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

October 2020

Autumn is here

You may have felt it already, but there seems to be a cooler breeze, a chill to the air in the mornings and evenings, especially now that nights are becoming longer. Autumn is here!

As we begin to get used to new routines and ways of working this term, we can see around us that the seasons are changing - from what was a lovely warm summer to an unknown winter.
The natural world around us is inspiring. The plants and animals, the rivers and mountains, the stars and sunsets, all have their own beauty. It is easier, somehow, to feel the slowing of one’s heartbeat and breathing when we allow ourselves to stop for a moment and rest in nature and God’s creation.

During this busy term we will benefit from remembering that it is a season where we can watch the days as they change and wait for winter to begin. There is a beauty in the leaves changing, there is a calmness on the winds that sweep through the valleys and across the sea front, and there is comfort that can be taken from going for a wind-swept walk and returning home to a warm drink, with a steadied heartbeat and calmer mind.

There are 2 weeks until the end of term and we hope that you can take some time during the October break to catch a breath and take stock, to see the beauty, experience calmness and take comfort from all that autumn brings.


“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”  Elizabeth Lawrence


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. CPD and information from local and national providers 
6. Personal Spiritual Leadership
7. A final message from our advisers


SDBE Courses - are continuing to be uploaded to the website page for booking. If you type in PSA to the search bar you will see the courses and forums that are free as part of your school’s PSA Subscription.
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 free so that the cost is only £75 for schools that need the UC folder.
It is virtual and will be run on November 20th .Please encourage all schools with KS3 in your cluster/MAT to register to attend on the course booking page. It is a unique and bespoke training session led by Steve Pett from RE Today. Don’t miss it!
The Faith at Home project continues this academic year with Series 2 this autumn. The theme explores ‘How do we Flourish Together?’ Each session (approximately fortnightly) will centre around an encounter Jesus has with someone in the Bible). Resources include a series of short film clips, a tutor resource pack and a range of home-based activities. Click to read more about the Faith At Home Resources so you can plan ahead.
The Church of England ‘Never the Same’ resource is a suite of materials to support school leaders with Grief, Bereavement and Loss. The materials are useful for discussion, reflection, prayer and action. They include sections that link to the SIAMS schedule, such as ‘Educating for Hope and Aspiration’ and there is guidance on how school communities can adapt provision and support those needing help at this time. Our adviser, Lizzie Whitbread can offer support to schools and SDBE guidance can be read here and here.
The Church of England’s Christmas theme in 2018 and 2019 was ‘Follow the Star’. This year, churches are being encouraged to celebrate Advent and Christmas through the theme ‘Comfort and Joy’. In what way can your school and church work together to enrich December this year? Please do share your ideas and stories.
'Vision into Practice' - Inaugural Research Conference – Tuesday 17th November 2020 Here.
The Foundation’s work is centred on the Church of England Vision for Education, Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good, published in 2016, and the practical ways that this vision can be brought alive through leadership at levels in education. In September 2019 they published Christian Leadership in Schools: An initial review of evidence and current practices. See Appendix 1, p. 59-61, which lists questions arising from this review which might act as a stimulus for our growing research community.
Their free to attend inaugural research conference takes place ONLINE from 10.00-4.15. Book one, two, three or all four sessions by following the link.
CEFEL NPQH - Recruiting Cohort 4 Update – Participants in the South West will complete the programme 100% virtually. (The 4, one day face to face events will be delivered as 8 x 0.5 day virtual learning events and will include colleagues from across the country.)
This programme will be offered at the lower cost of £1150 + VAT.  See all updated information at Deadline for Applications is 5th November. Please email if you would like to discuss applying.
The SDBE encourages all those thinking of taking the next step into school headship to attend our new training on 4th November - ‘Getting Ready for Headship’. Free to PSA subscribed schools or £50 to non-subscribed schools.
CEFEL - Pupil Wellbeing, with Louise Bomber Director of Touchbase - 1.30- 2.30pm November 12th 2020. Louise is well known for her trauma responsive approach to pupil wellbeing and recent book Know me to Teach Me. In this session Louise will share the relevance of her approaches in current times so that MAT leaders can consider how these may be implemented within their trusts. Register here.
We look forward to sharing your school news stories for you! 150-250 words and a royalty-free image with all necessary permissions is all that we need – please email to
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‘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.
Farmington Scholarships - The Farmington Scholarships are for teachers of Religious Education in UK secondary schools, primary school RE Co-ordinators, or other primary school teachers involved in teaching RE and associated subjects, and teachers of children with Special Educational Needs who are involved with RE.
Applications from Head teachers who wish to undertake research which would be of help to their schools are also welcome. Applicants should have held their present post for at least two years.
The application form for Scholarships is available to download using this link application-form-2021-22 or by email request to the Farmington Institute. The closing date for applications for the academic year 2021/22 is 31st January 2021.
Bishop Wordsworth Education Trust have updated and simplified the application process for schools and have increased the amount schools can apply for (For Primaries, Firsts, Middles - up to £1,000 and Secondaries up to £3,000). Schools/academies can also collaborate and apply for a group project. The new BWET application forms are on the DBE School Funding page of the website. The money should be used for the furthering of the teaching of RE, for developing church/school links or to support a school’s deadline for the receipt of applications is 15th December.
The God and the Big Bang project gives students from Year 5 – 13 an exciting opportunity to discover, discuss and debate the compatibility of science and faith. 
The project began in Manchester Diocese and is run by Christians seeking to demonstrate a creative, thought-provoking,
and highly engaging approach to questions of science and faith. Young people are inspired to think for themselves and to gain a deeper understanding of how science works and what faith is.
Click here to see and enquire about the bitesize CPD they run for schools
Riding Lights Theatre Company Virtual Christmas Show - Riding Lights has a long history of making Christmas shows for primary schools to enjoy together. They can’t tour this year but have created The Selfish Giant (a tale of hope and friendship) on film instead. Delivered in three, 15-minute episodes, the film can be used with accompanying creative resources in the lead up to Christmas. It is intended to be used by schools to bring everyone together whether children are in school or isolating at home. Costs are @£1 per pupil.
See the Riding Lights Website for more details.  
Holocaust Memorial Day is January 27th - The theme for 2021 is: Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways people resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide. The HMD Trust website contains resources for schools.
University College London’s Centre for Holocaust Education has a programme of on line and free CPD for teachers and schools.
The Bournemouth and Poole Holocaust Memorial Day Committee are putting on a Foundation Stones stone painting workshop to commemorate the Roma & Sinti victims of Nazi persecution. It is on 22 October from 7:30-8:30pm and it builds on the Jewish custom of placing a pebble on headstones when visiting a grave, Foundations Stones painted across the United Kingdom will become part of the new memorial, each one a commitment to remember and learn from the past. Find out more and sign up  
NATRE - Anti-Racist RE resources have been written by Lat Blaylock in partnership with colleagues across the country. These project materials are designed to help teachers of Religious Education plan and provide excellent learning in the classroom that encourages pupils to learn about religion and beliefs, racism and prejudice in challenging ways that promote the well-being of all in our richly plural communities.
NATRE have also written guidance to schools about the inclusion of RE in the curriculum.  Read it to make sure your school is following DfE expectations and a full curriculum entitlement.
Interfaith Week - Interfaith week runs from 8th – 15th November. It is a great way to sustain and build connections and to highlight and celebrate work to promote respect, understanding and cooperation and celebrate diversity, inclusion and common values. Recognising that this year the chances to connect face to face may be limited, the website offers many activities which can be performed online. Do share with the DBE your plans and pictures.
Inter faith Network - The mission statement of the Interfaith network is ‘Working with faith communities, inter faith organisations, educators and others to increase understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths and to widen public awareness of the distinctive religious traditions in the UK.’ Their website includes a locator page for local links and section on encouraging the involvement of young people.
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The Children’s Society Christingle 2020 - How will you be Christingling this year? - Christingle has always been about bringing people together and embracing hope during the festive season, and in 2020, the spreading of hope feels especially important as we Pray, Serve and Grow through The Diocese of Salisbury and beyond!
The 2020 Christingle event might look different, but it’s a great opportunity to share the light in new ways and to fundraise to help children and young people living in the darkest situations. The Children’s Society have created lots of new resources to help schools and parishes hold a safe and memorable celebration. Whether you set up a socially distanced event in church, or light up computer screens with an online service – or do a bit of both, their free resources at will help.
Why not involve some of the children and clergy in a conversation about how Christingle can look for your community this year?
The Children’s Society  have set up a Facebook Group for Christingle organisers to help with planning and sharing of ideas.
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:

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is a Christian mission organisation that uses planes to overcome geographical barriers. Their pilots and personnel deliver relief workers, doctors, pastors, school books, food, medicines - everything that can only be safely and speedily delivered by air.
MAF Advent Adventure - This year MAF is launching an exciting campaign with children’s TV presenter Gemma Hunt, to bring the Christmas story to life, with a daily story, fascinating facts about different countries, video clips and a competition. They have also added a daily prayer and Christmas Bible readings. The Advent Adventure gives children an insight into MAF’s life-saving work and helps them learn about many of the world’s poorest and most isolated countries, as well as highlighting some of the weird, wonderful and often life-preserving cargo they fly.
To get an idea and to sign up, visit where you can view the promotional video and preview resources and a tour of the Advent Adventure website.

Lifesavers is a financial education programme for primary schools, with values at the heart of their work. It is a foundation initiative of The Just Finance Foundation and they aim to give children the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage money well. Danielle Hunt (our area representative) is working with Lizzie Whitbread and Andy Malcolm in the Community Hub work we do across the diocese and can support the setting up of a savers club at no cost to schools. This is an Archbishop of Canterbury supported charity. Please  savers club contact Danielle for more information on how she can help

Archbishop of York Young Leaders – is a courageous advocacy programe for pupils from KS1 to KS4. It provides a school-wide approach to developing character and leadership in children and young people. Involvement encourages community building and many schools work in partnership with their church. For secondary schools it is a real alternative to the Duke of Edinburgh ‘service’ element as it is something an individual student can sign up to and receive a ‘badge’ for. You can book a 40minute twilight webinar in October or November to find out more.

Christian Aid’s Global Neighboursis an accreditation scheme supporting, recognising and celebrating all that primary, middle and special schools in England are doing to provide good global education. The scheme aims to increase pupils’ understanding of the root causes of poverty and injustice, as well as engage and empower pupils as agents of change in the transformation of our world. Global Neighbours can also enhance Religious Education provision in schools by increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding about why and how Christians, along with people of other faiths and those of no faith, want to change the world to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. Involvement is verified by the Church of England Education Office and consists of three levels - bronze, silver and gold. Visit the website or download the handbook to find out more.

DEED is a centre for global education and learning - serving Dorset and Hampshire. They encourage and inspire teachers, pupils and community members to develop their understanding of global issues, cultural diversity and sustainability. Visit the website here.

The World’s Largest Lesson - promotes the use of the Sustainable Development Goals in learning so that children can contribute to a better future for all.  From citizenship and justice to climate change and the environment, using their resources can inspire children to make a difference!

The Wednesday Wave promoted for example by Vamos Theatre,  is a new national campaign to support those who are or feel isolated. There are downloadable posters that could be given out to friends, relatives and care homes. Watch the trailer here.

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Wintershall Education passion plays are a highlight in the year for many. This year, instead, they have created new online assemblies that can be accessed for free by schools, church and family groups, during a time when visits from actors may not be possible. Each video focuses on a story of an encounter with Jesus from the Bible. They last about 10 minutes, but are followed by a time of reflection, so schools should allow approximately 20 minutes per collective worship. Book online here.
Faith At Home October – Belonging and Togetherness – A book, such as The Journey by Francesca Sanna can help us all to understand how hard it is for people arriving here from other countries because they have had to flee violence, poverty or famine. How lonely it must be; how hard to know where they belong. The FAH resource exploring this subject signposts to the Prayer Spaces in Schools activity Children Alone which focuses specifically on what it must be like to be a child fleeing from another country.
Project Touchline - Through a six-week series of lessons, bespoke materials, collective worship and special games, students develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding and become more aware of the Christian Faith in action outside of formal collective worship. The programme aims to ‘transform the experience of sport, making it more wholesome and allowing children to ‘live life in all its fullness’ John 10:10’
Project Touchline has recently commissioned Ronni Lamont (a priest, celebrated author on ‘Children’s Spirituality’ and Faith and Nurture Advisor for the Diocese of Canterbury) to design some pioneering and unique prayer activities that go home with children during the Project Touchline programme to build further links and connection with school, church and home. This is supporting the current Church of England’s national ‘Growing Faith’ focus, which the Diocese of Salisbury is one of six national trailblazers. Visit to contact Chris Andrew the director of the programme.
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Public Health England has produced Every Mind Matters material to support schools with lesson plans and content to support mental health and wellbeing. These include themes such as Online Bullying; Sleep, Building better relationships; Bullying; Online Stress and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

The Children’s Society – Mental Health and Young People Webinar - The Children’s Society’s most recent Good Childhood Report found that children’s mental health and well-being is at a 10-year-low, and this has worsened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. What can churches and schools do to better support the mental health and well-being of children and young people?
You can register on Eventbrite for the webinar on Thursday 22 October 2020 11.00AM – 12.00PM

Nuffield Early Language Intervention - Register your interest - The DfE is working with the EEF to make online training and resources for Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) available to state funded schools with a reception class in academic year 2020 to 2021. If you are interested in participating, you should complete this form (deadline Friday 30 October). There is a Frequently Asked Questions section on the EEF’s website which should be read before completing the form. Or for further information, please email
The NCTEM Maths SLE School Improvement Support Programme - aims to support existing mathematics SLEs in developing their approaches to mathematics school improvement work .This includes drawing on the expertise of approaches used in the Maths Hubs Programme, such as teaching for mastery. It will provide a regional support programme for participants through three workshops and an online community.
Applicants, with the support of their headteacher/principal/senior manager, should complete the application form here by 9am on Monday 19 October 2020. 
Team South West’s CPD PortalFor CPD and remote learning advice, please visit or the new, free remote learning website 
You can also follow them on their Twitter accounts @TSCSouthWest @RemoteLearning
Maths - Materials to support teachers and schools planning and delivering Covid recovery maths teaching at both primary and secondary level are available from the NCETM. All are accessible from the dedicated Covid support page on the new NCETM website. See the Portal Webpage here for further details and click on the link to find out what Maths Hubs are doing
Ramsbury English Hub – Free CPD The English Hub has planned a series of Continuing Professional Development events to support you in the coming months. Sessions include:·      
  • Supporting the lowest 20% for schools using letters and sounds·      
  • Phonics Check in and Chat for EYFS/KS1 staff
  • Phonics Check in and Chat Year 2 Phonics Screener
  • Being an Effective Reading Leader (six day programme, delivered through a blended approach)
All sessions are free to access, but booking is essential Any school can complete a self-referral form to request support from the English Hub.
Support for remote education – resources and guidance  - A new legal requirement for schools to provide remote learning comes into force on 22nd October. An explanatory note for this requirement can be found here.
The DfE has updated/published a range of guidance and resources to support schools in meeting this requirement. For example Get help with remote education – their updated guidance and Remote education good practice.
Recruiting teachers and trainee teachers from oversees – new guidance The Government will introduce a points-based immigration system from 1st January 2021 which will change how you employ teachers who are not UK or Irish nationals. All overseas nationals arriving in the UK from 1st January 2021, including those from the European Economic Area and Switzerland, will come under the UK’s points-based immigration system. The DfE has published comprehensive guidance on recruiting teachers from overseas, and recruiting trainee teachers from overseas
Teaching school hubs – new application round - DfE applications for teaching school hubs is currently open and schools rated good or outstanding are eligible to apply. The expectation is that a successful teaching school hub will build strong partnerships with other schools to support teachers and leaders, in every phase and type of school, at each stage of their development. A suite of new NPQ courses are being developed and the TSHubs will be partners in delivering them. Applications close on Friday 30th October 2020 at midday.
Teacher training materials to support Relationships and Sex EducationThe DfE has published a range of teacher training materials to be adapted for use in schools and trusts. Content includes: Internet safety and harms; Health and prevention; Caring friendships; Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health; Respectful relationships; Online relationships and media; Drugs, alcohol and tobacco; Changing adolescent body; Basic first aid; Plan your relationships, sex and health curriculum; Teaching about relationships, sex and health
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Many churches observe the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on October 4th each year. The feast commemorates the life of St Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment.
He is best known for his calm, simple lifestyle and love of nature. But beyond his humility, St Francis is also remembered for his focus on renewal.   
In the words of Richard Rohr:

‘He was, after all, the saint who set out to rebuild and reform the Church by evoking the example and spirit of the Poor Man, Jesus. He spurned violence and power. He reached out to members of other religions. He treated women with dignity and respect. He cherished the earth and all its creatures. He pointed to a new form of human and cosmic community, marked by love. And he did all this with such a spirit of joy and freedom as to make him a source of wonder and attraction to many of his contemporaries.’
As we move towards the end of October, and All Souls Day and Remembrance Sunday, we may wish to focus on how we can not only build and renew through the living out of our school’s Christian vision, but how we may use it to encourage, to bring unity and accord and a sense of peace into the school community.
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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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