Articles by Lat Blaylock

Events and resources
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Thanks to the REtoday magazine Editorial Team

New editorial arrangements for REtoday magazine: after many years, this excellent team of editorial assistants has been disbanded, and in coming issues REtoday will rely more on NATRE Executive members and RE Today...
Editorial
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Visions and viruses

This term’s REtoday magazine will arrive on thousands of desks across the UK and the world in the most extraordinary times. As I write, schools are closing, examinations being cancelled, children worrying, young people...
Editorial
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Intent, implement, impact in RE

The January 2020 issue of REtoday responds to the new Ofsted inspection framework for schools in England, which asks simple questions: what’s the intention of a school’s curriculum planning? How is it implemented?...
For the classroom 5-11
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Better Christmas learning

So what to do? Five examples for better Christmas learning Mobile phone messages from the angels Christmas in school is usually a thoroughly enjoyable celebration of a festival that (nearly) the whole community loves....
Events and resources
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Resources

Edited by Jane Brooke RE in the Classroom Author: Helen JaegerAge range: 4–5Barnabas in School,BRF 2015, 63pp,softback, £7.99,ISBN: 978-1-84101-64-6 This book is subtitled 50 easy-to-use Bible based lesson plans for...
Reviews
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Reviews

Both of the reviewers in this issue have urged us, as professionals involved in RE, to make time for our own reading, going beyond texts we are obliged to read to explore those that provoke us to think more widely and...

Editorial
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Bill and Lat’s Excellent Adventure

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a 1989 American science fiction comedy buddy film in which a pair of wild young men meet characters from history with, as they say, ‘hilarious results’. Switching contexts,...
For the classroom 7-14
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Big question: what is prayer like?

Read and discuss Anne Lewin’s poem with pupils. Many young people form the idea that prayer is like going shopping with a list: you ask God for things, and if they are in stock, you may be lucky enough to get them....

Editorial
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What size of question would you like?

My excellent former colleague at RE Today, infant teacher Paul Newbould, showed me how to help 6-year-olds to see that RE is about big ideas and big questions. He asked his class to think about a red plastic chair he was...
Editorial
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Scriptures: wisdom for all?

Are the scriptures of different religions just for the members of each religion, or are they in some sense for humanity in total? The question gets near the heart of RE’s purposes. Many PhDs have been written by those...
For the classroom 11-16
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Evil for real The Charlie Hebdo murders

One year ago, our media was dominated by news on attacks on cartoonists and magazine publishers in Paris. As the anniversary of this event is noted, teachers of RE will be asked questions, again, about Islam and terror....
Editorial
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Would you like to be a glory, a jest or a riddle?

Alexander Pope’s ‘Essay on Man’ (1734) is a brilliant reflection on what it means to be human: Know then thyself, presume not God to scan The proper study of Mankind is Man. Placed on this isthmus of a middle...
Editorial
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Religion: all in the mind?

The opening sentence of my favourite Buddhist scripture, the Dhammapada, says: ‘All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and moulded by our thoughts.’ The emphasis on the place of the...
Editorial
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A dog in a dog collar?

While we were preparing this issue I came across the story of a dog in a dog collar. A chaplain who every week visited a home for people living with dementia told how he made no contribution until one day from...

For the staffroom
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Ten ways governors can help RE

Lat Blaylock, Editor of REtoday, writes here an article that you might like to copy to your governors. If governors want better RE in their school, then here are ten questions to think about at school leadership level....
Instant RE
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The North Wind and the Sun: a fable of Aesop

Lat Blaylock The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness. Their argument raged. The North Wind was wild, and on the attack: ‘You, Sun, you are nothing but a great...
Instant RE
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The RE GCSE four-piece jigsaw of success

One reason teachers of RE are struggling with the new GCSE specifications is because the longer essay-style answers required of students are taxing the skills students have gained in putting together their thoughts in...

Editorial
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Take a stand. Defend RE. Defend religion and belief

Pope Francis spoke recently about: … the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions … The sickness or, you can say the sin,...
Editorial
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Worldviews

Worldviews, said the recent English Commission on RE, are ubiquitous. Everyone has one, and like a thumbprint they all look very similar but are actually unique. Everyone sees the world from where they stand, and so we...
Editorial
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Have we seen the best of religion?

Matthew Arnold (1822–88), poet, headmaster of Rugby and essayist, gave this idea to the educational world. Perhaps his best-known book is Culture and Anarchy (1869), in which he argues for the role of reading ‘the...

Theory and practice
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State of the nation?

In writing this article, I wanted to try to sum up my – certainly personal – perspective on the recent history of RE in England. It is not always easy for teachers working in classrooms to observe and integrate...

Editorial
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Faith in science? Faith in God?

Which subject of the curriculum does these kinds of things and sets these kinds of purposes and intentions? • The learning provides the foundations for understanding the world. • Pupils seek answers to questions...
Editorial
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Kierkegaard’s questions

‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ Soren Kierkegaard, Danish existentialist philosopher, 1813–1855. If philosophers talked like that more often, would they be more popular? I...
Editorial
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Values and RE

In the USA, it is impossible to get elected without praising religion. But in the UK, as the election is showing us, you are pretty well electorally doomed if you admit to being religious. Media crucifixion is a painful...
Editorial
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Wisdom or vision?

Welcome to this issue of REtoday. The theme is wisdom. Scriptures from many traditions can be seen as collections of wisdom passed down the centuries, and if RE has an offer to pupils beyond the merely academic, then...