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Promoting RE and Department Handbook

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by nathg, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    I am a new Head of RE and I am determined to develop the subject in my school. Due to past difficulties the subject at Key Stage 3 is given little respect and at Key Stage 4 it is in such poor health! As I have stated, I am determined to improve the position of the subject. Therefore, could any of you provide me with some suggestions/ideas, that are simple but yet effective, for doing this? With the ideas/suggestions could people suggest simple and/or effective trips for across the age range!
    Also, I wonder if it would be possible to be provided with a department handbook that I could adapt to suit my school and my students needs etc.
    Thank you in advance!!
  2. coolmomcd98

    coolmomcd98 New commenter


    I feel your pain. I was in the same position not too long ago. It does get better but it is hard work with many setbacks. Some things that have worked for me: rebrand the subject with a logo and slogan. I designed a quirky logo and slogan that stood out amongst the other subjects. Use parents evenings and open evenings to pimp your subject. I got my form involved to sell RE.
    The most important is to revamp the SOL to make it relevant and fun. It might sound crazy but use things like zombies to grab their attention and get them thinking about how different religions would respond to this sort of complicated issue on life and death.
    We have embedded P4C in RE which has been very popular.
    Trips out help--use Interfaith Week to get the kids out. I was lucky enough to have press coverage(a fluke) and SLT became a bit more interested in what was going on.
    Use your MLE/VLE to promote the subject. Part of the problem(for me) was that no one knew or understood what RE is in 2012. Many staff and parents think it is the same as when they were in school.
    Cross-curricular events---we used Day of the Dead to lead a cross curricular event.
    I hope this gives you some ideas. It is hard and sometimes it feels like we are the naughty stepchild of the curriculum but the transformation of RE is possible with time and a creative approach.
    I will email you my handbook later today.

  3. Hi,
    Thank you ever so much for the advice. I have a rough idea of what I am going to do with the teaching of RE. KS3 in my school will only be Year 7 and 8 from September.
    With regards to the trips, how do you suggest I use interfaith week for the trips?
    I look forward to your e-mail containing your handbook!
    Kind Regards and thanks again!
  4. coolmomcd98

    coolmomcd98 New commenter

    Hi Nathan,
    I will have to send you the handbook materials when I get to work on Monday. Sorry, crazy day.
    The trips raise the profile of RE within the school. For example, I organised a ghost tour for the older children. On another day, I did the 'RE Road Trip' which took kids to three different places of worship. We created games to fit with the visit. Again, it is all in the selling of it--we even had a waiting list! In the previous year, I got some people to come to work with the kids. For example, a pagan came in and did some sessions with the students. I made sure to take loads of pics and display them on the MLE to help promote the subject.
    Use RE student leaders to get the ball rolling!
    Your SLT should be all over you to use Interfaith Week to support SMSC.
    Look out on Monday for some stuff and apologies for the delay.
  5. Dear CoolMom
    Please, please, please - if you have any time in the mayhem of holidays starting - can you also send me your RE handbook? I need some bright ideas too. Taking over a redundant moribund department next term and in my first HOD position. Eek.
    So many thanks,
  6. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    How about inviting me to come in and talk about why RE matters so much to me that even though \ I'm not in the classroom at the moment I'm still creating resources and supporting my beloved colleagues as well as I can with free consultancy.

    I recently put up a new slide-show, part one of four, exploring two questions, What is RE and the God Question. This first part lasts about 50 minutes and has a ten minute 'lead in' so you can set it going and stand at the door to welcome the class. It has activities interspersed with images and writing. In the first part (available from my resources) I explore the question of who I am and look at models of religion as a jigsaw, garden, kaleidoscope, and song.

    I have to start charging for some of my resources so as this one has taken months and I've invested in Nero so I can make it into a video, there will be a charge for the full (over500 slide) work - of the separate parts 2,3 and 4.

    Finally, the latest resource is for exploring the issue of life after death. I've spent hours reading articles on the web and have chosen those I think are most serious, scientific and interesting. .

    Never a dull moment!

    All the best
  7. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Mine will be out of date but I will scan a 'picture' I made from some of the religious symbols and used on all my RE documents. - I think someone suggested a logo and I guess that was ours.

    It has the outlines of the religious symbols so when we started a new religion I would hand it out as a homework exercise - with a flower diagram. First locate and colour in the symbol for the new religion we were starting to study and then write into the flower petals as much info as possible about each aspect of the religion. (seven petalled flower and I called the petals the seven specials - special people, special experiences that gave the religion its authority, special books that record the teachings / rules of the religion, special places associated with the religion, eg for pilgrimage, special buildings or places of worship, special times of day, week, month, year and stage of life - this includes both festivals and rites of passage, and special practises such as the five pillars, prayer, meditation, the Eightfold Path, Mass, loving kindness, compassion, etc

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