Secondary RE
Gillian Georgiou

Key Contact

Gillian Georgiou
NASBTT Associate Consultant
Secondary Religious Education

Email: secondaryre@nasbtt.org.uk
Twitter: @GillCGeorgiou

Latest News

Census 2021

The data on religion was released in November 2022 and will be a really useful resource for the classroom; you can find a summary here.

Faith in the Town

The University of Manchester has produced some great classroom resources that explore the lived experience of religion in the North West in the 18th and 19th centuries. You can access the materials here.

RE: Online Research of the Month

This month, Debbie Yeomans outlines the work she has done with Claire Ramalli and Nadia Nadeem on using British Religion in Numbers data. Find out more here.

Subject Resources

As GCSE and A Level exams start, I hope you are all having a smooth summer term. This year has been a particularly busy one for the RE world. Back in autumn term, we saw the publication of the National Content Standard for RE and in spring term the community had a chance to share and celebrate good practice at the annual conference for RE teachers and leaders, Strictly RE (recordings of many of the keynote and seminar sessions are available here). This term, we have seen the publication of both the Ofsted RE subject report, Deep and Meaningful?, along with the launch of the long-awaited Religion and Worldviews Toolkit, including a handbook for curriculum writers and exemplification from three project teams led by Nikki McGee, Jen Jenkins and Gillian Georgiou.

Reading the Ofsted RE subject report was hard; although many of us are passionate about supporting each other, inspiring our students and moving our subject forwards, the report painted a depressing picture. In fact, it seems that very little is different from the previous Ofsted report, published a decade ago (see here). The confusion caused by legal complexities and the lack of adequate provision and professional development were a key focus. Secondary RE came in for significant criticism, particularly where students are not receiving their legal entitlement to RE across all key stages.

Whilst the Ofsted report gave us a snapshot of what RE looks like across England right now, the Religion and Worldviews Toolkit provides a vision of what it might look like in the future. Three project teams used the curriculum guidance at the heart of this toolkit to construct curriculum frameworks for different contexts: an all-through curriculum for a multi-academy trust, a locally agreed syllabus for RE and a framework for teachers wishing to move either their whole curriculum or individual units of study towards a religion and worldviews approach. You might like to look at these materials as you think about your curriculum for the next academic year.

At NASBTT, we realise that many secondary mentors are one of very few – or the only – subject specialist in the department; we are here to support you by offering advice and signposting resources that may help you. As ever, if there is anything in particular you need, please don’t hesitate to contact me at secondaryre@nasbtt.org.uk

NATRE is the subject association of RE teachers.

  • Main website: National Association of Teachers of Religious Education
  • Click here for Membership information. With membership you receive a termly curriculum book full of stimulating and creative teaching ideas, as well as the magazine RE Today and the journal Professional Reflection. You also receive money-off conferences and training. 
  • NATRE support FREE local groups and hubs. Find your region here and follow the links to join local networks and meet local teachers.

The Culham St Gabriel’s Trust (CSTG)

offers many excellent opportunities for teachers’ CPD:

  • Resources Website: RE Online contains resources and supportive subject knowledge, blogs and lots of guidance and good ideas. 
  • The Research Tab: keep up to date with current research around religion and worldviews, education and schooling.
  • Leadership Tab: the ‘leading’ tab of RE: Online brings together current ideas and concerns to help you develop in confidence as a leader of religion and worldviews. Theme this term is ‘curriculum’.
  • In Conversation events: these termly, online events are free and open to all. Keep up to date with research, thinking and discussions in the world of religion and worldviews in a friendly and welcoming environment.
  • Sign up to the newsletter or follow on Twitter (@culhamstgabriel) for notification of opportunities, such as a funded Masters programme and the leadership programme.  

Religious studies project

An incredible array of podcasts devoted to the study of religion. 


The RE podcast

A podcast created for teachers and students of religion and worldviews.


Religion Media Centre (RMC) 

Focuses on reporting about religion in the media. Sign up for their daily briefing for current and cutting-edge information about religion in society. The RMC factsheets are excellent for subject knowledge. 


Reforming RE

This blogsite contains a wide range of current thinking about religion and worldviews in the classroom. The blogs make interesting reading, and welcome new authors if you have an idea to share.


Professional Development Funding

Culham St Gabriel’s provides a range of funding opportunities for training and qualified teachers of RE. This includes their range of scholarship programmes (doctoral, masters, CTeach and leadership), as well as a discretionary Chair’s Fund, which provides funding to support those in financial hardship or where a small amount of emergency funding is needed to support an individual. You can find out more about this here or email enquiries@cstg.org.uk.


The Open University have launched their Religion, Belief and Worldviews Hub. This resource brings together a wide range of materials, including articles, activities, free courses, audio and video, all aimed at supporting an education in religion and worldviews.

The University of Nottingham also has a wide range of videos, resources, lectures and seminars aimed at support teachers of religion and worldviews. This includes Bibledex, a collection of videos about every book in the Bible, and Objects of Belief, a series of videos about objects sacred to humans from throughout history. The University of Nottingham also provides a helpful series of videos that introduce a religion and worldviews approach to RE.


 

‘Nobody Stands Nowhere’ video about worldviews:

https://www.reonline.org.uk/news/nobody-stands-nowhere/


Gillian Georgiou presents Research of the Month on RE:Online. It includes a short video of her work on the Religion and Worldviews Project, which culminated in the toolkit launched this May (see above). You can find the archive of previous research videos on RE:Online here.


The Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) has launched its Jewish Identity Survey, Jews in the UK Today. The report contains useful data about the lived reality of Jewish worldviews in the UK and is accompanied by a useful video summary.

Supporting Teachers to Develop Disciplinary Knowledge in RE

Session Overview

The Ofsted RE research review (2021) states that the RE curriculum should support students to develop three distinctive types of knowledge: substantive knowledge, ways of knowing (also known as disciplinary knowledge) and personal knowledge. This session will explore ways in which we can support training and early careers teachers to build explicit teaching of disciplinary knowledge into the RE curriculum. It will provide some examples and suggested resources to support this in practice.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Clarity on the ways in which disciplinary knowledge is distinct from substantive and personal knowledge in RE
  • Understanding of ways to support mentees with professional learning and development, and learning and teaching in RE

Facilitator Info

Gillian Georgiou has a background in teaching secondary Religious Studies and Philosophy up to KS5. She currently works as the RE Adviser for the Lincoln Diocesan Board of Education. In this capacity, she supports primary, secondary and special schools and academies across greater Lincolnshire to deliver high quality RE. She currently leads one of three project teams involved in the Worldviews Project, as well as carrying out action research on assessment in primary and secondary RE. She delivers training and support on RE to four initial teacher education providers, as well as working as the Secondary RE consultant for NASBTT.

Watch the recording here

Supporting Resources

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