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Listening to one another’s stories

Last week I spoke at the Learn Teach Lead RE Area 1 conference in Cornwall. It was a delight to meet so many teachers and hear their stories from the classroom. I heard about the challenges of leading RE whilst also being an NQT, the love of subject, the diversity of practice, the creative approaches taken in special education and inevitably some worry about the questions Ofsted will ask. Listening to teachers’ stories is invaluable for us as a Trust. As we enter a strategic review over the coming months, it is essential for us to hear the teacher voice; to learn what is of concern, what challenges they face, but also where they are being successful in shaping really effective study of religion and worldviews.

One of the other highlights for me was Katy Staples’ keynote where she explored the notion of worldviews from a very personal perspective. It was captivating and showed the power of sharing story. It confirmed to me the importance of being open and honest about our own worldviews; acknowledging our own positioning. Katy demonstrated so perfectly what I went on to say in my keynote the following morning. That is, that we bring our prior knowledge, our experience and beliefs to whatever we encounter in life, including the study of religion and worldviews. Hearing others’ stories, learning about the positioning of others is vital. Sharing our own stories also becomes even more important if we are to truly to begin to understand others.

My keynote is available here to download: https://www.ltlre.org/resources/ltlre-conference-area-1-oct-2019/

Kathryn Wright
CEO, Culham St Gabriel’s Trust