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What's Happening
AfriKids Operation Smiles
Dear God...
“Hate leads to fights, Fights lead to war, War leads to beautiful world no more”
Kieran Hunt

Bristol and South Gloucedstershire SACRE*
WIRE Award:
Wideniong Inclusivity in Religious Education 

*Standing Advisory Committee on Religion Education

The Idea
The Wire award was a joint idea from members of Bristol and South Gloucestershire SACRE to address the question: How can we get more pupils from a wider range of schools to visit places of worship in their local area?  Of particular importance was a wish to create space for pupils to meet people of faith from other backgrounds to them and see their story and impact on the local community.
 
How the Award works
The Wire Award is designed to be really simple.  In order to achieve it, schools have to do three things:
  1. Someone from your school must attend an RE conference or an RE Hub meeting.
  2. Take a group of your pupils to visit a place of worship that is not Christian (or a majority faith represented in your school).
  3. Arrange an encounter day RE event and invite a member of SACRE or
Enter a Competition to do with RE (such as Spirited Arts).

The reason for the three strands is to highlight three important ideas for RE and SACRE work:
  • The importance of teachers engaging with the wider RE community and staying abreast of current issues in RE, as well as developing their own practice (Strand 1)
  • The central importance of encountering people of different faiths and worldviews as a way of breaking down stereotypes and understanding that religions and worldviews are living things. (Strand 2)
  • The importance of sharing that new knowledge and insights beyond the classroom with the wider school community, and including SACRE members in this to promote links between SACREs and the schools they serve. (Strand 3)
How the Westhill Award has helped

The Westhill Award was to enable schools, particularly in areas of low diversity, to make contact with a range of faiths in the community local to them.  South Gloucestershire SACRE set up a Travel Grant fund as we realised the biggest barrier to visiting places of worship was the cost of hiring coaches.

As a result, schools have made links with mosques, gurdwaras and synagogues in Bristol.  21 schools so far have achieved the Wire award!  Feedback from pupils and schools has been very positive and the quality of work produced and the conversations amongst pupils has been fantastic.

Next Steps

One of the aims of the project was to work with 2-3 secondary schools in the local area to enable pupils to visit places of worship and then report back to parents and other students with their learning and experiences.  The aim here was to use students themselves as ambassadors for their experience of diversity.  Due to Covid, this has not yet happened – but we hope to resume this as soon as we can.


 


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For more information please email 
Adam Robertson on this link.