mark the dates and explore related mental health topics.  Find it on the Mentally Healthy Schools website here.


Free Online Training

Protected Characteristics and British Values through the Picture News Resource

Explore how Picture News can help provide context for children and help them gain a greater understanding of both British Values and the 9 protected characteristics.  This session is suitable for TAs, teachers and SLT.  Wednesday 11th January, 4-4.45pm  – Register here


A Staff Prayer for the Beginning of the Spring Term

Shared on Twitter from Mr Rob Halls, Headteacher at the Castle Church of England Federation in Hertfordshire.

He says… “School staff that like to start the term with a time for reflection and refocus may wish to use this short act of worship.”



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