The University of Strathclyde has been awarded a grant for a project which aims to promote a new vision for Religion and Worldviews (R&W) education establishing the intellectual rigour of the subject in current and educational research. Specifically, the project draws attention to the limitations of the predominant world religions paradigm in the educational representation of religion and worldviews: too often religions are represented as discrete, stable systems of belief. Drawing on expertise of academic specialists in religion and education along with experienced teachers, the project reimagines R&W education that recognises the complexity of subject matter while acknowledging the pedagogical challenges. The dissemination of this project will include curricula materials which may also be used to make a case for a policy shift to illustrate the nature of the new vision for Religion and Worldviews. £16,600 awarded.
Faith and Belief Forum/Open University/Inform Collaborative Partnership have been awarded a grant to better align attitudes of key stakeholders within the education sector, but ‘outside the classroom’ to the critical importance of good teaching of Religion and Worldviews (RW) inside the classroom. The target groups include headteachers, school governors, CEOs of MATS as well as civil servants at both local and national levels who have roles in advising and implementing education policy. They will also produce resources to help teachers and teacher educators advocate for the crucial importance of a Religion and Worldviews curriculum to school leadership and to parents. Through a series of roundtable discussions, this project will identify key challenges and insights relevant to promoting a shared vision of an education in Religion and Worldviews, producing support materials and networks required for responding to the challenges identified. £51,480 awarded.
The Religion Media Centre has been awarded a grant to organise “encounters” in five cities in England and Wales in 2021, where faith and civic leaders meet the media in events which engage RE teachers. Their aim is for journalists to gain greater knowledge and understanding of the faith groups in their community; and for faith leaders to improve their communication with the media, to increase social cohesion, challenge misrepresentation and tell new stories. The hope is that RE advisers and teachers, through for example their Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, will support the project in advising on the faith make-up of the local areas and content of the event, as well as encouraging faith leaders to take part. The city encounters will take the form of a training session, networking event and social gathering, following a pattern set by a successful meeting in Cardiff in 2016, where 80 journalists met the same number of faith leaders, leading to greater contact and more stories being told. £15,000 awarded
University of Birmingham with St Peter Saltley Trust has been awarded a grant to help change the way the public and key decision-makers understand the relevance of questions of religion and belief to the unfolding crises facing the climate and nature. Working with teachers in the West Midlands, the project aims to:
a) Better understand the ways environmental ethics and practice are currently taught within RE/RS, and gain a more accurate picture of what teachers need;
b) Develop teacher confidence and subject leadership, starting with a cohort of 8 teachers participating in a six month teacher fellowship programme;
c) Through the fellowship programme, to collaboratively create new resources and materials for primary and secondary pupils;
d) To develop a website and associated network of teachers who can share further resources, materials and pedagogies in this area of Religion and Worldviews.
£17, 809 awarded
Cumbria SACRE and Cumbria Development Education Centre have been awarded a grant to create a facilitated virtual platform for teachers to access local religious and non-religious representatives, both for classroom use and as an opportunity for teachers to develop their own subject knowledge and understanding. Cumbria SACRE representatives have committed to the provision of facilitated events on a regular basis for up to 18 months –potentially on average fortnightly. The events will allow pupils to question representatives about how and why they live a religious or non-religious life. This focus on the lived experience of individuals will enable the project to engage with the national dimension of RE outlined in the proposed Statement of Entitlement in the CoRE report (2018). Other strands of the project include a new online network and resources as well as providing a project template for other SACREs to consider in their own contexts. £10,000 awarded.
The Jewish Museum London has been awarded a grant towards ‘Teaching Inclusive Judaism: Representation matters’. The aim of the project is to increase public understanding of Judaism and the Jewish community in all its complexity. The project will begin by bringing together partners across all streams of the Jewish community to collaborate. These partners will help the museum select objects and images that best represent their community. The project has a number of outputs including image resource packs, teacher CPD, public webinars, and diversity and inclusivity training. £5,635 awarded towards the project.
Liverpool Community Spirit has been awarded a grant for a project entitled ‘Encountering Diverse Judaism’. This project will deliver an interactive faith encounters training programme and accompanying resources for teachers of RE, focusing on promoting well-informed and inspired teaching of Judaism at Key Stage 3 and GCSE. It will develop teacher (and hence pupil) understanding of diversity within the Jewish community, in terms of belief, practice and approaches to relevant contemporary moral and social issues. This will empower teachers and pupils to combat ignorance, negative attitudes and stereotyping with respect to the Jewish faith and community, including recent rises in anti-Semitism. £4950 awarded.
Muslim Council of Britain Charitable Foundation has been awarded a grant to fund a guide for teachers of RE on arranging school visits to mosques. The project aims to streamline the process for and increase the confidence of RE teachers in identifying and engaging with a suitable local mosque, arranging the visit and delivering a high-quality educational experience for pupils. In addition, a project delivery template is planned to enable the project to be replicated by other minority religion and worldview communities. The hope is that this will assist other communities in achieving similar outputs in a shorter space of time and with less resource, resulting in even greater impact for the RE teaching community. £9,700 awarded.
National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) A National RE Curriculum Symposium is being funded with a grant in order to:
- To enhance the understanding of processes involved in constructing high-quality curricula that can be shared with their peers
- To develop curriculum planning and thinking skills, enabling teachers to be more confident in their understanding and development of high-quality curricula
- Enable teachers attending to receive constructive criticism about their curriculum, allowing them to return to school and reflect with their colleagues, and then improve their curriculum and to share with peers across the sector.
The project aims to create resources for other teachers to use after the event. £8300 awarded.
Canterbury Christchurch University has been awarded a grant for a project entitled, Teaching Islam as a Worldview. This project offers the creation of resources that bring together a multidisciplinary approach to the teaching of Islam. It will produce resources that will support teachers in teaching Islam across the religion and worldviews curriculum but it will also provide opportunities to use other disciplines (history, art, theology and geography) as a lens through which to engage pupils in RE. The research that underpins the project is generated by two specialists in the teaching of Islam and RE (Revell and Panjwani), their work advocates an engagement with Islam that is critical and which understands that there are many Muslim communities. £16,500 awarded.
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education Enriching religion and worldviews education through short classroom-ready films for GCSE. This project uses a knowledge-exchange methodology to bring together researchers and teachers to create resources and support subject knowledge. £9320 awarded.
Theos Think Tank has been awarded a grant to fund the comprehensive dissemination of a report which aims to explain in depth to both RE professionals and the general public the meaning and implication of a ‘worldviews’ approach for religious education in schools. £6000 awarded. . Further information can be found here: https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/research/2020/10/21/worldviews-in-religious-education
TRS-UK has been awarded a grant for a literature review to be undertaken by early career researchers on the concept of ‘worldview’. This project is part of a wider initiative to develop a shared set of understandings about ‘worldview’ as a concept in RE. £8,000 awarded. You can read the review here: https://www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/20-19438-REC-Worldview-Report-A4-v2.pdf
RE Today Services The research and planning phase for Understanding Islam (provisional title). This includes initial drafting of the resource, trials in schools and the setting up of a theological advisory group including scholars from a range of Muslim communities and academic institutions. £44715 awarded.
Diocese of Bristol/South Gloucestershire Local Authority The ‘RE Hive’ project: peer to peer school improvement. To identify RE subject leaders and train them to provide peer to peer support. £9525 awarded.
Diocese of Lincoln A National Symposium: Religion and worldviews- a matter of community. To share quantitative and qualitative data and grassroots experience on how best to engage schools, parents and wider communities with religion and worldviews, including the sharing of a 45 min film of a theatrical production. £6225 awarded.
TRS-UK Workplace films of Theology and Religious studies graduates. To produce a series of 25 interviews with graduates in varied workplaces showing how their degree has benefitted them. £7000 awarded.
Tim Hunting has been awarded a grant to lead a local group of teachers in a project entitled Teacher-led Research into argument and use of evidence in Religious Studies GCSE. The group will draw on research and expertise and their own classroom experience to explore the use of argument in evaluative essays in Religious Studies GCSE, particularly at the highest standard, level 4, where the exam-board criteria specify competence in the ability to recognise ‘strength of argument’ and use ‘logical chains of reasoning’ effectively. £4,500 awarded.
St Marylebone Church of England Bridge School This special school will pioneer adapting and using the ‘Together for the Common Good’ materials for SEND providers. These will then be disseminated through various networks. £1500 awarded.
Unity Federation Systematic development of RE skills and knowledge – could this be the basis for a whole school primary curriculum? The project will develop two workstreams a. development of knowledge organisers and b. strategic development of RE as the basis for a complete primary school curriculum. £5350 awarded.
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