05 November 2013

Methodist church highlights importance of religious education in schools with RE resources

The Methodist Schools and Education Service has completed a two year project that has produced accessible and informative Religious Education resources. The RE resources offer an insight into Christianity and Methodism for Key Stage 1-4.  

The completion of the project follows the recent Ofsted report Religious Education: Realising the Potential, published 06 October, that criticised the levels of RE provision in schools, placing responsibility for improvement with the government. 

John Keast OBE, Chair of RE Council of England and Wales, said: "Good religious education in all our schools is more important than ever these days. Religion and belief have such a high profile in current affairs, community and social matters, and personal development nowadays that everybody needs to know, understand and be able to make sense of it."

The RE resources were commissioned by the Methodist Church to provide some non-statutory exemplification of good teaching and learning in RE. They were written by Lat Blaylock of RE Today and are intended to enable teaching of Christianity from a Methodist perspective. The resources include an Introduction to Methodism by the Revd Dr Martin Wellings and Sam Taylor, former Methodist Youth President, along with an outline of the 'Distinctiveness of Methodism and Structure of the Methodist Church'.

Lat Blaylock, Adviser for Religious Education Today, said: "It has been a great privilege to work with such high quality staff from Methodist Schools and the Education service to create new materials for RE in Methodist schools. These materials give any teacher practically inspiring planning to use in their own classroom, enabling pupils to achieve more and learn about their Methodist and Christian heritage." 

The RE resources offer guidance in teaching Christianity through planned units of work. The units include such topics as, 'Warm hearts: what does it feel like to experience God's presence?' This particular unit is intended to make the life of John Wesley relevant to eight year old, Year four pupils. The resources have already been successfully piloted at Methodist schools around the country.  

Lat Blaylock said: "There's a focus on pupils' open-hearted and broad minded spiritual development too. OFsted criticise schools for low standards, but the Methodist RE project has done something practical to help. RE in these schools will enable pupils to understand Christianity for themselves, and respond freely." 

Jude Levermore, Head of Discipleship and Ministries, said: "We are proud of this top quality resource which will help teachers to engage with children in discussing things that really matter to them and will make relevant the heritage of Methodism to young people today." 

We have commissioned a reprint of the pack, Religious Education - Guidance in teaching Christianity, and delivery is expected at the end of November. If you would like to order a copy, please contact orders@norwichbooksandmusic.co.uk, telephone 0845 017 8220, quoting product code RE100-CT-13 . Each pack will be priced at £25.00 plus VAT (£30.00) plus £5.00 p&p and no discounts are available.

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