What is ‘Learn/Teach/Lead RE’?
The project is a learning partnership project for Religious Education with a focus on creating a community of enquiry and professional development across the southwest peninsula.
The project aims to support all teachers of RE irrespective of their experience or qualifications through practical support at hub meetings and the opportunity to participate in projects that develop their teaching skills and the learning experiences of those they teach.
We are a grass-roots movement who look to partner with others. We believe that encouragement and collaboration in research projects enable innovative practice.
All our hub leaders are teachers themselves who are developing their own practice. Some are Specialist Leaders in Education who work with Teaching Schools or support Initial Teacher Education Programmes, others work nationally supporting the teaching of RE.
A key strength of our project is that hub leaders are equipped through specialised training giving them skills and expertise. In addition our annual conference is a springboard for much of our work in schools, offering all those who attend the opportunity to hear national figures in the Religious Education.
Area 1: includes all schools in Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Schools
LTLRE in Area 1 was launched in October 2012 through funding from the St Luke’s College Foundation . The funding means that the CPD enjoyed by increasing numbers of teachers is FREE to teachers of RE in state funded primary, secondary and special schools. In Area 1 we are now moving to a different model where a range of partners including SACREs, Diocese, Teaching Schools and MATs sponsor a hub and are looking for funding to subsidise our conference in Autumn 2018.
The project in Area 1 is evaluated in Area 1 by Dr John Gay of Oxford University. Dr Barbara Wintersgill, formerly HMI and national adviser on RE, leads the internal evaluation. The project’s steering group is chaired by Tatiana Wilson (Exeter Diocesan Board of Education, which is also the administrative centre) Project partners include PLREs’ schools, and the local education authorities and Standing Advisory Councils for RE in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. Exeter and Truro Church of England Dioceses support the project through their Boards of Education. Higher Education partners are the University of St Mark and St John Plymouth, and the University of Exeter.
The internal evaluation for 2015 contained the following conclusions:
‘The developments over this year have exceeded my expectations, especially compared with other projects past and present.’
‘One of the most impressive outcomes of the 2015 evaluation has been the substantial improvement in the quantity and quality of responses of teachers involved in LTLRE. Last year’s responses indicated a successful project, which was already gaining a national reputation. The developments over this year have exceeded my expectations, especially compared with other projects past and present.’
- raised their expectations of what pupils can achieve in RE; (more so)
- become more aware of how their teaching affects pupils’ learning and progress in RE;
- been successful in implementing new teaching approaches;
- acquired new subject knowledge. (less so)
- The conference
- New resources for RE which have had an impact on planning RE in the school
- Story bags, Godly Play, Learning journeys, Reflect resources, Assessment, enquiry-based learning and world religions (Islam)
- Links with other schools:
Secondary building on pupils’ learning in primary
Primary learn from the Sec subject expertise
Positive Impact on Learning:
- Question cards, which encourage all children to participate in debates
- The use of puppets to convey ideas
- Pupils’ involvement in practical activities such as drama, godly play and creative story telling
- Encouraging pupils to question and develop their own opinions
- Improvements in pupils’ participation, response and enjoyment (which are good)
Positive impact on subject leadership:
- Greater confidence
- Improvements in their communication, as subject leader, with colleagues at school
- (Plymouth hub) contact with the city’s Centre for Culture and Faith
As a result of the positive evaluations received since the beginning of its work, the project has now received substantial funding from the Jerusalem Trust to extend its work into three other south western areas centred around the Dioceses of Bristol, Bath and Wells and Salisbury.
Area 3: is developing out of an existing REC hub ‘the Dorset RE exchange’ and that this will expand to cover Wiltshire.