The conference shared good practice of how effective, innovative practitioners in pre-school, primary, secondary and special schools are working together to implement the religious education in Roman Catholic schools (RERC) Curriculum for Excellence framework.
A key focus for the conference was sharing a variety of ways in which children and young people can express their response to learning in religious education. There was also an opportunity to discuss self-evaluation approaches which inform and improve learning and teaching.
The day included workshops and group discussion sessions which will create future opportunities for continuing professional development. Workshop themes included using experiences and outcomes in secondary and primary, approaches to anti-sectarianism and developing spirituality outwith the classroom.
Purpose of the conference
- To share good practice in working together to implement the religious education in Roman Catholic schools (RERC) Curriculum for Excellence framework
- To build capacity by sharing a variety of ways in which children and young people can express their response to learning in religious education (RE).
Main themes covered
- Connecting learning across the curriculum
- Interdisciplinary approaches
- Active learning, including the Emmaus approach
- Approaches to developing understanding of other world religions
- Continued faith development of teachers
- Self-evaluation in RE (Shining the Light of Christ in the Catholic School)
- Effective learning and teaching in RE.
Structure of the day
The day included workshops and group discussion sessions which created future opportunities for continuing professional development.
Keynote speakers included Professor Jim Conroy, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Glasgow University, Frank Crawford, HM Chief Inspector, Michael McGrath, Director of SCES, and those leading the development of RME at national level from HMIE and LTS.
Cardinal O’Brien set the context for the day with his address: 'The nature of RE in Catholic schools - considering a changing approach to what teachers are doing and how they are doing it'.
Outcomes from the conference
By attending the conference and/or by using the versatile video clips and other materials from the day, all those with an interest in RE in Roman Catholic schools are supported in:
- further exploring the RERC curriculum framework within Curriculum for Excellence
- learning more about innovative practice from across Scotland
- discussing the key messages from the RERC framework and identifying a range of ways to transfer these into practice for the benefit of learners
- increasing personal and professional knowledge and understanding
- continuing dialogue and networking with others within and across authorities and dioceses.
Cardinal O'Brien's message to teachers
In this short clip, Cardinal O’Brien:
- thanks teachers and encourages them in their work in religious education
- promotes the importance of religious education for all young people
- highlights the importance of Curriculum for Excellence, the usefulness of the experiences and outcomes and the significance of 'This is our Faith', which provides detailed guidance on the religious education curriculum in Catholic schools.
Reflective questions for CPD after watching the video clips
- How much does contemporary 'misunderstanding' about religion impact on your teaching of religious education?
- As a teacher, how can you plan to accompany young people on their faith journey and allow them to make an informed response to God’s call to relationship?
- How can you be supported to become familiar with the contents of 'This is our Faith', which is intended to 'unpack' the outcomes and experiences and guide you in developing your understanding and your skills in this vital area of the curriculum?
- How can you familiarise yourself with the 'mind-map' which the Strands of Faith offer to enable you to create learning experiences which enable faith to be professed, lived, celebrated and prayed?