Religion, values and ethics (RVE) specialists as well as science specialists may be interested in attending the free Gilbert Scott Lectures on Science and Faith at Liverpool Cathedral held in May 2023.
All the lectures take place in the Lady Chapel (7.30 – 9pm) – Dates and speakers are listed below:
10 May 2023
Islam and Science Zia Chaudhry. Barrister, author and speaker; Director of Premier Advocacy; former member of the Cathedral Council.
17 May 2023
Miracles in Mark: Can Science bring us closer? The Revd Canon Dr Mike Kirby. Canon Scientist, Liverpool Cathedral; Senior Lecturer (Radiotherapy Physics), University of Liverpool; Honorary Lecturer (Cancer Sciences), University of Manchester.
24 May 2023
Sand, wind, water and plants: a recipe for coastal dunes and faith The Revd Paul Rooney. Senior Lecturer in Geography and Environmental Science, Liverpool Hope University; Permanent Deacon & Assistant Director, Permanent Diaconate, Archdiocese of Liverpool; Member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.
31 May 2023
God, Gaia and Goodness: The nature of Nature and of the Divine The Revd Prof Jeff Astley. Honorary Professor Dept of Theology and Religion & Professorial Fellow St Chad’s College, Durham University; Alister Hardy Professor, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln; Visiting Professor, York St John University. Sponsored by the Montgomery Trust.
The first national RVE professional learning resources have been published on the Welsh Government Hwb. They have been created by practitioners in Wales as part of a collaboration between the Welsh Government and the Wales Association of SACREs (WASACRE).
The resources are intended to: ‘support practitioners with the changes to RVE (formerly Religious Education), within the Curriculum for Wales. The modules are specifically tailored and aim to support practitioners. They help with the transition to a new way of thinking, planning and delivering an RVE curriculum that is purposeful for learners in Wales.’
All the resources have been through a rigorous process of quality assurance before being released bilingually on Hwb, so schools and practitioners in Wales can have confidence in their relevance and value.
Included in the first batch of five playlists are:
Religion, values and ethics and headteachers
Religion, values and ethics and additional learning needs
Religion, values and ethics and early years
Religion, values and ethics and primary schools
Religion, values and ethics and secondary schools
Links to playlists
These resources can be freely accessed via the links below:
The Catholic Education Service (CES) has reported that their 2022 annual census of Catholic schools has shown that learners in Catholic schools in Wales are ‘much more diverse than the national average.’ Catholic schools comprise 6% of the national total of maintained schools in Wales.
The main headlines derived from these data have been published on the CES website (23 January 2023), and include:
More than 30% of pupils in Wales’s 82 Catholic state-funded primaries and secondaries are from an ethnic minority background, compared to 12.5% in all other schools.
Catholic schools in Wales also have more than four times as many black pupils, with 4.5% of the 28,176 pupils being Black or Black British, compared to 1.1% in all Welsh schools.
There is also more than twice the proportion of pupils from an Asian or Asian British background (6%), compared to 2.6% in other schools.
Just over half (50.3%) of pupils in the sector are Catholic, as are 43.6% of the 1,644 teachers employed.
A total of 73.4% of pupils in Welsh Catholic schools are Christians, and 80% are from a faith background. Of the 13,992 non-Catholic pupils, 46% of these are from other Christian denominations, 36.8% have no religion, and 5.7% are Muslims.
Many of us are currently trying to make sense of the recently published 2021 census data concerning the religion question. An article in the latest edition of Challenging Religious Issues (19) has been written to help teachers and learners think through some key questions.
‘What can the 2021 Census Really Tell us about the Religious Composition of England and Wales?’ draws on the headline statistics from the religion question in the 2021 census for England and Wales in order to examine what can and what cannot be deduced from these statistics, and to explore why the religion question remains an important part of mapping the ‘social and civil condition’ of the population in the 21st century. The inclusion of this question in the census is evidence of the continuing public significance of religion.
In collaboration with Wrexham local authority, the St Giles’ RE Centre is hosting a Primary RVE planning day on Wednesday, 29 March 2023. The event will take place at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Wrexham and will be fully funded by the Centre, so it is completely free for Wrexham schools. Refreshments will be available through the day, including a hot & cold buffet.
There are 28 places available, on a first come first served basis. Schools may request up to two places each. More details about the day, including relevant resources and agenda, will follow in due course.
To book a place contact the RE Advisor, Libby Jones at email@example.com or through the contact page of this website.
The journal started in 2013 as a Welsh Government initiative offering a new kind of support for schools and colleges, which goes ‘beyond the textbook’ and connects with expertise in the university sector. Today, Challenging Religious Issues is published within a partnership that includes:
Careful medium term planning for RVE is vital to ensure that the approach of the Curriculum for Wales is embedded appropriately across the curriculum.
For this reason, the St Giles’ Centre has developed an example medium term planning tool. It has been designed to highlight significant planning considerations for RVE which are intended to support schools in having regard to the Curriculum for Wales RVE guidance and locally agreed syllabi.
This example can be edited so that users can adapt it to meet the individual needs of their school or setting. The St Giles’ Centre welcomes feedback on the usefulness of this example and would also welcome receiving other examples that schools are using as they prepare for Curriculum for Wales roll out.
If you have any questions about how this example could be used in practice, please contact us.
Welsh and English versions of the template can be downloaded below. They are also available on our Support Material page.
North Wales Science is a charity with a vision to be ‘A home for Inspiring Science in the Heart of the Community’. The charity operates the science discovery centre, Xplore! Wrexham, and delivers interactive activities as outreach across North Wales and North West England.
The team at Xplore! are co-creating four workshops in close collaboration with the St Giles’ Centre Wrexham, especially for primary schools. Each workshop will bring together teaching and learning in religion, values and ethics (RVE) and science in creative and interactive ways.
On Thursday 1 December, St Mary’s Primary School Overton, piloted one of the workshops In Search of Light with yr 3 and 4 learners. The children really enjoyed the experience and found lots of useful connections between the two subject areas. The school has created a series of collages to show how these connections linked to their new curriculum.
The pilot will continue in 2023, involving up to 20 primary schools in Wrexham. For further details on how your school can get involved, please contact us.
Collages created by St Mary’s Primary School, Overton
On 22 November, the RVE Advisor for Wrexham Local Authority, Libby Jones, gave a presentation at the Headteachers’ Briefing meeting for Wrexham local authority’s primary and secondary schools.
During the presentation, Libby provided headteachers with key messages about: • RVE in the Curriculum for Wales; • the Wrexham Agreed Syllabus for RVE; • professional learning at national and local level; • the new Agored Cymru Exploring Worldviews qualification for 14-16 year olds; • and supporting curriculum resources.
As part of these supporting curriculum resources, special ‘limited edition’ hard copies of the storybook series, Randalph’s Spiritual Quest and Search for Meaning were distributed to the primary headteachers to take back to their schools with a poster for their staff rooms. Later in the year, a new Wrexham storybook in the series will be published.
Both the limited edition and the forthcoming Wrexham storybook edition have been developed and sponsored by the St Giles’ Centre.
This free bilingual online series was originally sponsored by the Welsh Government to support RVE in the Curriculum for Wales. Drawing on an integrated approach to RVE within the Humanities Area, the series includes: • 6 storybooks; • films; • music; • a guide for teachers (revised in November 2022).
Although written for primary learners, the series would also work well as a transition resource.