Promoting RE Teaching with Undergraduates

 
The aim
 
To strengthen links between local secondary schools and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Divinity in order to promote the teaching of RE.
 
What we did
 
We began with an activity to engage the undergraduates with current thinking and comment about religious education as a curriculum subject. We used a range of quotes from famous people and asked them to match the quote with the person. This led to some interesting conversations!
 
Kathryn Wright (TeachRE Course Lead Consultant) then gave a short presentation on the importance and value of teaching RE in schools. Kathryn used a powerpoint presentation which is available on the TeachRE website (www.teachre.co.uk) and which included the #beyondtheordinary film featuring Lyndsey Wilkinson from Redhill Academy in Nottinghamshire.
 
The pupils from St Bedes school then shared what they were looking for in an excellent RE teacher. You can read their report below.
 
Dennis Johnson, Head of RE at St Bedes, then shared his own experience of being an RE teacher. He encouraged the undergraduates to discuss different classroom scenarios, as well as talking about the huge benefits of teaching young people a subject which is challenging and inspiring.
 
The session concluded with a chance for undergraduates to ask questions about routes into teacher training and the TeachRE Course.
 
Report from St Bedes Young Ambassadors:
 
On Tuesday 14th March three of us Year 9 RE Young Ambassadors went to the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University to promote being an RE teacher to Theology undergraduates. We gave a short presentation, talking about the qualities we look for – as students – in an RE teacher; for example, passion, creativity, knowledge. We prepared our talk by creating props which we dressed up one of the undergraduates in: funny glasses for knowledge, a trendy baseball cap for being able to relate to young people, a big heart for passion, and party poppers for creativity. By the end of our presentation we had dressed up an undergraduate as our ideal teacher! Hopefully the undergraduates now have a better idea of what young people look for in their RE teachers, and recognise some of these qualities in themselves and so will be encouraged to apply to train to teach wonderful students like us!
 
Vicky Page, Cecilia Bennett, Pravinda Peiris (St Bedes Inter-Church School, Cambridge)
 
Want to do this with your school, academy or university?
If you would like to replicate this one hour session and would like help, support or the resources we used, please contact Kathryn Wright at kathryn@cstg.org.uk