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What's Happening
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
Project In Progress
“A Question of Faith” is a project by Southampton City Mission Schools. Religious Education (RE) is a curriculum subject unlike any other. It is not like Maths, Science or Literacy; RE is a question of Faith. As such, many schools struggle to meet the legal requirements for teaching RE, often resulting in the majority of pupils being without sufficient support to develop their own coherent patterns of values, principle, and spiritual formation framework.

This project aims to close that gap by providing every child in Primary Education the opportunity to experience A Question of Faith RE day in each of their academic years (R-6) across Southampton region, and beyond; wherever requested.
Project In Progress

British Youth for Christ have developed the RE:QUEST website; an online delivery of RE teaching resources on the beliefs and practices of Christianity, alongside issues that they face. It is a free resource, accessed by RE teachers, PGCE students and young people around the world.

The site caters for all key stages, from KS1 to A level. RE:SOLVE, supported by Westhill, is one of the 5 focused modules within this and is produced for KS4 and KS5 (GCSE and A Level) students and teachers. The unique aspect of the RE:QUEST material is the variety of the content formats. From Bible texts, questionnaires, interviews, video streaming and interactive games, BYFC continually strive to remain innovative in their delivery of high-quality, authentic and relevant content.
Project In Progress
The Faith Guiding Course

The Faith Guiding Course is for those wishing to be trained to lead high-quality educational visits to places of worship. The Faith Encounter Programme has extensive knowledge of the faith sector and involvement with a wide range of faith-inspired organisations which has helped them to successfully engage collaboratively with diverse faith communities in Birmingham, the Midlands and further afield.

Their aims include offering customised courses in Faith Guiding to train Guides of all faiths to receive visitors with confidence and openness at their places of worship in the Midlands Region.
Project In Progress
Pause for Thought

‘Pause for Thought’ provides free resources for teachers, parents, clergy or others leading collective worship, providing a moment of daily reflection for students. Pause for Thought was rapidly developed during Lockdown to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of primary and secondary students, building on the well-established and popular Assemblies website

It aimed to create easy to use shorter sessions addressing current issues including isolation, fear, change and loneliness. The resources are used by a wide variety of schools and are available to people of all faiths and none.
Project In Progress
Engage! Youth Mentoring.

Engage! Youth Mentoring (formerly Lichfield Community Mentoring) facilitates the recruitment, training, placement and supervision of mentors in local primary and secondary schools in Lichfield.  Mentors aim to build self-esteem, confidence and aspirations through a weekly one-to-one positive relationship with students referred to us in school.  Many of the students are struggling but would not otherwise be seen, having fallen through the gaps between available school resources and overwhelmed professional agencies.  Not only the children and schools benefit but we also find that the mentors themselves get a lot out of investing in their local community.

Westhill's commitment to us has enabled us to expand our volunteer base meaning we can collectively see more children in Lichfield.  Moving into 2021, despite the set-backs that everyone has faced, we are in a good position to keep moving ahead with the project.
Project In Progress
Signposting: Supporting teachers with RE subject knowledge

This project was launched by Warwickshire SACRE back in Autumn 2019 in response to a growing number of local RE leads asking for support with their RE Subject Knowledge across the board. We also know they received, on average, 3 hours of RE whilst engaged in Initial Teacher Training.

We have devised a programme that makes use of local places of worship and SACRE members in 'expert' roles to provide a tour, talk, and Q&A's based on their faith tradition. Sessions are filmed to provide digital Continuous Professional Development for teachers back in school, increasing the reach and impact of the project further.
Project In Progress
Fischy Music in partnership with REToday are developing a new package of ten songs and twenty lessons that meet the needs primary schools know pupils have after the virus, and promote great RE. We will use seven themes: Creation, the People of God, what Jesus did and said, Jesus’s death and new life, the Christian community, living well, hope for the future. This will be made available as an online package for schools using the best ideas of RE Today and Fischy Music to promote spiritual wellbeing and growth for pupils.
Project In Progress
School Visits to Places of Worship in Birmingham

The Arts Society  Birmingham (TASB) is leading a project in collaboration with Paul Davies of VYKA, a film company, and the Faith Encounter Programme, to enable school groups to make virtual visits to places of worship to promote respect, empathy and understanding.

Illustrated guides are being designed for children ( Key Stages 2 and 3) together with a teachers’ resource pack of follow up activities encouraging active, memorable interfaith education through the arts. The materials are designed to be compatible with the Agreed Syllabus and we are liaising with other Faith organisations.

One of the objectives is to extend the project to the West Midlands and other multi faith cities in the UK.
Project In Progress
RE CPD Understanding the heart of living faiths

Liverpool Community Spirit will deliver a 3D programme of Religious Education CPD, offering teachers Deeper learning, Deeper Experiencing and Deeper Understanding of 6 faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. The programme will draw on Community Spirit’s pioneering personal encounters methodologies in which participants meet local faith practitioners in the homely setting of LCD’s pioneering Faith Home Living Rooms.

They will also share their tried and tested experience of how to effectively use artefacts and faith centre visits. This CPD programme enables teachers to understand the key concepts underlying those faiths as lived out in the community.
Project In Progress
Training Schools Workers

Our Training Programme project aims to train and develop young people to teach RE, PSE & PE in schools at Key Stage 2 level of the National Curriculum without needing candidates to have acquired a degree and a PGCE teaching qualification.

It up-skills young people with credible coursework-based teaching qualifications at QCF Levels 3 & 4 along with other essential certificates, all whilst developing their confidence, class-control, presence, charisma and leadership qualities to empower them to become excellent deliverers of RE, PSE & PE - particularly RE with a Christianity emphasis the dominant part of Key Stage 2 RE.
Project In Progress
Celebrating Diversity

This project seeks to give a local SACRE the ability to try out some action research for teachers and pupils around subject knowledge enrichment in religious education (RE). In Barking and Dagenham, we have been developing a new RE syllabus over the last two years and have seen the need to provide opportunities for pupils to come together, meet local faith leaders and adherents (something new to our syllabus) to deeper their knowledge and understanding of religion and worldviews.

We hope the teacher CPD opportunities and the pupil conferences we this run between February-July 2021 will provide this.
Project In Progress

The LIVE Project is a PSHE (Personal and Social Health Education) based programme that will be offered to Secondary Schools within the borough of Sutton with particular focus on students' SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development. We have a range of interactive and age-appropriate workshops that cover a breadth of topics. Some of these include; self-esteem, bullying and staying safe online, and stress and pressure. Our aims for these workshops are to allow you to dive deeper into these topics whilst strengthening equipping and supporting them through their adolescent years.
Project In Progress
‘VAT in RE’ Curriculum Project 2020

‘VAT in RE’ is a project that intends to boost the skills and confidence of RE Coordinators and Teachers to develop and implement a Medium-Term Curriculum Plan that will impact on the quality of RE delivery in their classroom.

The project will provide a series of training events, workshops and writing group sessions that will introduce RE participants to the idea of ‘VAT’ in Religious Education: Vocabulary (Etymology), Artefacts and Texts (stories). The workshops will include a close working relationship with members of the richly diverse local faith groups represented on the SACRE in Barnet.
Project In Progress

Birmingham Game Changers is an innovative, year-long programme run by The Feast. The programme will be run in schools and support diverse groups of young people to become more confident in their own identity and beliefs, build friendships with peers from different faiths, cultures and backgrounds through honest and respectful dialogue, and to become part of a city-wide generation of game changers committed to growing peace and overcoming social division across Birmingham.
Project In Progress
RE-Live is a project to engage teachers in a mix of rural and urban areas in producing a series of model lesson plans for RE; making use of examples from a contemporary world. Viewing such experiences and events through the lens of 'Big Ideas' ensures that matters of religion and belief are the focus of learning.
Project In Progress

ROUNDED is a spiritual, moral, social and cultural development resource for use with 16-19s in FE and 6th for Colleges. Six ROUNDED session explore key ethical topics through a central story / resource and a suite of introductory and follow up activities.

ROUNDED is partly inspired by the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for RE, ROUNDED is written by Simeon Whiting and commissioned by the West Midlands Churches Further Education Council.
Project In Progress
Brand new for 2021, RISE Theatre will be touring an exciting new interactive day for whole primary schools to participate in. Join us on a breath-taking journey of discovery around the earth and into space, learning about the beauty of God's creation, His incredible love for every person, and how each of us can care for our planet and the environment. The day features Covid-safe interactive sessions, arts activities, and an exhilarating afternoon show for all ages.
Project In Progress
God and the Big Bang (GatBB) is a national education project which runs interactive workshop days with students from Year 5 – 13 to discover, discuss and debate the compatibility of science and faith. The workshops equip young people with the tools they need to form their own opinions and engage in rational and thought-provoking discussion about the part science plays in God’s world.
Project In Progress
 In Autumn 2020 with the support of Westhill Endowment we have undertaken a schools and communities project called ‘Light of Hope’. 140 schools have now taken part which is the largest number we have ever worked with on a schools art project. Children were able to make a creative response to the pandemic, to express what they might be feeling.

Our Artist-in-Residence, Peter Walker, also created a spectacular art installation at the Cathedral, his own ‘light of hope’ to tie in with the project. Please read on.
Project In Progress
National RE Curriculum Symposium

The National RE curriculum symposium will productively address RE curriculum design issues, such as RE beyond pedagogy and resources, considering the role of religion and world views plays in the local community and society as a whole, contributing to community cohesion. As a result of the symposium, a number of resources will be made available on the NATRE website for use by RE teachers and other professionals.
Project In Progress

"Parable" is a dance theatre production and integrated workshop programme that provides schools with visually exciting and imaginative ways to boost children's engagement with R.E.

Image credit Claremont Photography
Project In Progress
Making Links with Universities

Theology and Religious Studies-UK (TRS-UK) is an organisation that supports academics and teachers of Theology and Religious Studies working in institutes of higher education.  The Making Links with Universities project involves a collaboration between TRS-UK and the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE).

The aim of the project is to foster networks between Higher Education Theology and Religious Studies departments and their local Religious Education (RE) teachers by providing access to up-to-date information not only about degree programmes in Theology and Religious Studies, but also about the activities and support university departments offer to schools.
Project In Progress
In 2018 the Bullying and Belief project created a number of 2-5-minute films that can be used in RE, PSHE or citizenship lessons at primary and secondary schools, which investigate stories of those who have suffered from religious bullying in Newham, asking pupils to consider issues.

The students then went on to design lesson resources to support these films and Newham's RE adviser is now going on to write a toolkit ready for busy teachers to use and be able to investigate this type of bullying.
Project In Progress
This project was launched in response to a growing number of local RE leads asking for support with their RE Subject Knowledge across the board. We also know they received, on average, 3 hours of RE whilst engaged in Initial Teacher Training. We have devised a programme that makes use of local places of worship and SACRE members in 'expert' roles to provide a tour, talk, and Q&A's based on their faith tradition. Sessions are filmed to provide digital Continuous Professional Development for teacher back in school, increasing the reach of the project further.

Our first year has focused on Sikhism, Islam and Judaism and we plan to cover Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and Humanism in a planned second year of the programme. We hope this supports our local RE teachers' subject knowledge effectively.
Project In Progress
Sparkfish Christmas and Easter Experiences

The Christmas Journey is an interactive retelling of the Nativity Story for year 2 pupils, and the Easter Experience is a dramatic presentation of Holy Week and Easter for Year 5 pupils. Around 800 children attended each with over 60 volunteers from local churches involved.
Project In Progress
At A Loss has three aims: to provide ACCESSIBLE support for all wo have suffered significant loss; to help BRIDGE the gap in existing services by signposting and to change the CULTURE around bereavement support.
Project In Progress
The Bromley Religious Education Calendar is a celebration of Religious Education teaching and learning in our schools as well as the cultural and religious diversity in Bromley. All the artwork in this calendar is provided through a borough wide school competition and includes dates of upcoming religious festivals and secular commemorations, which schools can use  in the planning of collective worship and to support their pupils spiritual, moral social and cultural development beyond the Religious Education classroom.
Project In Progress
Fenland Primary Schools Project

A project to research, design and trial ideas for enabling primary schools pupils (in areas when there is no access to faith centres other than Christianity), to engage with faith communities and world views through encounters with believers and practitioners. 
Project In Progress
Real People, Real Faith

What do believers really think? How can teachers share the diversity of opinion easily in class?

Using questions from the Pan-Berkshire syllabus such as: “Why are religious celebrations important to some people?” and “To what extent do religious beliefs encourage good behaviour?” this series of short filmed interviews gives a range of voices from a variety of religious backgrounds the opportunity to express their opinions.

Made on location across Berkshire each interview is set against the background of an appropriate place of worship. Additional material will be available to help teachers use these films in class.
Project In Progress
The Story Tent project brings together the theoretical findings that came out of a recently completed PhD carried out at Warwick Religious Education Research Unit (WRERU) and the practical experience of the Rose Castle Foundation (RCF), a hub for Scriptural Reasoning (SR) in the UK and internationally.

SR focuses on developing an understanding of religion, as experienced by faith participants through shared dialogue around sacred texts. It is a practice where people of different faith traditions come together to share their sacred texts in an environment of mutual trust and respect.
Project In Progress
The Emmanuel School of Drama exists to enable children to explore and express their Christian faith, giving voice to what is most important to them with courage, creativity and conviction. Our desire is to partner with creative communities in Oxford, generously and graciously engaging in dialogue and giving voice to the Christian faith in these settings. In this way we hope to promote a pattern of positive Christian engagement in the arts and other areas of contemporary culture.
Project In Progress
Shepherds Crook Puppet Theatre is one of the participating initiatives of the Lichfield Christian Schools Work Trust. It is an ongoing project which seeks to promote religious knowledge in an interesting and lively way, for the whole primary school age range, through the dramatic imagining and retelling of bible stories using the medium of puppetry.
Project In Progress
 Minus Violence Plus Peace

The aim of Minus Violence Plus Peace is to improve resilience amongst young people at risk or involved in life-threatening behaviour involving knives and to start creating narratives of peace with these young people affected by violence.  We are working with Anti-Youth Violence on this project.

Ray Douglas is a well-established practitioner working with gangs around the country and against youth violence, particularly knives.  We work within secondary schools with small groups of young people.  We are seeking to stop permanent exclusion from school of young people in secondary school at risk of exclusions for aggression, violence or knife carrying.
Project In Progress
‘The Word’ is Lichfield Cathedral’s first poetry competition and festival, celebrating our creativity through the form of the written word and exploring themes of ‘Awe & Wonder’ and ‘Light in our Darkness’. We will be encouraging people to reflect on the origins of the universe, human care for Earth and the sheer vastness and complexity of space, light and time in the anniversary year of the first Moon landing.

This is a valuable opportunity to engage with an important anniversary but also important theological questions about creation, cosmology and care for the Earth which space travel and astronomical discoveries have stimulated.
Project In Progress
The Pansycast is an informal and informative philosophy podcast supporting teachers, students and academics in philosophy. We aim to awaken fellow free-thinkers worldwide and inspire a new generation of Philosophers. Every week The Panpsycast release a new instalment of the podcasts following GCSE, A-Level, or degree level topics in Philosophy, Theology or Religious Education.

Each episode provides a guide to the 'big questions' or an interview with a 'big thinker' working in those areas. We believe that everyone has a right to a free, high quality education on RE and our goal is to inspire and support all people in the study of life's great questions.
Project In Progress
Picturing Islam

Picturing Islam is a fresh approach to learning about Islam through the creation of an inspirational and rich visual learning resource to support primary ans secondary teaching.
Project In Progress
Mentoring, School Clubs and Exam Stress Sessions

CROSS Project is a school work charity working in 8 secondary schools. Our holistic wellbeing project aims to develop young people holistically through a range of activities including 1:1 and group mentoring, exam stress sessions and weekly clubs.

Through helping young people aged 11-16 to develop their self-esteem we are able to make a significant difference to their lives. Using games, discussion and activities, we support young people through the challenges they are facing, meaning that they can become more confidence in who they are and better equipped to deal with the difficulties and challenges.
Project In Progress
Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure is a day-long event aimed at Year 6, 7 and 8 students. Participants take the role of explorers, working in small groups facing a series of challenges and carrying out experiments to discover if the sacred texts of various religions hold some answers for the issues in the world today. 

The quotations or 'gems' they uncover from direct exposure to the sacred texts will be worked in to precious artefacts to be kept in a treasure chest to be shared with others.
Project In Progress
POP UK offers schools spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) learning through a vibrant singing, recording and performance project. 

This project helps schools to achieve personal development and welfare outcomes for every child. POP UK delivers SMSC days, Social Media days and British Values days. We're able to bring together MAT schools, strengthening positive interaction between each school. We also deliver Christmas and Easter Projects and Transition Projects. Every project involves every child. 
Project In Progress
CWAC have hosted two transition days with an RE focus looking at diversity both locally and globally. Children who participated became Agents for Diversity and completed different challenges about how they can contribute to life in a diverse world. During the year the project has also contributed to the new Agreed Syllabus as pupils have contributed their views on what core knowledge should look like. 
Project In Progress
Tales of Wonder, Wisdom and Humour

Religious Education in many schools is not seen as a priority and some non-muslim parents feel concerned when it has anything to do with Islam. Using multi-faith storytelling, with professional award-winning Khayaal Theatre, we hope to build bridges in the primary schools and generate a better understanding of not just Islamic but of other faiths and cultures too, highlighting mutual links and crossover between all traditions. Means of storytelling does not confront orthodoxy of religion; it rather seeks to inform participants in a culturally acceptable manner.
Project In Progress
A joint initiative, by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) and the University of Bristol, to promote teachers professional knowledge and, understanding of how to promote community relations within RE lessons. Three university researchers and NATRE members who teach RE have developed a toolkit applying ‘Contact Theory’ to the RE setting. Developed by social psychologists, ‘Contact Theory’ promotes value in diversity and explains how individuals can interact meaningfully with their cross-group peers.

Based on the findings of a Westhill-funded national survey of teachers of RE the toolkit advocates 'Encounter, Conversation and Interaction' in RE lessons and a 24 hour residential will bring together experts in this field to train a group of teachers to apply this framework to their own classroom practice and to share their new skills and awareness with others.
Project In Progress
The Panpsycast: Christianity Audiobook

The Panpsycast are developing an audiobook focusing on Christianity to support students and teachers of RS. The informal and informative style of the already highly successful podcast will be born-again into a Full A-Level Course. Complete with special guests, good humour and a detailed exploration of Christianity, The Panpsycast: Christianity Audiobook promises to be an essential and entertaining guide to Christian thought.
Project In Progress
Children and young people have many questions about life, including the non-material world and the actively seek answers, meaning and identity. In order to assist their journey of discovery during 2017 we will run 'Prayer Spaces Weeks' in schools in Kent, in a safe, creative interactive and all-inclusive environment.

It will allow students to discover their own meaning and draw their own conclusions, and also encourage respect for each other. Teachers can bring their students for a subject lesson in the prayer space and students will be invited to visit it during their breaks at lunchtime and after school. It will empower them to contribute in positive ways in school, family life and in the community.