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Teachers as persons

It was during a recent school half- term break, when my five year-old granddaughter began to cry because she was missing her class teacher, that I was reminded, once again, of the significance of the teacher as a person...
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Religions and Worldviews: The way forward?

Since the publication of the Commission on RE’s report, the title of which heads our editorial this term, there has been much discussed and written about its recommendations. This writing, a sample of which is...
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What kind of education do we want?

For RE, in recent times autumn seems to be more significant than merely the start of another academic year. September 2018 saw the publication of the final report of the Commission on RE. As I write this it is October...
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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?...
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The joys and challenges of ‘teaching religion’

When I was studying for my MEd at the University of Birmingham I majored in Curriculum Studies and Philosophy of Education, with a focus on ethics and epistemology. One of our lecturers, Dr Mike Degenhardt, arranged for...
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The ‘thinking community of RE’

I doubt if there is anybody reading this who is not at least aware of the Commission on Religious Education final report published in September 2018. Many of you will have seen Ben Wood on BBC Breakfast or heard him on...
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Oh, for serendipity and happenstance!

My brain seems to be hard-wired to notice fine details, particularly regarding word use. I can remember, for instance, the exact circumstances when I first came across specific words such as ‘pact’,...
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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...
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Standing on the shoulders of giants

The saying ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ is commonly attributed to Isaac Newton, though he borrowed the imagery from earlier writers. Its meaning is usually said to be that, if we can see further than former...
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Memorable experiences in RE

So there we were, some 30 or so years ago: the Gent family (me, my wife and two small children), our heads covered, bare-footed, standing on the cold roof of a newly built two-storey Sikh gurdwara in West Bromwich. As a...
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The nature and purpose of RE?

My friend and ex-colleague John Rudge often referred to RE as being like Halley’s Comet: it shoots into view every 75 years, making it possible for each of us to see it twice in his or her lifetime. The comet was last...
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Hello and goodbye

As the legendary comedians Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett didn’t say, this edition’s editorial is really a hello from me and a goodbye from him. In truth, Bill Gent said goodbye in his last editorial (September...

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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...

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RE: telling a positive story

We are all aware, I’m sure, of the disappointment felt in RE circles about the seeming lack of enthusiasm by government to implement much of what is recommended in the Commission on RE Report. There are, of course, the...
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It’s the learning, stupid!

‘It’s the economy, stupid’ was coined by James Carville, campaign strategist of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H.W. Bush. If we were preparing a...
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Visiting three places of worship in Loughborough with infants: Shah Jalal Mosque, Geeta Bhavan Mandir and Emmanuel Church

This is a report of a new initiative by Leicestershire SACRE, which used some of its surplus from its Agreed Syllabus launch events last year toprovide a walking tour for infants in Loughborough.

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Worldviews: what are they and how can we teach them as well as religions?

What are worldviews? The term ‘worldviews’ is often employed, and has been since Kant’s first use of ‘weltanschauung’ in 1790, but with a myriad of definitions (Naugle 2002). The RE Commission Report...
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The view from the grassroots of Islam

REtoday is honoured to feature this interview with Dr Hany El Banna, founder of the major international relief and development charity Islamic Relief. We suggest the interview and his life story is a great way to...

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RE: learning from history; learning from research

When reading the contributions to this edition of Professional REflection, two quotations came to mind. The first was from the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana (1905): ‘Those who cannot remember the...

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RE: intimations for the future

As everyone is aware, the Commission on Religious Education – which was established to review the legal, education and policy frameworks for RE in schools in England, with the ultimate aim of improving its quality and...