The latest stories and resources from the Schools and Parish Team at SDBE, the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education

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School Leader Monthly Briefing

May 2020
Fred Rogers says in his book ‘Neighbourly Wit and Wisdom’:
‘As human beings, our job in life is to help people realise how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has – or ever will have; something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.’
Thank you for being all that you are
and for the way you lead in your schools and academies so that others are encouraged to discover themselves through your leadership and the presence of God in your school.
Image credit: The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse Charlie Mackesy Hymn lyrics by Bruce Ellis


In this monthly briefing you will find:
1. Updates from Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education, Church of England and The CofE  Foundation for Leadership
2. What Children and Young People Want ... Transition
3. Supporting Children and Young People through loss
4. Worship Resources including links to Growing Faith in Households #Faithathome
Updates and Links Relating to Religious Education
6. Personal Spiritual Leadership
7. CPD and information from local and national providers
8. A final message from our advisers


The Big Leavers Service  – The Cathedral, DBE and RISE Theatre are thrilled to invite you to our Big Leavers Service on Friday 10th July at 1pm. Whether your leavers are in school with their teacher and classmates, or at home with their parents, we hope they can join us in this pre-recorded service which will involve prayer, music, drama and song.
First and Primary schools will receive a pack to use in preparation and the video and resources will be available on the Cathedral website for viewing after 10th July. We hope you will facebook, tweet and instagram your school’s participation. Our thanks go to Sarum St Michael’s Education Charity for helping to fund this project and to all who have played a part in it.
Might there be ways that your school and parish can work together as you plan for transition? Here is a mailing from Scripture Union about transition and ‘It’s Your Move’. Do share with us what you are doing together to mark this ‘rite of passage’ at this time by contacting or
The SDBE continues to work to support schools, academies and trusts via our School Advisory Team, through governance support and in our joint work with clergy and Children and Young People. We also speak into the daily meetings with both Dorset and Wiltshire Local Authorities and into the RSC. Whilst the number of staff is smaller than usual, we encourage you to get in touch with us if you need to.

New guidance on our website includes:
  • A document listing the virtual courses and network events we are running this term here. Do have a look and pass on to relevant colleagues within your organisation.
  • Information on the Hub Lead Practitioners for RE here.
We are also working closely with colleagues at Church House to re-develop the website for September and to produce joint guidance such as that relating to the development of School, Parish and Household worship here.
Collective Worship and Faith at Home - new material and resources for Schools, Parishes and Households to use this term have been developed. The next six weeks will see assemblies and worship material on themes of Kindness, Generosity, Vulnerability, Compassion and Flourishing. For details click here.
Grief, Bereavement and Loss - New material called ‘Never the Same’ has been written for the Church of England Website. Click here for church leaders and here for parents and families. They link to the suite of resources to support school leaders here.
CofE Professional Qualification for Headship is a nationally recognised NPQH, rooted in the CofE Vision for Education with its focus on Church School leadership and vision.

The application window for cohort 4 (starting December 2020) is open. 
Please do share this into your school team and across your cluster or MAT. Listen to participant experiences in this Video. Read about the programme here.

The SDBE is looking to build a network of colleagues across the diocese to be ‘leadership champions’. If you are interested in finding out more, or could offer to be a mentor for an aspiring leader, please contact
Called, Connected, Committed Weekly updatescan be downloaded here . And a reminder that CEFEL is offering two final free network sessions to school leaders at all levels of leadership. The sessions will explore the concepts in the Called, Connected, Committed document and weekly mailouts. You can register for these remaining sessions here:

Session 4: Removing Disadvantage, Wednesday 17th June 10am Register for Session 4
Session 5: Accepting Vulnerability, Wednesday 1st July 10am Register for Session 5
A  Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education - The DBE Website has a new page relating to RSHE here. Our ongoing work has been with national and regional partners and we are pleased to share the outcome which will be a website called ‘Goodness and Mercy’.

Supported by a Sarum St Michael’s Education Charity (SSMEC) grant, the website has been written by Katy Staples, Schools Adviser for Bristol Diocese and author of “Valuing All God’s Children” (2017) and co-author of “Love and Sex Matters” (2011). It will provide a wide range of support materials, including lesson plans (KS1 and KS2 from 2020; KS3 and KS4 from January 2021), Knowledge Organisers and Progression Grids, staff training materials and examples of ways to structure parent consultation and Governors meetings. All of this will all be available free to download from July 10th 2020 – details to follow.   
The DfE have written to schools this month to indicate that whilst schools may not be fully ready to teach materials by 1st September, it is expected that by Summer 2021, consultations and planning will be in place and teaching will be underway. See the DfE letter to schools and other guidance on Wiltshire Healthy Schools site here or on the PSHE Association website here.
Communication of Good News Stories!
Twitter and the Website - We are always keen to share the School News Stories that are rooted in your school’s Christian Vision. This includes news about ways you are Working Together with your parish or further afield. This week we are pleased to share a creative example from Wiltshire, where Rev. Eleanor has been working with Tilshead and Shrewton schools to support transition for pre-school aged pupils who can’t visit in person this summer.
Spot her peg doll in the story here.
Read about what other schools have been up to here.
If you have a vision-centred story you would like us to share, please contact
A new Instagram Account sdbeworship – With a focus on posting images and stories linked to worship and prayer; we are keen to link to all church schools with an Instagram account.
To follow us, click here.
If your school has an Instagram account, please follow us and we will follow you back!
Our Facebook Group is called HeLP_Regroups – Please share all your work in relation to  Religious Education here.
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Transition Support Ideas – Lizzie Whitbread
I am sure all our schools will be giving thought to pupils who are transitioning this academic year, from those starting in Reception to those who may be joining a Sixth Form. Many of you will have your own creative ideas, but to give you some more we asked the young people in our most recent Mental Health and Well Being Steering Group for their reflections. They advised:
  • If possible, provide something physical that is delivered to the pupil who will be joining. This could be as simple as card but could also include age appropriate information about the school, photos of their teachers and what the key areas of the school look like. Include information that helps them to feel that they belong as part of the new school community.
  • To create an online tour of the school and a map. Many pupils going up to bigger schools often worry about getting lost in the big building so help them to familiarise themselves with the layout of the school. This could include an i-spy game of things to spot as they watch the video that will also be there in September.
  • Be mindful that online meetings, particularly for those joining year 12, can be good. However pupils may have very limited access to the internet, as siblings are also trying to access on-line schooling, so don’t make this the only opportunity for induction.
  • To send individual letters from pupils that are in the year above, to welcome the new pupils and tell them a bit about the school and what they like about it. Pupils wanted to hear from other young people, not just adults as they felt they would remember what it had been like and include the sort of information that they were most interested in hearing.
The key thinking in all of these answers is to work to create a sense of belonging for the new pupils, so that they feel like they have a place in the school family before they arrive. This is particularly important this year as children and young people may be more anxious having not been in school for so long. 
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The current context means that children and young people have experienced loss in very many ways - from a loss of exam results, loss of freedom to meet friends and loss of routine, to loss of a sense of security and loss of parks and hobbies. Some children will have been bereaved during this time and many will be much more aware of people dying and need help talking about that.
As the situation changes again and we all begin to adjust to another ‘new normal’, children and young people will need support to process and adjust to this loss in order to move forward in a positive way. Many will have been removed from the usual providers of support such as friends, school staff and other professionals. This may mean that children, young people and families feel more isolated and feel less equipped to do this themselves.
Bridport and SW Dorset - Supporting Children and Young People through Loss,
16th June 3:30 – 4:45pm via Zoom
Bridport Community Hub would like to invite you to a training session looking at how school staff and community group leaders can support children and young people to deal with the experience of loss that the Corona virus, lockdown and on-going regulations have caused. Designed to help the school and community group leaders of Bridport and the surrounding area to understand how loss can lead to grief, this course will cover how children might process that grief and consider how to support children and young people to help them to come through this time and how to support families to do this at home too.
If you are a member of school staff or involved in running groups, services or activities to children, young people and their families in Bridport and the surrounding area you are invited to take part in this free training. To Join the Zoom Meeting please contact either Lizzie Whitbread  or Emma Waters ( for the link.
This training session will be hosted by Lizzie Whitbread, Senior Adviser for Work with Children and Young People at Salisbury Diocese and Pete Stone, Bridport Team Vicar in partnership with Sir John Colfox School and St Mary’s Primary School. If you have any further questions about anything in this section, please take a look at our website provision here, or contact
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Prayer Spaces have developed the first of a series of prayer activities for use in a ‘socially distanced’ classroom. These will be posted on the website soon. If you’ve been working on anything similar, please share with us at the DBE and with Prayer Spaces themselves.
In the meantime, new resources for families and households who are still at home are here and resources/ideas for setting up a leavers prayer space can be found here.
Roots on the Web are also a partner in the #Faithathome campaign and have a page of free resources linked to each of the assembly themes above. These include prayers, discussions and activities to support conversation and family time together. They are available here. Their other resources are here.
Engage Worship has created new videos for songs you may want to use in worship either in school or for home. For example Amazing Grace - with an added chorus and actions; Glory to God - drums and vocal version of a Peruvian Gloria and a song called Listen to the Words which includes an all-age friendly prayer slot within it and is about praying for peace.
Programme for Applied Christian Education is based in South Dorset and provides a number of resources on their website for worship, RE and pastoral care. Videos of some of their most popular themes have been provided free during this time. Click here for their website.
School and Church links - Looking to make or enrich the links between your school and local church. Here are some examples of what has been happening in Bristol.
Scripture Union have free training sessions this month - click here.  
It’s Your MoveTransition to Secondary School Thursday 11th June 2-3pm
Running online holiday clubs on Thursday 18 June 2-3pm
Summer Holiday provision - If your community is looking at summer holiday provision, they may be interested in Exmoor Youth Project’s learning from their Easter club which went online here.  
Exeter Diocese Family Reflection ProjectCould you create a resource that could be used in the home? A resource that encourages reflection? One that is inspiring as well as inclusive? One which encourages conversation, where children and young people will want to be engaged? This project is open to all and aims to build a lasting resource available to all. The community arts project encourages contributors to get creative and produce material linked to the lectionary themes for either early years, primary or secondary aged young people.
Have a look on the website here.
For more information and a briefing document click here.
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An article in Primary Times reviews NATRE’s resource Picturing Islam, Picturing Muslims which is £45. Read the article here.
Buy the resource here.
NATRE have produced free resources for learning of RE at home here.
A free 30 day membership to NATRE is available making it 13 months for the price of 12.
A bank of stories has been created by StoryTent. They come from across the world and from a number of religious or non-religious worldviews and they explore themes such as How can we be Peacemakers? How can we care for our planet?
The Spirited Arts Competition is taking place this year and has been adapted so that entries can be sent either from schools (collated) or from home.
Click here for information which including a really accessible recorded webinar (50 minutes) that explains and inspires pupils as well as teachers to take part.
Themes to choose from are: God’s Good Earth?; Inspiring; Holy Words; Where is God? and a new section for photography called Picturing Faith. 
It would be great to have some Church Schools in Salisbury Diocese in the gallery for 2020!
RE Today are offering online courses and webinars, including;
Teaching Primary RE with text and poetry on 19th June and
RE: Intent, Implementation and Impact on 30th June. Book here.
Sea of Faith Network has produced home learning resources to support philosophical and spiritual discussion. Click here
Read the blogs written by RE professionals here.
They include How I ensure Key Stage 3 schemes of work are ambitious – Charlotte Newman, Secondary Head of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics and
How I use formative assessment to inform progress and planning in Primary RE – Laura Harris, Southwest Regional Ambassador for RE.
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Just before half term, Joy wrote to school and MAT leaders. In her letter she referred to John’s gospel 1:14 which says,
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’.
Joy encouraged us all to think how we might be able to bring life and light to all, just as Jesus did, by bending low to serve others. We thank you for the ways you are doing this.
One way to do this is by highlighting the great things that people are doing, making or thinking, so that they are encouraged. We thought you would like to see a couple of short videos of encouragement shared by colleagues.

 Click here for Wimborne Multi Academy Trust
here for St Edward’s Poole (School News story here).
A Prayer for School Leaders from the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership

Father God
As we welcome increasing numbers of pupils and staff into our schools
We seek your healing,
Knowing that your grace is without measure
And your hand is mighty to save.
God, our Healer, 
Hear our prayer.

As we hold out our vision for an ever-wider, united community
We seek your confidence,
Knowing that you can make a way in the desert places
And bring refreshment for our souls.
God, our Waymaker,
Hear our prayer.

As we invite our communities to share in our imaginative approaches
We seek your creativity,
Knowing that you can make all things new
And can offer us hope for the future.
God, our Creator,
Hear our prayer.

As we acknowledge together that much has not been easy
We seek your grace,
Knowing that you have been consistently faithful,
And can restore what is broken.
God, our Repairer,
Hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus,
Who loved us enough
To pursue our renewal,
At great cost to himself,
To him be all glory and honour forever.
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Speak Out, Stay Safe - Childline has produced a virtual school assembly (5 June 2020). The assembly, aimed at children aged 7-11 years old and run in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE), features an introduction from Ant and Dec and highlights from the NSPCC Speak out. Stay safe. programme. The assembly focusses on anxiety, including the worries that children are facing during the coronavirus crisis, why they may feel anxious or worried and ways they can be supported. View here: Speak out. Stay safe.

Childline has updated its website with information to support children and young people coping with world news. 
Visit Childline: Coping with world news
Teaching about mental wellbeing as part of the primary and secondary curriculum - Practical materials for primary and secondary schools and a mental wellbeing teacher training module have been produced. The material is intended to be used for the new curriculum, which becomes statutory in September 2020 but content may be useful for teachers who are currently working with pupils, either face-to-face or remotely, to support them to maintain good mental health and address issues before they escalate. See here.
Initial Teacher Training guidance for current trainees and providers - April guidance for providers and schools confirmed that trainees making adequate progress towards the teachers’ standards should be recommended for QTS at the end of their course.
Guidance has been updated with information on course extension funding for trainees whose courses were disrupted by COVID-19, and who are not awarded QTS in summer 2020 as a result. Click here. It is expected that schools and ITT providers should enable trainees to complete their training in the autumn term 2020. The manual is here
In addition please find
  • National Heatwave guidance in light of Covid-19 includes a poster and leaflet  here
  • Guidance on report writing in schools adapted to reflect Covid-19 here.
DfE guidance related to pay Information related to pay here.

A booklet called ‘Covid-19 Returning to School Advice for Parents’ was circulated to schools before half term. It aims to support families in decision making as more children return to school and includes strategies they can use with children and some FAQs. You can share with them here.
Young Work Wiltshire – An Education, Employment and Training service for young people has been launched - committed to reducing the number of 16 and 17 year olds who are not in any form of education, employment or training (NEET). Visit 
Right Choice Wiltshire – see here for online training opportunities this month. These include:
NQTs: Formative assessment strategies – 17th June 4.00-5.00pm
Teaching Children to understand Inference - 25th June 3.30-4.15pm
TAs: Promoting children’s Independence – 30th June 3.30-4.30pm

NHS Resources and videos:  

Public Health England resources for children:
YouTube videos explaining infections to children (apologies to all the science teachers reading this for the lack of use of the correct terms!):

Additional Resources:

  • My Hero is you: A book that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19. This explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality.
  • Coronavirus, a book for children: This book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds.
  • The Stay Home Superheroes: An online ebook about the importance of staying at home and how this is helping to stop the spread of the virus.
  • Video from South West Health Protection Team supporting schools to break the chain of infection in COVID-19.

Teaching resources:

  • Lesson plans: Ebug - a range of fun lesson plans on hand washing and respiratory hygiene for KS1-3.
  • Save the World: a family-friendly educational game to help face the Coronavirus pandemic. Players of all ages can become better at social distancing through playing.
Maths Hubs are looking to recruit primary teachers to a 3 year programme to develop mastery approaches to teaching maths and to work with other schools. Applications close 15th June 2020. See here.

Fisher Family Trust MAT partner meetings are being held virtually and are available to book through EventBrite here: Tuesday 16 June (2 - 3pm) or Wednesday 17 June (10 - 11pm)

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Thank you, once more, for all you are doing in your school, your academy, your community and in your wider educational roles. We encourage you!
Nicola and Linda
Nicola Coupe
School Improvement Adviser
Tel Direct Mobile: 07469 857 670
Tel Emma at SDBE Office: 01722 746953  
Linda Rowley
School Improvement Consultant
Tel Direct Mobile: 07971 294146
Tel Anna at SDBE Office: 01722 746943
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Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) · SDBE · The Avenue, Wilton · Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 0FG · United Kingdom

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