16 February 2016

Third RE Quality Mark conference


It was very good to welcome 50 colleagues to the third REQM conference at Liverpool Hope University on Saturday 6 February. The conference is held to bring together RE leaders who have achieved the RE Quality Mark Award. We also welcomed colleagues who are taking part in the 3forRE research and Farmington Fellowships. The conference is supported with generous funding from the Hockerill Foundation.

The keynotes were given by Dr Debra Kidd: ‘Curriculum with a conscience’ and Dr Mark Chater scoping the changes in the wider RE landscape.
In a bid to share as much practice as possible, there were snapshots of good practice as well as longer seminars. We were delighted that several colleagues shared their on-going research in the classroom.


The hashtag #REQMconf was used during the day and collated into a Storify.


Welcome and introduction:


Keynote speaker

Dr Debra Kidd

Snapshots of great practice

Philosophy for Children Classroom Based Research
Tim Lee: Hartford C of E High School

RE in Early Years
Claire Griffiths : St Mary’s C of E Primary School, Bury

RE in a Special School
Jinny Morgan Lewtas: Stanley Special School

British Values
Katherine France: The Queen Katherine School

Religious Literacy – Multiple Meanings?
Lauren Shevlin: 3forRE Masters Student

Effective Visits to Places of Worship
Alison Bradley: 3forRE Masters

Keynote speaker

What’s happening?
Dr Mark Chater



Developing the RE Curriculum
Paul Slater: Trumacar Nursery and Community Primary School

Global Learning
Jane Kelly: Bemerton St John Primary School

Reaching out through RE
Claire Griffiths: St Mary’s Cof E Primary School, Bury


Challenge at KS3
Katie Martin: Blue Coat School Challenge at KS3

RE at KS4
Wayne Buist: Ormiston Denes Academy

Final glimpses of RE

A National Framework for RE?
Anna Nuttall: 3ForRE Masters

Spiritual Development: Transition Matters
Peter Barfoot: Farmington Scholar 3ForRE


At the end of the conference, delegates responded to three questions:


The one thing I am taking from this conference is …
  • I take away pride in the RE provision at our school
  • The enthusiasm which exists for RE – it is alive and kicking!
  • So much great practice – hubs need to share with hubs more
  • RE is important, make it so!
  • Taking RE into outdoor spaces at school
  • To consider provision for RE and additional need in our teacher training
  • Inspired by Debra Kidd – will explore her work further
  • Children are very away of what we say; our language influences their thoughts
  • A fire in my belly for change!
  • To challenge from the top
  • That religious literacy is not well defined but will be a part of the future
  • We all have to work together to provide the best quality RE
  • To be confident to ask questions
  • Leaving with new ideas and a renewed inspiration
  • Realisation that the research going on in RE is great and needs a strategy
  • To help pupils to understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right
  • No to underestimate the academic literature and keep up to date with my reading
  • Apply for a 3forRE masters
  • The fleas and frogs analogy – not to put a limit on what my children and colleagues can achieve
  • A renewed focus on what we believe is important in school
  • To reinvigorate the ‘sacred space’
  • Lovely to share ideas with colleagues
  • Discuss with my department about the purpose of RE
  • Looking to put beauty into my lesson plans
  • Where next for our school?
  • Use pose, pause, pounce, bounce as a way of generating discussion
  • Energy and excitement – try new ways to engage students with RE and find their ‘obsession’
  • What a privilege I have in teaching this subject
  • Realizing that there are like minded people and support freely available in my own region
  • That there are great things to learning from primary SEN schools, even from a large secondary


One thing I am going to do on Monday is …
  • Get organizing some experiential visits – the cathedral and mosque
  • To incorporate RE principles throughout the curriculum
  • Create some key word key fobs for Y11
  • Talk to the headteacher about organizing more P4C and putting school values on our curriculum plans
  • Catch up with my reading of the relevant documents
  • Plan the Lenten Service based on Debra Kidd’s ideas
  • Sharing all this information with Trafford schools and the greater Manchester RE hub
  • Write a follow-up blog – already posted on the Save RE facebook page!
  • Feedback to the RE subject leader with the resources and RE developments
  • Sharing ideas on developing key terms on Judaism with my department
  • Promote the REQM Gold award on the school’s website
  • Allow some space for spiritual development
  • Make our prayer room multi sensory and thematic
  • Think about ways in which I can create challenge
  • Join my hubs to NATRE
  • Speak to the staff about a global workshop
  • Try to be more intentional in my teaching
  • Spend more time listening
  • Report back to the school team everything from the conference
  • Get away from rigid schemes
  • Develop spirituality further
  • Update my headteacher about today
  • Find out what is beautiful in what I teach
  • Incorporating some of the new ideas into my practice
  • How I can arrange visits to places of worship
  • Enthusing the other memebers of staff in a busy school
  • Encourage my colleagues by innovating in the subject
  • Videos as evidence of pupils’ perception on the school website
  • Find out about NATRE hubs
  • Speak to the early years teacher about RE in reception
  • Arrange to join the local RE hub
  • Setting up an RE area in my classroom using a gazebo
  • Going to Amazon to source the various books recommended
  • Start to think about a Holocaust session
  • Refocus on the ‘what if?’ questions which I lost!
  • Think more creatively


One question I still have is ….
  • Can we move closer to an RE ‘community’?
  • How to marry the principles of RE and its integrity with the demands of education
  • How long will it take to change policies and political thinking?
  • If RE becomes a national curriculum subject will paretns still withdraw their children?
  • When is the government going to listen and take action on withdrawal?
  • What is the purpose of RE?
  • How can we teach the new GCSE retaining the interest of students?
  • Can I do a Farmington scholarship?
  • Will RE disappear from schools?
  • How will church schools respond to academisation?
  • More information about the global citizen
  • Where can I find information about Farmington scholarships?
  • When will we get a consensus about what RE is and should be in England and Wales?
  • How can I distil all this information?
  • Who will be sharing the future of religious education?
  • I’m not aware of any RE hubs in my region – West Midlands and Warwickshire
  • How can I fit all this into a regular teaching week?
  • How can I make links with experts in religious fields?
  • How can trainees to trained in SEN provision in RE?
  • Why is there no urgency for training for trainees that focuses on SEN children?
  • How to integrate all this energy in an integrated way
  • Where should I take the assessment of RE?
  • How can I make colleagues more confident in their teaching of RE?
  • Can I have copies of the presentations from the day to share with my department?
  • How to most effectively teach ASD students RE and Ethics
  • When are decisions and changes happening?
  • Where is the funding from government?
  • Tracking progress in RE using national curriculum language
  • How to make time and space to put all this into practice
  • How do we overcome the entrenched attitudes of so many in authority?
  • Should I do a Farmington fellowship or 3forRE?
  • Could a fellowship fund by PhD in Biblical Studies?
  • Can I help develop Judaism subject resources?
  • When is the next conference?!

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