Headlines – 6 May 2022

RSVP for the Headteacher Conference Day Conference –  Friday 01 July

We have an inspiring and reservoir filling day planned for you at the beautiful Welcombe Hotel in Stratford upon Avon on Friday 01 July.  Staring with uplifting worship with the Bishop of Coventry and input from the Church of England on SIAMS and Growing Faith. In the afternoon, after a lunch where you can make the most of the summer weather (hopefully) catching up with colleagues, you will be treated to Lessons in Influential Leadership from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar by Contender Charlie:

Drawing lessons from four diverse leaders in Shakespeare’s political masterpiece – Caesar, Brutus, Cassius and Mark Antony – we explore the nature of the politics that are a spoken or unspoken reality in all organisations, including schools. We then help participants to operate effectively within organisational power structures. Participants will be introduced to the story and choose the leadership challenges they wish to explore.”

Please do let us know that you are coming by clicking here.  (Heads who have already booked to stay overnight do not have to do this.)


Visit of Nadhim Zahawi to Salford Priors CofE Academy

Paula Dhugga, Headteacher writes: “Last week, Nadhim Zahawi, the Secretary of State for Education, visited our school in response to our children writing letters to him (pre-pandemic) about their environmental concerns. In preparation for this rescheduled visit, the children completed a unit of work about democracy and law-making in the UK. During his visit, he met with all KS2 pupils, Mrs Mingay, the class teacher who had initiated the letter writing and Mrs Dhugga, Headteacher. He also spent time discussing educational matters with Michael Cowland, CEO of the Diocese of Coventry Multi-Academy Trust, April Gold, Diocesan Director of Education, Coventry Diocesan Board of Education, and Leah Baddeley, Academy Improvement Partner (DMAT).

Here is an account of the visit, written by two of our Year 5 children:

When Mr. Zahawi came to our school, he told us about parliament and we asked him questions about a variety of issues, including how democracy was created (by the Ancient Greeks). When we asked him more questions, he couldn’t answer one of them. The question was “How old is the Old Bailey?”, but we were able to find the answer – 349 years old! Before that, we asked the question, “How old is the House of Commons?” It is 750 years old, so it is 401 years older than the Old Bailey. The Old Bailey and the House of Commons are very old so they must be very fragile and delicate. But since the House of Commons is older, the building would have had lots of modern repairs.

We were allowed to ask him questions about his job as the Secretary of State for Education. One of the questions was, “How much money do MPs make?” and he said that they make around £80,000 a year. Every time a law is made, it has to be passed by the House of Lords. He also told us about the political party and said, “We are in the blue party.”

He talked to us about how to become a MP. You need good grades in English, Maths and History. Then he talked about what an MP does for a job and what it’s like to be an MP. It’s unbelievable what MPs do – they make sure that schools in the country are suitable and, if schools aren’t safe, they can take action to help the school to be a safe place to learn. MPs do tricky, but fantastic, work although they have a complex routine in the morning and the night-time. They wake up at 5am or 6am to read papers that were given to them and when they have finished reading the paper, they go off to the MP house where they talk about what to do.

After Mr. Zahawi left the classroom, two of my classmates showed him around the school; they told me that he was very interested in the environment and pollution. He was also delighted to meet our academic mentor from the NTP, Miss Cussen, commenting that he thinks academic mentors are a really good resource for schools.”


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 08 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


A Diverse Lord’s Prayer – from Birmingham Diocese

Colleagues from Birmingham Diocese have produced some videos of children saying the Lord’s Prayer. The children are all from Anglican churches in Birmingham, and their families come from a variety of different countries. The aim is that this will be a prayer resource, reflecting some of the diversity of the Anglican church in Birmingham, that can be used in churches and schools. We hope that children and adults will either see themselves reflected in the video, or be inspired, and perhaps challenged, by the diversity represented. The videos are free to use and are available here. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0y97u25O5LdkmZpE8fZmsGczzzEJRT0E

There are two versions of the Lord’s prayer each comes with and without musical backing. 1. English language version. The credits frame lists the countries of origin of the families. 2. Multiple languages version. The children say the first phrase: “Our Father” in their home language. Each language used can be seen in the credits frame and they have the words to the Lord’s prayer on the screen so that people can easily join in with the prayer, or use the film to learn about this central prayer for Christians.

They can also be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IYiEflR_ElYgT_AhIOrKCjodgbnWkNK_ where they are accompanied by resource sheets available to help churches and schools think about how they can best use the films.  There are separate sheets for church schools and community schools, as well as for churches.

Here are some comments from church school pupils in the diocese of Birmingham:

  • I love how everyone used their own special language and shows how everyone can pray the same prayer.”  Isabelle Yr 4
  • You don’t have to just speak English to be a Christian.” George Yr 1
  • In my class we have people that can speak different languages. It shows that we are all the same and can worship God in any language.” Maisy Yr 1
  • It’s really nice to hear all the different languages – me and my friends can speak other languages too.” Sanvi Yr 4


A SATs Prayer – Free Collective Worship Resource from 10:10

For many children, Statutory Assessment Tests may be the first time they have sat an exam in this way, which can bring up a variety of feelings and emotions.  Particularly across KS2 where greater emphasis is placed on preparing for SATs throughout the school year, some pupils can tend towards anxiety and worry.  10:10 have created a prayer resource for home and school use, which helps explore and validate children’s emotional responses, whilst encouraging them to prepare for and pray about their SATs with a distinct focus on Jesus who is with us and gives us peace.  This prayer is part of their Collective Worship subscription, but they have made it freely available for all schools so you can use it with your children.  Find it here: https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/the-hub/sats-prayer/


Year 6 Transition Materials

Just a reminder that Y6 transition resources are on the DBE website under general resources and you can access them using the password Education.  There are resources for pupils to access from home after they leave primary on the Adventuring with God website: https://www.adventureswithgod.life/keep-growing.html


Join St Paul’s Cathedral ‘Choir for the Queen’

 St Paul’s Cathedral London are inviting schools across the UK and around the world to create a musical gift for Her Majesty in the Platinum Jubilee year.  Schools are invited to sing and record one of the suggested Royal pieces, or one of their favourite hymns, sharing on social media using the hashtag #ChoirfortheQueen using some specially-prepared downloadable schools’ resources.  They invite your school to learn and record one of the following:

  • All People That on Earth Do Dwell (Old 100th)
  • ‘Vivats’ from CH. H Parry, I was Glad
  • the National Anthem
  • your own Jubilee Musical Soundscape.

To help you with this, they provide musical scores, lyrics and links, and backing tracks recorded on the Cathedral Organ by our Organist, William Fox.  Find the full details on the St Paul’s website here: https://www.stpauls.co.uk/choir-for-queen  Closing date is 3rd June.


Mental Health Awareness Week – Toolkits for Primary and Secondary

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this year from 9th May to 15th May. The theme for 2022 is loneliness – the experience of feeling lonely, its effect on our mental health and how we can play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities.  The toolkits, from the Mentally Healthy Schools team at the Anna Freud Centre, share a number of resources to help schools highlight the theme of loneliness and open up wider discussions about wellbeing with pupils.  Download the toolkits here.

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