Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Wednesday, 13 November 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Garth Hill College, Bull Lane, Bracknell, RG42 2AD

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Election of Chairman 2019/20


It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gareth Barnard be elected Chairman for the academic year 2019/20.



Appointment of Vice-Chairman 2019/20


It was RESOLVED that Madeline Diver be appointed Vice-Chairman for the academic year 2019/20.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 4 July 2019.


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 July 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Presentation from Garth Hill College


Clare Hawkins, RE Lead at Garth Hill College presented to SACRE on RE work at Garth Hill College.


In Year 7/8, Religious Studies was taught at Garth Hill College in carousel with Citizenship and Clare stated that this did not meet statutory requirement of 45 hours a year. It was hoped that school trips and other RE enrichment activities would boost these hours next year.


In Year 9, compulsory RE would be reintroduced to the curriculum.


In Year 10/11, RE was presented as an option for GCSE. Clare had organised a trip to Rome to incentivise RE as a GCSE option.


In Year 12/13, a new RE A Level had been introduced for 2020. 15 students from Garth Hill College had enrolled already, excluding students from other schools who would join for the course. There was no pre-requisite for students to have completed RE GCSE to join the A Level course.


School trips would be a big feature on the RE curriculum, as it was important for students to visit places of worship outside of Bracknell. The trips would be held during RE teaching hours, and costs would be kept low. Visits during sixth form enrichment time would also be introduced, as well as additional RE short courses to earn additional UCAS points.


Arising from discussion, the following points were noted:

·         The aim of a holistic RE curriculum was to make students more culturally aware of their communities.

·         The KS3 syllabus compared religions to each other, and to a Humanist viewpoint.

·         SACRE members thanked Clare for hosting the meeting at the College.  

·         It was proposed that Garth Hill College might join the RE Ambassador project with Ranelagh to get into Primary schools.

·         Dilip Ladwa agreed to give some thoughts on the teaching of Hinduism in schools at the next SACRE meeting, and offered to work with primary schools to support the teaching of Hinduism. (Action: Dilip Ladwa)


Membership update


SACRE members were informed of a number of vacancies outstanding on their membership, and were invited to propose any new members to Lizzie Rich by email.


It was noted that the Jewish representative formerly on SACRE had been asked to stand down due to non-attendance, and so there was a vacancy for a Jewish representative.


It was queried whether young people in sixth form could be appointed as members of SACRE, and it was agreed that this would be investigated. (Action: Anne Andrews / Lizzie Rich)



Budget Update


This item was deferred to the next meeting. SACRE asked for a particular update on whether Bracknell Forest had paid its contribution to the Pan-Berkshire SACRE Hub.



Feedback from Berkshire Hub meeting and Update on Westhill Project pdf icon PDF 450 KB

·         Filming update

·         Bracknell Forest venue for a film interview session


Anne Andrews gave an update from the Berkshire Hub meeting and associated Westhill project.


The Westhill project had been proposed by the pan-Berkshire SACRE Hub in order to create a suite of videos of faith representatives answering two questions from the syllabus from their perspective. Initially, it had been hoped that schools would be able to support the filming process however a private film maker in Slough had been found.


One interview had already been filmed, and five further were planned between January and April 2020. It was hoped that filming could take place in one faith venue in each Local Authority.


Anne agreed to share the first video with SACRE members


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·         It was agreed that although filming using green screen technology would save costs, there was benefit in taking teachers who had never been to different faith venues before for a visit to build local contacts.

·         SACRE members welcomed the project and the video resource.

·         The resource would be available for use in other Local Authorities, however it could not be sold as a package.


Feedback for RE network meetings


Anne Andrews reported that the last RE Network meeting had been well-attended by primary school teachers, and that secondary school teachers were also welcome to attend. The Network meetings had been moved into school venues following the redevelopment of the Open Learning Centre.



Initial GCSE/A Level result update


Gary Paterson advised that the RE GCSE results for Berkshire had not yet been published, and agreed to update at the next meeting. (Action: Gary Paterson)


SACRE considered the national GCSE RE figures which were available. It was recognised that nationally, the achievement gap between girls and boys grew with age, and that the number of boys attaining a level 5 at GCSE was down 7% compared to previous years.



Updates on Ofsted reports


It was noted that there had been two Ofsted inspection reports published since the last SACRE meeting, at The Pines (Requires Improvement, previously Good) and Birch Hill (Good, previously Good). SACRE members considered the RE sections of these reports.


SACRE members commented that the reports written under the new Ofsted framework read differently to previous reports.


It was noted that Bracknell Forest schools were expected to adhere to the School Improvement strategy.


Update on SIAMS reports for Easthampstead St Michael's pdf icon PDF 163 KB


Anne Andrews presented the SIAMS report for St Michael’s Easthampstead Primary School and Jennett’s Park, which had both been confirmed to be Good. SACRE members congratulated all at both schools for these positive results.


Anne explained for new members that SIAMS and Ofsted inspections were different, as every school was inspected by Ofsted but SIAMS inspections were the additional inspection of a faith school’s religious designation.



Draft Annual Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 576 KB


Anne Andrews presented the draft Annual Report for 2018-19, for any comments. It was noted that the report would not be finalised until the exam results were included.


Any Other Business


Madeline Diver invited all SACRE members to attend the Interfaith event ‘Are Science and Religion compatible’ at St Joseph’s Church on 14 November 2019.


Councillor Ankur Shiv Bhandari requested to see a copy of the RE Agreed Syllabus for Bracknell Forest, and it was clarified that this was available online.


Anne Andrews reported that the RE Ambassador Scheme had not had an further take-up from secondary schools, although it was suggested that Garth Hill College might be interested.


Anne Andrews invited any SACRE members to submit items for the SACRE newsletter.


Dilip Ladwa invited SACRE members to upcoming Indian Association events.


Councillor Lizzie Gibson queried whether SACRE’s remit included academies, and it was clarified that although academies were not obliged to work with SACRE, many chose to use the locally agreed syllabus in their own curriculums.



Dates of Future Meetings


12 March 2020

13 July 2020


Forward Plan workshop pdf icon PDF 217 KB


SACRE undertook a workshop on the proposed Forward Plan outside of the meeting.