Welcome to Teach Meet Icons Religious Studies!
Myself and the team are extremely excited to be hosting a free CPD event for teachers of Religious Studies across all key educational phases. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about RE with people who are passionate about RE from experts who are at the forefront of driving improvements and pedagogy within the curriculum and beyond.
The focus for the face to face meet is that of Religion and World views. We know that the OFSTED
Review placed heavy emphasis on this shift in paradigm away from pure religion to encompassing
the worldviews within faith and within other belief systems. Significant research and extensive work
has gone into curriculums up and down the country to develop a religion and worldviews offering to
our 21st century students. This CPD offering is designed to give us the opportunity to listen to those
who have cultivated successful curriculums for their students and gain inspiration as we look to give
our students the best possible experience in the best subject!
We have really wanted to ensure that primary schools are included in this session. Having worked
with many primary colleagues, I know that there is some incredible work being done for Primary RE
but the CPD offering for those fantastic leaders driving primary RE is not always there. Inviting Adam
Smith and Adam Robertson to share their wisdom, guidance and inspiration with primary colleagues
(and secondary, too!) was at the forefront of our mind when planning this conference and we are
delighted to be welcoming them to join us on November 5th . Having the opportunity to learn more
about their religion and worldviews curriculum will be invaluable and we are so excited to listen to
From there, we will be listening to the magnificent Charlotte Newman, who has been developing
and generously sharing her religion and worldviews curriculum and the extensive work and research
that has gone into the development and resourcing of such a wonderful curriculum. Hearing more
about how this was created and put into action is an absolute must for any colleagues thinking of a
shift in their Key Stage 3 curriculum! We will also be exploring the diversity that exists within the
worldviews of religious believers, with sessions on the Abrahamic faiths and Hindu Dharma. It is
entrenched in our students, particularly at GCSE, that we should not say that ALL religious believers
of any particular religion believe one particular thing. We know that interpretation and cultural
influences diversify opinions on any major ethical, philosophical and theological topic within faith
and being able to strengthen our understanding of this in these sessions with Molly, Ed and Zainab is
of particular use to all teachers of Religious Studies as we explore these concepts with our students.
In the afternoon, we look into our classrooms and focus on how we embed these ideas into practice.
Many of you will have had the pleasure of attending CPD sessions with Joe Kinnaird and his research
into how to support students as they learn to write like a theologian. We are delighted to announce
Joe as one of our afternoon speakers with a focus on academic writing in RE! Training students to
write academically in RE can sometimes be a daunting challenge, particularly at Key Stage 3, as we
are asking them to embrace new skills and apply them to some challenging concepts. Sometimes it is
enough for students to work out what they think about the latest theological or philosophical
quandary, let alone know how to express that in writing. Exploring the tools and structures that will
enable students to be successful in exploring these ideas in the written form is invaluable CPD and
definitely one not to be missed.
Our final main speaker is Jennifer Moore. I had the privilege of working with Jen at the Edge Hill RE
Summer School this year and saw her project start to take shape so to say I am excited to see the
finished product is an understatement! Jen is going to share her research and tool that she has
developed to support student evaluation. Evaluation is a vital skill for success in our subject and
something that is not always easy for students to grasp. Evaluation in RE looks different to how it
might in History or English, so Jen’s fantastic supportive tool is an exciting addition to any classroom
practice and one we are looking forward to seeing.
We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have the support of our fantastic speakers in delivering a
range of dynamic, engaging and passionate sessions throughout the course of the day. The
knowledge, skills and applicable tools that we will all take away from their sessions will undoubtedly
have positive impacts on our classroom pedagogy and teaching practice. Learning from teachers
who are on the ground putting this into practice every day truly is the best form of CPD we can get!
However, behind the scenes, we know that there are wonderful academics and university professors
who are fighting the good fight for RE- delivering incredible teacher training to inspire the next
generation of RE teachers, working on university courses to create passion for the subject and doing
invaluable research that helps to shape the future of RE. On that note, the team and I are delighted
to introduce James Holt, of the University of Chester, and Paul Smalley, of Edge Hill University, as our
keynote speakers for this conference.
James’ work on religion and worldviews beyond the big 6 was a huge hit with RE teachers when it
was released a few years ago and has given many of us pause for thought about how we teach our
big 6 faiths but also how we can incorporate the worldviews of smaller world religions and
denominations into our curriculum to give students the opportunity to explore the world of religion
and worldviews beyond what we would traditionally teach. James is going to be sharing his insights
with us to open our conference and set the tone for our exploration into religion and worldviews as
a curriculum paradigm.
Paul’s reputation as a leader of RE is not understated. Having heard many incredible things about
him from a former student of mine who trained to be an RE teacher with him, I was not
disappointed when I met him for the first time in the summer. His passion for the subject and for the
development of excellent RE teachers make him an obvious choice to lead and speak on any RE
conference. The work that Paul does to support RE in schools on a national level is phenomenal and I
know that many teachers, particularly, in the North West are familiar with Paul’s work- we are
excited to hear more about this as he opens our afternoon session!
This is not an exhaustive explanation of the CPD offering that we have put together for teachers of
RE on November 5th - it would be hard to fit all of that in! Myself and the team are hugely looking
forward to welcoming people to our first conference as a team and we hope that you are as inspired
by the sessions as we know we will be. We hope to see you there!
Beckie (Co-ordinator), Molly and Shabnam (TMRS team members)
Also, a MASSIVE THANKS goes to our sponsors who make this event possible!