What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development or CPD as it is commonly referred to is an entitlement of all teachers of RE.
As a teacher, your statutory conditions of service will require you to work an additional five days, which will be devoted to in-service education and training. These five days may focus on whole school development, as well as subject specific support and training. In addition, you may have opportunities to attend local networks and courses specific to RE.
In 2015, The Teacher Development Trust reported on a review of international research into effective professional development. Some of the key findings that relate to the TeachRE course include:
- The most effective professional development last at least 2 terms
- External facilitators of CPD should consider how to embed long term engagement
- Professional development programmes need to create a ‘rhythm’ of follow-up, consolidation and support activities
- CPD needed to be designed to meet participant needs
- CPD is most effective when it is subject knowledge focused and relates to subject specific pedagogy.
The TeachRE Courses are well positioned to fulfil these recommendations. The majority of our trainees complete the course over 3-12 months. Each module has a series of activities to complete and interaction with a tutor interspersed throughout the course. Some of the modules available in the Tailormade course encourage trainees to critically engage with their new knowledge base and apply it to their practice.
At the start of the course every trainee completes an audit to ensure the course is tailored to their needs. In addition, all the modules can directly impact on a teacher developing RE subject knowledge and expertise.
CPD can take many forms. As well the TeachRE Course you may consider workshops or seminars provided organisations like RE Today or conferences such as those provided by NATRE or Learn, Teach, Lead RE. It could be lengthier programmes of study, such as a post graduate diploma or a masters course. CPD can also involve getting together with subject peers and sharing practice and experiences in local hubs, like NATRE’s local groups, regional hubs, Teachmeets or in online social media spaces such as NATRE’s #REChat.
The Chartered College of Teaching aims to support teachers, championing great teaching and raising the status of the profession. Many RE teachers and professionals belong to the Chartered College in order to broaden their expertise and contribute to wider educational conversations.
See our list of CPD opportunities
CPD Case Study
I am currently the Route Leader for the Secondary RE PGCE as well as having responsibility for Primary RE and Philosophy for Children (P4C) on the undergraduate and postgraduate ITE programmes at Winchester.
My route to my current position started by teaching Modern Foreign Languages in secondary schools for 10 years then moved to primary education. Whilst teaching in primary schools I became the RE Leader – which then became my passion! Through my desire to enhance the RE in my schools I completed training in Philosophy for Children (P4C), which led to my school being used as an example of good practice in RE for Ofsted.
When I was appointed to my current role at the University of Winchester I was aware that although I had been leading Primary RE for several years, there were distinct gaps in my subject knowledge, particularly in certain religions. Therefore, before taking up my post I decided to do the ‘Teach RE’ course in order to consolidate my own knowledge and understanding of some of the religions and worldviews that I had had no experience of thus far. I can unequivocally state that the course was of immense benefit to me – not only in increasing my knowledge base but also in having the time dedicated to researching, exploring and writing about a range of areas. In addition, it gave me invaluable experience in writing academically, which helped significantly when I embarked on my own Master’s study.
In my role as Route Leader for the Secondary RE PGCE I always recommend the course to prospective students so that they start their time with us with a strong foundation for their PGCE in the main religions and world views that they will be expected to teach in schools.
I would thoroughly recommend the course to anyone wanting to increase their subject knowledge or confidence in RE. The support you get from Culham St Gabriel’s and from the tutor you are linked to is excellent and I can assure you that the benefits will be immeasurable!