Venue: Committee Room 4, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL
Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Educationmeeting held on 19 April 2017.
The meeting was declared inquorate and it was agreed that the meeting would continue informally and recommendations put to members at the next quorate meeting of SACRE
Items of Urgent Business
To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
There were no items of urgent business.
Declarations of Interest
There were no interests declared.
Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chairs
The Chair suggested that the current Chair and Vice-Chairs remain until the next meeting, as the Committee were not quorate.
That the Chair and Vice-Chair remain in place until the next meeting on 22 November 2017.
The Associate Adviser for Religious Education introduced the item explaining that following the previous meeting, Members had been visiting schools in the borough to monitor how RE was taught in Thurrock Schools.
Mrs Shepherd presented back to the Committee on the two schools she had visited, Benyon Primary School and Dilkes Primary Academy. Members heard how both schools addressed the subject and the following was highlighted:
Benyon Primary School
Why did you school become involved in Excellent RE? What are your aims?
Previously RE was taught sporadically but there was a feeling in school that it was ‘getting squeezed out’ by other subjects. The Headteacher was very supportive of the project and RE was placed on the timetable on a weekly basis with it being known that the Senior Leadership Team would expect to see it and did not want it to get ‘squeezed’. This led to an increased volume of work and better coverage.
The school follows the Agreed Syllabus and because it is part of Catalyst, they were all following the scheme of work. They felt the Agreed Syllabus ensured steady progression. There had been no cross-school moderation of work but this was possible across the Trust in the future.
R.E. work was monitored in school via ‘Learning Environment’ checks; planned book looks and the collection of samples of work.
The audit, carried out as part of the project, included pupil conferencing and based on the feedback from this, changes were made and they were now conducting another audit to evaluate impact. For example, the children asked for more opportunities for drama work, which was implemented.
How many staff have been involved in Excellent RE in your school so far? How?
It has now increased to all staff. The ‘gap exercise’ from the course led to an initial 2 staff members being involved. Mrs Gostling helped an NQT with subject knowledge and supported staff with planning, giving ideas for activities.
What did you discover from GAP task 1? (Audit of RE and SMSC in school) What has changed?
The children wanted more drama opportunities in their RE lessons as they enjoyed this when it happened.
The project had encouraged the use of open-ended questions and research.
The Subject Leader had encouraged staff to use the SACRE website and has signposted them to other sources of information.
Mrs Gostling showed Mrs Shepherd several examples of work from across the school: EYFS work on Chinese New Year; KS1 designing Islamic prayer mats, creating a model of a mosque; work on Christmas.
Staff were now using a much wider range of resources; they are using actual artefacts eg Jewish replica artefacts.
The Subject Leader took the idea of using dolls from the course SACRE video.
What have you discovered from completing the GAP task 2?
Gap task 2 led to Mrs Gostling planning with the other 2 teachers, from KS1. They gave the children a day of activities using artefacts and ‘hands-on’ resources which the children absolutely loved. The children were ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
The Associate Adviser for Religious Education remarked SACRE had a legal duty to monitor provision for collective worship in schools in its local area.
Members were advised collective worship was an area which many schools found challenging both on practical and philosophical level. They were further notified the report aimed to stimulate a discussion between Members in the hope that some support might be offered to schools.
During discussions Members commented that many schools struggled to meet the need of collective worship every day and it lacked after primary school. It was discussed that schools required extra time to be able to do something meaningful
within collective worship, at the same time as it being different to RE.
It was commented that teachers were not trained to teach collective worship and so many of them were not sure how to offer collective worship to children. Members further stated that children needed an opportunity to worship and reflect if they wish too.
Members heard that Holy Cross Primary School had a pray garden, which was inspired by a school trip to Aylesford, where children completed the Rosary Walk. Following a trip with a Year 6 class the children asked if they could have their own peace garden.
The children created their garden with stones painted with word such as Love and Peace, running water, the sun, moon, stars to represent Gods garden a mission statement and benches with cushions. It was commented that the garden meant a lot to the children as it gave them somewhere to go and reflect.
The Committee continued their discussions by mentioning it was important for children to have time to reflect or to have time to sit and have a thought for the day within Schools. It was further commented that collective worship could be made enjoyable and not a subject that was durable.
RESOLVED that SACRE Members:
· Discuss the issues raised by the NASACRE (National Association of SACREs) presentation
· Agreed on what support schools might need that SACRE might offer