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

September 2020

Love in Action

Welcome back to the start of a new academic year. Welcome especially to the sixteen newly appointed school leaders and acting school leaders in role across the diocese. We hope this regular School Leader Monthly Briefing serves you well as we bring you news of our work and from further afield under the themes of Religious Education, Collective Worship, Courageous Advocacy and educational updates from other providers.
The image above is a still from The Church of England’s first service of the academic year. Its focus was ‘Love in Action’ and in it, teachers and school support staff were hailed as ‘unsung heroes’ for their work to help children and families over the spring and summer terms and summer holidays.
The Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Revd Nigel Genders, outlined the Church of England’s commitment to supporting church schools across the country to lead in their local communities, so that education is provided in a deeply Christian way by them in a way that benefits the common good. He encouraged church schools to work with other educational providers for the benefit of all. He added,
“Ensuring all children have the opportunity to grow in wisdom and to flourish in their daily lives is at the heart of our aspiration and we are hugely thankful for the countless staff, governors and church leaders who make that possible.”
The Dean of Birmingham, Matt Thompson says, “Our service today is a small way in which we can say a big ‘thankyou to God’ for you and for all that you have done to show God’s love in action throughout these long months."
The Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education encourage you in all you do and we agree with Matt Thompson’s words in the video and wish you the very best for the academic year ahead.

“We give thanks to you and we salute you for all that you have done, a truly outstanding act of service to God and to our nation. We bless you for the new year to come, with all its opportunities and challenges.”
Watch children sharing 1 Corinthians here




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. Updates and Links Relating to Religious Education
3. Courageous Advocacy and Social Justice
4.Worship Resources including links to Growing Faith in Households #Faithathome
5. Personal Spiritual Leadership
6. CPD and information from local and national providers
7. A final message from our advisers


Partnership Service Agreement – Schools have been sent the PSA documentation last week by email and the leaflet also in the post. If you have not seen your email copy, please check your junk mail. Community and Independent Schools have also been informed about the PSA and can book Religious Education and Collective Worship training as well as attend the RE Conference in Spring 2021. Please do encourage the partners you work with in your clusters and in mixed Multi Academy Trusts to take up this offer as we hope it will enrich the work you do together.
We are pleased to introduce Debbie Heritage - our new School Improvement Adviser (SIA). Some of you will know Debbie, as she was the headteacher at Stoborough School in Dorset over the last 8 years. Debbie will hold strategic leadership for SIAMS and Safeguarding for the DBE as well as liaison with Dorset LA and the Schools Causing Concern strategy. Debbie and the full school advisory team look forward to serving you and your communities over the coming year.  You can contact us here.
The Diocese of Salisbury HLP's (Hub Lead Practitioners) have been busy over the summer planning this academic year's RE CPD. More information can be found on our website and within the Updates Relating to Religious Education section of this briefing.
Understanding Christianity for KS3 (Middle and Secondary Schools). The DBE has secured this course for all secondary and middle schools and, thanks to a grant, it is subsidised so that the cost is only £75.
It is virtual and will be run on September 22nd. Please encourage all schools with KS3 in your cluster/MAT to register to attend on the course booking page.
It saves more than £150 on normal course costs and is a unique and bespoke training session led by Steve Pett from RE Today. Don’t miss it!
Relationships and Sex Education Guidance for Church Schools - The Goodness and Mercy website went ‘live’ in July and has been commended by Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer of The Church of England. You can reach the Goodness and Mercy website, and see the CofE Charter for RSHE and associated resources.
The Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education is producing a document which schools can use to lead discussion towards the creation of an RSHE policy. We encourage discussion with staff, governors and parents as you finalise your approach to the teaching of Relationships Education or Relationships and Sex Education. The SDBE page is here. The document will be available in October.
Foundation Governor Training - The first virtual course for foundation governors was conducted through Zoom on the 14th July, and was both well attended and well received. We will be offering training through this format for Foundation Governors NEW to the role again this term (8th October and 2nd December), and following feedback received these have been extended to include an extra hour of training. (The DBE will review whether to extend the virtual format to include RENEWING Foundation Governors or whether to run these physically once the sessions for these governors begin again in the Spring Term.) We are also trialling the first session of the ‘Foundation Governor Professional Development’ course through Zoom on 3rd November – please encourage your Foundation Governors to consider joining us for this.
Governor Microsite - Clerks to governors have all been issued with a username and password to access your school’s live details so that they can keep them up to date. For any queries, clerks should please e-mail
Small Schools - All schools, academies and MATs will be receiving detailed information shortly about the SDBE Small Schools Strategy, which we are launching this September and which will inspire conversations across the coming months with a large number of governing bodies of schools with 210 pupils or less.
Please look out for this information, and if you have any questions about it, then please contact either Giles, or
Dan who will be very happy to discuss it with you in greater detail.
Admissions variation requests - For those schools and academies who have an oversubscription criterion in their policy that relates either to faith or church attendance, a variation has to be requested by the Admissions authority for that specific setting.
We are extremely grateful to all those of you who took the appropriate action required to request a variation to your Admissions Policy (to account for the closure of places of worship due to Covid). 67% of academies and 61% of schools completed the steps we outlined by the 8th August deadline, and those who for various understandable reasons were not able to meet this timing have subsequently been contacted to offer further support to enable the request process to be completed as quickly as possible.
The Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) is now contacting all schools directly with their response. (In some cases, they are asking for further necessary actions.) We expect that the Department for Education will shortly be doing the same for academies.
For those who are still working their way through the steps or any follow up actions, and would welcome further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dan directly with any questions on
Unlocking Research – Inspiring Primary Curriculum Design – A new book in the Unlocking Research series has been published. A chapter on vision-driven curriculum (based on the CofE Vision for Education) has been written by Mark Lacey CEO of The Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust (DSAT), Andy Wolfe at The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership (CEFEL) and colleagues from The Diocese of Gloucester Academy Trust. Click here to read more about the book and for sample pages.
The Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust team are sharing some guidance documents written last term for DSAT academies. These documents (The Return to School (Staff, Children and Families) (Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Strategy) and Planning for Essential Learning) were written to provide support to DSAT academy leaders in planning for the staff, children and their families to return to school.  As well as ensuring that learning continues and any impact of school closure is minimised, the strategies prioritise the well-being of everyone connected to schools. Click here to read the documents. Contact Jo Hicks, DSAT Director of Education
Called, Connected, Committed – CEFEL will be continuing to send out their Monday newsletter which contains messages of encouragement, support and inspiration based on Called, Connected, Committed document (download it here). You can subscribe to the weekly newsletter and read back issues on themes here. It includes podcasts, ideas to support a spiritual approach to leadership, reflections and prayers as well as signposting to resources that you may wish to share with your colleagues.  
CEFEL - Completing your NPQH with the Church of England will enable you to gain the NPQH qualification whilst also reigniting and confirming your own vision and vocation, taking inspiration from the Church of England Vision for Education. You do not have to be working in a church school to benefit from this course. Please pass this on to colleagues aspiring to headship within and beyond your school.
CEFEL are now recruiting for Cohort 4 which will begin in December 2020.  More information and registration details for our ‘Find out More’ session on 24th September can be found at Application deadline is 5th November 2020. 
We love to see and read about your work and encourage you to follow us on Twitter (general DBE work), Instagram (Prayer, Spirituality, Collective Worship in particular) and Facebook (Religious Education).
Creationtide 2020 is called ‘Jubilee for the Earth’ – From 6th September to 4th October churches and schools are focused on renewing the relationship with God as the creator of all creation. Click for The Church of England page, including their ‘Letters for Creation’ project. Check out videos such as ‘God of Creation’ song or Planet of Hope’s video of prayerful reflection/call to action.
The Diocesan Comms Team are looking for your feedback – A Communications Focus Group is being set up to give feedback and support. They are looking for people of all ages, who use social media as well as those who subscribe to Grapevine and use the website. Participants will be asked to fill in regular online surveys and questionnaires to help us deliver the best communications we can. If you are interested, please contact them via Please pass this information on.
Director of Mission and Ministry - The Diocese of Salisbury are delighted to announce the appointment of the Revd Canon Jonathan Triffitt to the post of Director of Mission and Ministry and Deputy Diocesan Secretary. Jonathan also chairs the SDBE’s Children and Young People Committee and is overseeing the current project to redesign the diocesan website. He will lead a team in 3 key areas of ‘Growing Faith’ – Discipleship, leadership and community transformation through a local as well as ‘cross-diocese’ approach. We welcome him into post and look forward to deepening our work with him.
The Key’s System Leadership Podcasts includes an interview with the Church of England's Chief Education Officer, Nigel Genders, covering a variety of topics including the Church of England's Vision for Education and Relationships and Sex Education. Listen here.  Click for the full list of Key Voices podcasts.
Rural Hope Photography Competition – ‘People who work in the countryside’ is the theme. Read more about this annual Photography Competition which runs until 31 October. A panel, chaired by Bishop Andrew, will pick the winners in November and then each chosen photo will feature for a month on the Diocesan website during 2021. Please send your entries to Clare Phillips via or the simple-to-use file sharing site
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Christian Aid Global Neighbours Scheme is getting up and running again this autumn when schools are able to re-engage. Read their Primary School practical guide here.
There is a new resource called ‘Flower Power’ that has been produced by Caroline Wedd. She works in the Derby Diocese area and has contact with Church schools there. This is a curriculum enrichment mental health and well-being project using music and story. It may be of interest to schools thinking about ways to develop pupil resilience over the next few months. Read details of Flower Power here.
Reforming RE is a new blogspot website where conversations about the teaching of religion and worldviews are taking place between teachers, researchers and academics. The conversations and writings are reflections upon the National Entitlement for RE described in the Commission on Religious Education (CORE) final report that was published in 2018. We commend it to those of you looking to see the way that RE is developing.
‘Strictly RE’ is going to be online! - NATRE are running their popular RE Conference on line on 30th and 31st January 2021. Tickets are on sale now with early bird discount before the end of October. Read more here. The focus is on Building Curriculum, Teaching Worldviews and looking at how RE can support anti-racism.
Walk Through the Bible have produced video and online materials over the summer that cover The Old Testament. They are accredited resources for use with ‘Understanding Christianity’, fitting with the 'People of God' unit for upper Key Stage 2. Schools can read more and sign up for these free resources. Digging Deeper materials can be found here...
Looking for Bible Stories and videos during Creationtide? Here are links to a few you may like to try. The Bible Project’s animated Bible story videos and one of Genesis.


RE Online are delighted to have launched a new summer blog series called Opening up conversations about religion and worldviews’. This blog series is being run in collaboration with the RE Policy Unit, a partnership between NATRE, the RE Council and RE Today. It will include contributions from a wide range of teachers, those working in initial teacher education and researchers in this field. Read the blogs here.
RE Online have updated 3 of the subject knowledge essays, (Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism). They are  suitable for the teacher to expand and deepen understanding of religion and worldviews. You might like to share extracts with students, but these are aimed at teachers and other professionals.

TEACH: RE is an initiative of Culham St Gabriel’s and is dedicated to educational training for those teaching Relgious Education / Religion and Worldviews. Their courses are varied and some are free. Read more about Teach RE here. FREE self-study module Religion and Worldviews: Developing subject knowledge for teaching. 
This short one-module self-study course is for anyone who wishes to develop their subject knowledge of religion and worldviews to teach pupils in a primary or secondary setting.
If you are interested in training in RE, do email Nicola Coupe as there are some grant bodies you may be able to apply to. 
Both Wiltshire and Dorset SACRES (Standing advisory Councils for RE) are developing the new locally agreed syllabuses in line with their target of 2021. The views of teachers and headteachers have been sought and the Hub Lead Practitioners are also speaking into this work. Both SACREs are being advised by RE Advisers with experience in the development of syllabuses. Please be reassured that there will continue to be core training planned to support schools in the run up to and after the launch.  
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Take a Pew The Strengthening the Safety Net campaign wants every local council to adequately fund emergency support for families to ensure everyone has somewhere to turn at a time of crisis, especially during these uncertain times.
The See, Hear, Respond project is where The Children’s Society are providing support to help children, young people and families cope with the Covid-19 crisis. Click on the link to find out what they'll be doing in partnership with other charities to stop the damaging effects of lockdown.

Christingle is being resourced in packs that will support schools and churches in running the event in a physically distanced or virtual way. We will feature this information in next month’s School Leader Monthly Briefing, but click the link if you want to read up on what The Children’s Society are doing for Christingle. If you would like your children to have a recorded or live talk from The Children’s Society, please contact Gill Ford to chat about your requirements.  telephone: 07539 445 415 or email:
The Children’s Society Emergency Appeal has so far raised over £1.9million which is wonderful. Details are here emergency appeal
Do you like running? If you could run 50 miles in what remains of September and raise money for The Children’s Society you can sign up for their fundraiser here.

The Children's Society Good Childhood Research has been published – It noted that as well as being unhappy with school and the way they look, children are becoming increasingly unhappy with friendships. The report explains that having someone you can trust and talk to when you're growing up is so important. It helps form identities, gain independence and can improve children's mental health. During research the team asked young people aged 8- 19 what adults could do to help them with their friendships, and also what they think doesn't help. Click on The Good Childhood page on supporting friendships to read more.

Eco School Status – Eco-Schools are running training spread over several weeks beginning with an introductory Zoom call which will set out small manageable actions to be completed throughout the duration of the course at times that fit into your school schedule. Each task will enable you to meet the criteria for one of the Eco-Schools Seven Steps, helping your school on its journey to Eco-Schools Green Flag. In the final week of each training session, the Eco-Schools team will be hosting a second live Zoom call for all course participants to raise questions and share best practice. Click for information on eco-schools modular training options

Wateraid Gallery of Photographs -

While progress has been made around the world over the last decade, 785 million people still don’t have clean water close to home and 2 billion people don’t have a decent toilet of their own.

To mark the progress, and to highlight how far the world still has to go, Water Aid have created a gallery of photographs. They commissioned ten visual artists to each produce one original new work on the subject of water and sanitation as a human right.

The photographers come from countries across the Global South and diaspora communities, bringing personal perspectives on identity, race and representation to the central theme of what life is like with or without clean water and decent sanitation.

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Over the past two terms, charities and collective worship groups have looked to provide material that schools can access online. This may help as you plan worship differently in your school – for example through class worship and bubble worship. The DBE welcomes the development of resources, but we encourage those of you with responsibility for collective worship that the involvement of pupils in the planning, delivery and evaluation of worship is a key developmental step for many schools. So whilst you browse the resources below, do think, ‘How would this material be best used to help us live out our school’s Christian vision and its theological underpinning?’ and 'how can young people lead this work?'
Sing a new song for Creation! After a two year international project with songwriters Resound worship has released a set of 13 new songs – DOXECOLOGY – songs about creation, ecology and Christian hope. They are ideal to use during Creationtide (1 September – 4 October). Lyric videos are all available on Youtube
Information about the project and what resources are available can be found on the Resound Website. Click on any song title where you will be taken to a page to preview the whole track, download free lead and chord sheets, or purchase mp3s, scores and videos.
Secondary Schools may find resources useful for RE and Christian discussion groups – such as the accompanying thirteen chapter study guide which includes contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of environmentalism and worship, plus three service plans with new resources created by engageworship. Designed for both personal devotions and small group study, with discussion questions included, it is available in paperback or PDF.
Godly Play have worked in partnership to develop some weekly acts of worship to help teachers less used to leading regular collective worship in their classrooms. The themes and stories are chosen to resonate with some of the challenges arising for children in the coronavirus pandemic. In each session, children are invited to wonder about the positives and negatives in their experiences – what they have lost and found during this time. These FREE NEW resources and a short training video are available on The Godly Play website. If you are interested in the research behind this approach click here.
The Bath and Wells Diocese ‘Go Team’ have developed a number of Bible Chat Mats to stimulate conversation around stories and biblical themes. Visit their website in the link above to see the latest Harvest themed chat mat.
The Pace Trust is a ‘Christian schools work charity helping churches serve schools in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch so that every student can investigate Jesus’. During the time when they cannot visit schools they have created free to use video material to stimulate discussion in schools during collective worship. Here is a video on the theme of temptation. Follow this link to Pace’s free collective worship resources.
Prayer Spaces are running an online 2020 conference on Monday 21st September. Do let people know that Bookings are now OPEN. It will involve input from Youthscape, and our children and young people advisers Lizzie Whitbread and Andy Malcolm are attending. This free Conference will include keynote presentations, live webinars, breakout discussions and Q&A with a wide range of schools-work practitioners and experts.
Messy Church – For ideas to help your community return to active messy church click here. Or read an article about how Wiltshire’s Messy Church has gone on line here.
Developed by a teacher with experience of leading collective worship in church schools, this resource aims to support schools in involving children in the leadership of collective worship and encouraging churches and parents to let children lead reflections at home, so that they become confident trailblazers and life changers . Click here for the website. School resource packs cost between £12 and £60.
Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) has informed us that, sadly and due to Covid-19, the Barnabas in Schools school visit programme is no longer viable and has stopped running. However, the most popular online education resources, including the free ideas, will still be available. They draw our attention to the most recently produced resources: Churches from around the World: Exploring Christian places of worship
The B Tales is a Christian Theatre company, which aims to bring Bible Stories to life in a modern exciting way that could be useful for both primary schools and churches. Their videos are between 10 and 20 minutes long and can be found here: B Tales YouTube.
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Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
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SafeWise is based in Bournemouth and is a scenario-based health and safety activity centre. While they are currently not open to school visits, they have developed a new online Junior Safety Inspector Tour for children aged 5-10 years and their families. You can explore their virtual learning village and complete a quiz here.

Sir Ken Robinson died recently, and we thought you may like to re-watch one of his most famous TED TALKS where he makes an entertaining and moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Watch ‘do schools kill creativity?’.

You may also like this one by Rita Pierson ‘every kid needs a champion’
And here from Brene Brown ‘the power of vulnerability’
As the leader of this national organisation and sector body for school trusts, Leora Cruddas has written to academy leaders and CEOs to encourage them during these challenging times. For example, over the summer the CST was in touch with its members with practical guidance over the exams and how to respond to families seeking support and wishing to appeal. CST is already working on proposals to ensure the coming academic year’s examination cohorts are not disadvantaged as a result of the situation this year.
A summer communication shared information on
Laptops for pupils who cannot attend school and explained how schools can  access the published guidance here: Get laptops for pupils who cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). DfE is making an initial 150,000 additional laptops and tablets available to schools in the event that their ability to deliver face-to-face education is disrupted. Email with any specific queries regarding this programme.
You can register for updates here.

An Introduction to UK Parliament online workshop - Open to primary or secondary schools, live sessions last approximately one hour and are delivered by staff from the UK Parliament. The session will cover:

  • An introduction to how UK Parliament works
  • What MPs do
  • The work of members of the House of Lords
  • How laws are made
The session is designed to be broadcast live and students will have discussion opportunities in relation to the content. Booking is via their Eventbrite page and you should select one ticket per class. Click for more information on Parliament Online Workshops.
Social change charity Good Things Foundation have partnered with relationship experts OnePlusOne to create four online videos what will help parents recognise conflict in their lives. The project team worked closely with parents for several months to codesign and test the story-based video content, making the scenarios realistic and relatable. The #SeeItDifferently videos will show new ways of managing everyday conflict to produce more positive outcomes for everyone in the family. Skills like ‘staying calm’, ‘speaking for yourself’ and ‘re-thinking how you say things’ can change how things play out for in everyone in the household, and especially how children will see it differently. To find out more go to the See it Differently webpage.

NSPCC CASPAR summary of changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education here

NSPCC have reduced the cost of their ‘Safer Recruitment in Schools’ online courses and have also developed a virtual one. They are @£35 per person, but schools can book training for them as a centre. Find out more here

The Chartered College of Teaching is running an Education Exchange which intends to support educators globally to connect with one another. They are looking for contributors and you can explore their work and contact them here.

The National Youth Agency have written a document called ‘managing youth centres and activities during Covid-19’. This document has been prepared in consultation with Public Health England (PHE), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It recognises that when young people have a sense of belonging, our communities are stronger. The sector has faced significant challenges in response to COVID-19 pandemic and much of the regular provision for young people has stopped or been adapted to reduced levels of activity. NYA has published this guidance on youth sector activities to ensure the safety of young people. We are grateful for the insights and time given by others to help produce this guidance in support of such a vital and vibrant youth sector. Read it here.

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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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