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• Exciting opportunities for continuing professional development
RE Matters exists to develop great teachers through subject-specific professional development
Student RE Matters Project work
2018-2019 Living well Project
Our project for teh new year is to work with local faith leaders to create more small films that can be used inclassrooms nationally answering questions like how do we live well with others? How do you know who to trust in a religion? What views are extreme and why?
2017-2018 Bullying and Belief Project
Our project was a joint project between our Adult, Student and Junior SACRE, which has come out discussions at all three meetings over the previous 12 months. We wanted to produce some on-line supports that deal with the topic of religious bullying. This would include an on-line book of poems that young people themselves write about how to overcome this form of discrimination and inspire greater levels of solidarity and resilience in children and young people facing such issues, as well as raising the issue for people to think about.
We have created a number of 3-5 minute films that could be used in RE, PSHE or citizenship lessons at primary and secondary, which investigate stories of those who have suffered from religious bullying in Newham. We think these films would then provide teachers with small stories focusing on facts and effects of different people’s experiences. We would embed within them questions for classes to consider and discuss helping to educate pupils into greater appreciation diversity. We believe that providing materials that help pupils to talk well around religion is essential in our schools.
2016-2017 Religious Legacy Project
Our new project for the year is being funded by NASACRE and Westhill as we won a national competition for inter-faith work by young people. We will be creating 8 short on-line webinar’s that any teacher could access for free. A professional development resource for schools and professionals.
We know there is a real need in our primary schools to help teachers feel more confident about teaching RE, and these webinar’s (master classes) in different religions and world views would give answers to commonly asked questions around religion. They would also give our SACRE members a chance to participate and share their expert knowledge with teachers across Newham (and beyond). We would like to include our student SACRE members to also be filmed in the project talking about their faith and what is important to them as young people. This would give the students time to learn from one another about similarities and differences within and between their faiths and enter into interfaith dialogue.
We would also like to produce two additional webinars around sacred text passages to support our secondary teachers with the new GCSE specifications, looking at how they are understood today, unpacking issues around interpretation and context.
2015-2016 Religious legacy project
We have worked with a local Newham artist to create canvases showing the students beliefs about the purpose of life. The students visited a Gurdwara, Mosque, Church and Buddhist meditation centre. They also met Hindu and Humanist visitors to interview them about their beleifs
2014-2015 Primary school lessons project
Our project for the year was about creating some lessons that Students can deliver themselves in local primary schools about religion. For this project we have started by spending time with ten different faith leaders, improving our knowledge and understanding about differnt faiths. Students went on to create lessons that then trailed and then led in local Newham primary schools. Some students attended the national RE advisors conference and led a workshop there around what they had done and learnt from this experience.
Click below for our final pictures and words that we created from this project in March 2014
At present we are working on a photography project, as the students are seeking to take photographs that present religion in a positive light. To do this we are visiting different places of worship around Newham as well as London, along with working in partnership with the British Museum.
Student RE Matters has been awarded a national grant from Westhill to continue to work on it's 'Does the media stereotype religion?' project. It will be filming the 'dragon den' pitches in October, and hopoefully putting together a DVD of resoruces around this topic for schools in Newham to use.
Student RE Matters has been awarded a national grant from 'Near Neighbours' to work with a media team to investigate and make a DVD around the question does the media sterotype religion? We met at Stratford Circus on 19th January 2012 to formally start this project work, present were 65 students from eight Newham secondary schools. Here are some pictures from our afternoon together:
The Student's elected their new executive group for 2012. They are pictured below with Ruth Gledhill, the religious affairs correspondant from 'The Times' newspaper, who came to talk about journalism.
The group then met again for a whole day confernce in March 2012 at Stratford Circus and had the opportunity to meet with and discuss the issue of how religion is presented in the media with 10 local faith leaders (Sikh, Muslim - Sunni & Shi'ite, Jewish, Chriustian, Pagan, Hindu, Sikh and Humanist). The studetns then went on to create 'Dragon Den' type pitches around their idea to overcome stereotypes portrayed in the media. The winning two pitches we hope will be made into real programmes.
During 2010-11 the students have been working with Middlesex University on a research project entitles 'Youth on Religion'. The students have helped the researchers to examine how religious identity and a sense of belonging is developed in young people.
The National Association of SACRE's funded the students to produce some artwork around these ideas, working with a local Newham based artist. Below are some of the display boxes the students produced over the course of months working in groups to show how they feel they belong to their faith and how their faith belongs to them.
Stratford school St Bonaventure school
Kingsford school Rokeby school
Plashet school St Angela's school