Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire SACRE recently commissioned a resource highlighting how schools and local faith groups can work together for the benefit of Religious Education, Collective Worship and SMSC. Schools provided case studies reflecting a wide range of ideas and initiatives to help, support and inspire schools.
The resource was as a result of discussions in SACRE relating to comments in Estyn reports on schools and presentations received on national issues relating to Religious Education and Collective Worship. As officer to the three Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education I report on Estyn’s findings regarding RE, Collective Worship and SMSC to members of the 3 local SACRE’s. Members are delighted to note comments under 3.3 partnership working when Estyn highlight school visits and work with their local churches and faith groups.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education published a report on Religious Education fostering good community relations. The report can be found on the Religious Education Council of England and Wales website. It mentions that ‘the evidence presented… whilst compiling the report… was often inspiring and demonstrated high quality RE and deep commitment to good community relations. ‘
Good partnership working is an important aspect that can be strengthened through Religious Education and Collective Worship. In providing examples to schools the following list of ideas was presented:
- Visits to places of worship
- Creation of virtual guide to a place of worship
- Rites of passage, pretend weddings and birth ceremonies
- Festival themed visits, e.g. Easter, Christmas
- Leavers Service, RoA’s or other school celebration
- Cross curricular church visit, history, art, nature walks etc…
- Memorial days links to WW1 and 2
- Accessing pre-prepared schemes or initiatives ‘Sacred doorways’ or Church in Wales Cathedral visits.
- Faith group initiated days – YFC’s Easter experience day in Llandudno
- 6th form SMSC conferences
- Visits from clergy – Collective Worship
Case studies from 6 school were included in the final resource, highlighting over 22 separate links with local faith communities.