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Teaching with the ‘Golden Rule Tree’

It seems that all religions and belief systems have some kind of version of the ‘Golden Rule’, an ethical statement that uses reciprocity to guide humans as they decide what is good.

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Fair or unfair?

Using the human bar chart with younger pupils to explore what they believe about fairness and justice

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Is it fair? Making sense of the story of Jonah

Gill Tewkesbury teaches in Devon. She explored fairness and unfairness in the Biblical story of Jonah with her 9–10s. This narrative is sometimes told with an emphasis on the prophet being swallowed by a big fish,...

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Personal worldviews: who are we? Who is she? Who am I becoming?

Exploring identity questions with 11–14s is an important part of enabling pupils to develop their own understanding of their position in relation to the world, including the worlds of religion and belief. These two...

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Edward Colston or John Wesley: who deserved a statue?

Extensive new resources for anti-racist RE are available free from the NATRE website, www.natre.org.uk/ about-natre/projects/anti-racist-re/, supported by the Free Churches Group and Methodist Schools. Here is an...

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Your stories and your identities: film in RE

When we really break it down, identity is about one thing: stories. Each person is the central protagonist in a narrative that is constantly unfolding. A person’s identity is wrapped up in their own story, but...

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A Holy Land tour for RE teachers

It’s not every summer that you get the opportunity to visit the Holy Land. Last summer I joined a group, led by Kevin Baldwin, to visit some of the most amazing sites on Earth, and have returned equipped with...

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Five tweets from the future

We asked pupils to think about how the climate crisis poses some dangers for the world, and to imagine they could send a tweet back to the people of today from far into the future, maybe giving us a warning or a...

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If the Earth were only a metre in diameter …

Read this poem (is it a poem?) aloud with your class, and then look at Amelia’s responses to it. She is 12.

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Tackling Islamophobia

One thing that really troubled me in our ‘all white’ rural secondary school was that every time I mentioned Muslims, someone would always cough ‘terrorist’. I needed to challenge this attitude immediately. The...
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What is a Prayer Trail? Could you create one in your school?

Rachel Spadaccini, RE subject leader at Gilmorton Chandler Church of England Primary School in Leicestershire, wanted more opportunities for pupils to explore the spiritual. Basing the work on interpreting one verse from...
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Higher standards for 9–11s: Interpretation and insight into rules for living

Rebecca Thompson teaches in Bournemouth. On a course about assessing RE she noted that her brightest pupils in Year 5 and 6 were tackling tasks at level 6 in English, so why not in RE? She returned to school, set up a...
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When pupils experience loss, what helps?

‘Peter must forget the comedy act and get down to serious work.’ That was an extract from my school report! I sometimes share it with students that I am working with. I was 11 years old at the time and living with my...
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A vision of dialogue in the RE classroom and beyond

Do you teach students to neglect understanding? I want to ask what sort of dialogue about religion we should have within and beyond the classroom. Today, religion is perennially ‘in the dock’. Richard Dawkins has...
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Cultural capital that makes a world of difference: re-building self-esteem

Vicky McDowell shares her experience from a special school. Anxiety, in all its forms, is worn as a protective layer around all of my Key Stage 3 and 4 students; indeed, an EBD (Emotional and behavioural difficulties)...
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Is what you see what you get?

Julie Grove has served on the RE Today Editorial Team for more than a decade. Here she reflects on our vision and our interpretations. Although there is a mystical interpretation of the word ‘vision’, it also relates...
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Leaders in Sikh religion and leaders in school

Rachel Buckby wondered if studying the good leadership of Guru Nanak with her 7–8s might lead to some useful thinking about her school’s need for a new head teacher. The pupils felt this was useful! We were learning...
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Early Years RE provocations: lots of ideas for early learning RE

Pastures Way is a nursery school in Luton, a town rich in religious diversity. In a town full of diversity, teaching of religious studies is important, but even more essential is teaching of acceptance. In the early...
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A seriously thoughtful approach to Holy Week and Easter

The thinking skills structure called ‘Responsibility pies’ is useful for analysing any complex phenomenon where responsibility can be attributed to multiple parties. Who is responsible for the whales that die in...

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Markers: Anne Krisman explores spiritual response special school settings

Markers: how our pupils with complex needs respond spiritually