Making the switch: how I went from secondary to primary and how you can too

Sometimes people ask me what’s the one big thing I’ve noticed switching from being a secondary teacher to a primary teacher and, honestly, it is the amount of DMs I get from secondary teachers asking how to make the switch. I thought I would put together a blog post on the one year anniversary ofContinue reading “Making the switch: how I went from secondary to primary and how you can too”

Takeaways from Primary RE

Over the past three terms I have had the rare privilege of being able to rewrite our school’s RE curriculum from scratch. The curriculum is still a work-in-progress and it will remain a work-in-progress long after I have finished writing each individual scheme-of-learning. This blog post comes partly out of the big picture planning whichContinue reading “Takeaways from Primary RE”

Widening the divide: a response to Steve Watson

I wanted to write a rebuttal to Steve Watson’s article New Right 2.0: Teacher populism on social media in England which has recently been published in the British Educational Research Journal. Initially this post was about three times as long as it is now but I decided to re-write it as three fundamental problems withContinue reading “Widening the divide: a response to Steve Watson”

Essentialism, Debate and Diversity: a curriculum and model of progression for RE

I’ve long been a believer that if you are going to take a negative view of something you ought to have a positive suggestion to put in its place. This blog post is a companion piece to Against Worldviews. It outlines my view of a subject that is fit-for-purpose.    Fear of Essentialism  There hasContinue reading “Essentialism, Debate and Diversity: a curriculum and model of progression for RE”

Subject knowledge for RE: four quick recommendations

Fairly often I get messages from RE NQTs or from non-specialists asking for recommendations for boosting their RE subject knowledge. I thought I’d put together the four suggestions I usually make for an overview of religions and the concepts in religion generally.     Very Short Introductions These are my go-to for a quick butContinue reading “Subject knowledge for RE: four quick recommendations”

Seeds, Roots and Branches: a model of enquiry in RE

What is the enquiry of RE? It’s a question I’ve been wrestling with a lot lately. I think that in order to move on from such a fundamental question you do, sooner or later, have to plant your flag in the ground and say “this is what I am doing”. In that spirit here isContinue reading “Seeds, Roots and Branches: a model of enquiry in RE”

Teaching Beautifully: Consistency not Uniformity

If there is one thing Penguin books does really well it is consistency. Take a look at their Classics series, the black band with orange and yellow text has only been around for a few decades and yet it is instantly recognisable as a Penguin classic. Generally you know from looking at it that thisContinue reading “Teaching Beautifully: Consistency not Uniformity”

Teaching Beautifully: The best of what has been drawn and seen

If we are to teach, as Matthew Arnold argues, “the best of which has been thought and said” then I think it is incumbent on us, as teachers, to include in that the best of what has been, drawn, painted, illustrated and seen. Visual beauty, just like the beauty of texts, is something worth teachingContinue reading “Teaching Beautifully: The best of what has been drawn and seen”

Disciplinary Knowledge and RE: an attempt at professional wrestling

When there is no easy answer to the question of disciplinary knowledge the temptation arises for the classroom teacher to disengage with the debate. That is, quite honestly, the place I have been occupying for the last two years of my practice. I have put a big focus on the substantive knowledge in RE, IContinue reading “Disciplinary Knowledge and RE: an attempt at professional wrestling”