Agenda item

Curriculum Development Update


SACRE Members were updated on the Curriculum Development. It was explained that Welsh Government held a meeting with SACRE’s in September, which N Baicher and N Wherry attended. Paula advised that slides would be provided to the Committee.


Paula advised that Welsh Government want to consult with SACRE’s on the proposed idea that will be supporting the new framework in Religious Education. A group of people, some of whom have had involvement in writing the Humanities curriculum will be writing a supporting framework for RE that Welsh Government will fund. Paula advised that Welsh Government have engaged the services of herself and Libby Jones, who is the Chair on NAPfRE to head up the team.  If SACRE’s agree for this to go ahead then Paula and Libby will work with Welsh Government once a week. It is hoped that the framework will be adopted or adapted by SACREs as the locally agreed syllabus.


NB advised that there was a presentation from Professor Graham Donaldson, which created interesting discussions. Paula told the Committee that she can show the video in a future SACRE meeting. Paula also advised that she met with the Professor the day before the meeting who confirm he would be at the next Humanities workshop. He is very supportive of Religious Education. Paula made comment that she believes RE will be stronger and more present in schools as it sits alongside other subject within Humanities and links with other subjects such as Science. Links between RE and Health and Well-Being are  also easily identifiable  . The copy of the questionnaire on page 89 had been included for Newport SACRE to complete.


Once the final version is received, a response is needed by SACRE, what are its views?  Would the Committee support the framework and what are the implications of the proposals, such as training for implementation? Paula asked the Committee for any views, and to pass on any comments to her by next week. The Chair advised the Clerk to send the questionnaire to the all the Committee but for Teacher Representatives to fill out the questionnaire.


HT queried what was specifically going in the final version, as in the report comments were made that there weren’t clear hooks in some material for RE specialists. Where in the lessons is the RE component going to be? Clear instructions are needed, mustn’t be left with verbage. Paula stated there is a cultural change, and not the curriculum that we are used to. It would be down to the schools to determine their own curriculum She then clarified that it was feedback that disciplines been strengthened, it might come in the knowledge and skill section. The thought is that it would move to a more specialist provision when children are 14-16. It was reminded that this is a draft document and things will  be changed. .


Comment was made that at some point we have to agree on an agreed syllabus based on the new framework but how could it be agreed if the hooks can’t be found. Councillor Watkins then asked what would be the impact for children e.g. in exams, where would it leave children when they are faced with exam papers. LP advised that schools are working together to ensure everything is being done right, don’t want children to leave with worse results. SH advised that there is problems with the level of engagement with children, with what motivates and interests them. Praise was then given of how RE is being taught at Monnow Primary School. The problem was that unless engagement is kept up the children will become disengagement when they reach High School.


Paula advised an holistic approach was taken when writing the whole curriculum so that there is no significant overlap anywhere.Teachers would need support in understanding the philosophy of the curriculum and support in knowing how to implement it. SH made comment that facts need to be known, and living in an age of technology you don’t need to know facts where you can go online and find them out. Children could be given some broad themes and asked what they’d like to be taught. What one class will be may different to another but teachers would know what skills to teach them. This would help engage with the children.




The report was noted.


To send out the curriculum survey to the Committee and to get feedback from Teacher representatives.


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