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. An update on the progress of the project as at May 2021 is available to download below: