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Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Pan-Berkshire SACRE Hub
Real People, Real Faith
(SACRE: Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education)

The Pan-Berkshire SACRE hub was established when the six unitary authorities and SACRES were established. Co-operating initially on syllabus production, the hub has since engaged on a range of projects and conferences, for SACRE members and teachers.

An initial project, Crossing the Bridges (2015) created a range of documents to enable teachers to make trips to places of worship more educationally meaningful. Teachers were offered two opportunities to visit a wide range of places to trial the new materials.

The current project seeks to combine the experience of visiting a place of worship with questions from the 2018 Pan-Berkshire revised syllabus. Six venues across Berkshire have been identified and the first filming session has taken place at a local synagogue.

Teachers from local schools spent the afternoon at the synagogue, where they interviewed four members of the community, using a range of questions from the syllabus, covering three key stages. Each question was asked to two different members of the community, so that different answers to the same question were shared. The interviews were filmed by a former RE teacher, turned professional film-maker and twelve short films have been produced. When the project is completed, there will be seventy-two two to three minute films.

The intention is to ask similar questions at each of the venues, (a mosque, a gurdwara, a mandir and two different churches) so that the diversity within and between different faiths becomes visible. These films can then be used in class to anchor the syllabus questions in reality and allow for an exploration of diversity. Clearly some of the questions will be more appropriate to some faiths than others, but that in itself will be a learning point.


These are the questions that will be asked:

KS1: What symbols are important to you? What stories are important to you?

KS2: How special is your relationship with God? How does this affect the way you live your life?

KS3: In what ways do science, belief and religion interact and what difference might this make? Why might it matter that sacred texts are often open to interpretation?

Getting teachers into the places of worship is providing them with CPD, helping them to make contacts with faith members and breaking down the barriers between people. The films including members of the community will hopefully encourage the teachers to arrange visits themselves.

All the venues chosen are already in the Crossing the Bridges faith directory, so teachers will already have access to all the details, and using the syllabus questions to drive the interviews will demonstrate good learning in RE.

When all the filming is complete there will be some resource writing sessions with teachers form the visits invited to come and compile teaching notes and resources for the classroom based on the interviews.

A launch conference is planned for the summer term to introduce the materials to a wider audience and celebrate the project.

For more information please email Anne Andrews.