Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) - Tuesday, 9th July, 2019 2.00 pm

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Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, Llangefni. View directions

Contact: Shirley Cooke 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.

Minutes:

No declaration of interest was received.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 477 KB

  To submit for confirmation, the draft minutes of the previous meeting of the SACRE held on 19 February 2019.

 

  To discuss any matters arising from the minutes.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting of the SACRE held on 19 February 2019 were presented and confirmed as correct.

           

Matters arising from the minutes:-

 

  With reference to the Chair’s request to attend a meeting of the Primary Schools Forum, the Head Teachers’ Liaison Group have approved the request, and an invitation will be sent to the Chair and the RE Co-ordinator to attend a Forum meeting in due course. 

  It was confirmed that the number of Estyn reports listed in the table in Section 2.3.3 of the 2017/18 Annual Report is correct.

  It was noted that amendments to the SACRE’s Constitution in terms of membership on this Committee will be discussed at a later date.

  The Chair and the Clerk to the SACRE have held a discussion with Mr Arwyn Williams, the Head of Learning, regarding the lack of professional expertise that is available to the SACRE to carry out its statutory function.  Mr Williams acknowledges that the SACRE needs professional support and guidance, not just from this Authority, but also from GwE and Estyn, who are aware of the situation.

  The Clerk to the SACRE reported that she is awaiting a response from the Secretary of the Union of Welsh Independents to the SACRE’s request for the Church to nominate a representative to join the Anglesey SACRE.

  In relation to the SACRE’s concerns regarding the lack of bi-lingual teaching resources, the matter has been raised in a meeting of the County Council’s Language Forum.  It was confirmed that the Chair of the Language Forum has written to Mr Mark Drakeford, the First Minister for Wales, expressing the Forum’s concerns. 

  The Chair confirmed that he has emailed Mr Richard Speight of Bangor Humanist Group informing him of the SACRE’s decision not to appoint a member of the Humanist Group on this Committee.

  In relation to schools’ self-evaluation reports, it was suggested and adopted that schools in the 5 catchment areas be targeted in turn, resulting in 8 reports being requested each term.  Any schools who have not provided a report would be highlighted on the following 6th term.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  That the Clerk to the SACRE reviews the options available to include membership from other religious denominations to the SACRE.

  That the Clerk to the SACRE actions the above proposal in relation to schools’ self-evaluation reports.

3.

Anglesey SACRE's Draft Annual Report for 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

  To present the Anglesey SACRE’s Draft Annual Report for 2017/18 for approval.

 

  To evaluate the Anglesey SACRE’s Action Plan for 2019/22.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

  The SACRE’s Annual Report 2017/18 was presented before the Committee for approval. 

 

A member of the SACRE highlighted that a table in Section 2.3.2 of the Welsh version of the Annual Report had not been translated.

 

RESOLVED to adopt the SACRE’s Annual Report 2017/18, subject to the correction noted above.

 

  The SACRE’s Action Plan 2019/22 was presented for consideration and comment, with particular reference to the Committee’s achievement against the priorities and outcomes listed in the Plan, which will be monitored by the SACRE on a regular basis. 

 

The RE Co-ordinator reported that the Action Plan is based on information collated from SACRE’s Annual Report, the New Curriculum for Wales 2022, and Estyn’s report (June 2018) discussing RE at KS2 and KS3.  She highlighted that teachers and pupils need to be aware of the changes the curriculum will bring.

 

Discussion focused on whether the primary and secondary sectors would collaborate in relation to the new curriculum?  It was noted that currently there is no collaboration, but there will be in the future.  It was further noted that the term ‘to avoid duplication’ is used in the new curriculum, and schools will need to ensure that they work jointly in the primary and secondary sector to maintain continuation in RE as a subject.

 

Reference was made to the Supporting Framework for RE, which is due to be published in January 2020, which will assist teachers to develop the curriculum for learners.  It was suggested and agreed that the Framework be included in the Action Plan for monitoring purposes.

 

The Chair thanked the RE Co-ordinator, for her work in preparing the Action Plan, which was well received by the SACRE

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  That the Draft Framework for RE be included as an action point on the Action Plan 2019/22.

  That the SACRE adopts the Action Plan 2019/22.

 

Action:  As noted above.

4.

The New Curriculum for Wales 2022, and how this will affect RE?

To receive an update on the New Curriculum for Wales 2022 (link attached).

 

https://hwb.gov.wales/draft-curriculum-for-wales-2022

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the Draft Curriculum for Wales 2022 guidance, forwarded by Mr Rheinallt Thomas, requesting that the SACRE provides feedback on the new curriculum.  The Chair reported that he would share the guidance with the SACRE electronically. 

 

The Clerk to the SACRE added that the consultation period will conclude on 19 July 2019, then feedback will be considered by education professionals involved in its development.  The guidance will be refined, and rolled out in 2022 for all year groups in the primary sector and Year 7 in the secondary sector, followed by Year 8 in 2023, rising year on year to 2026.

 

It was noted that there will be challenging times ahead for teachers in the secondary sector during the transition period.  Schools will be impacted significantly, as teachers and staff will need to deliver the old and new curriculum at the same time.  The new curriculum is being praised for being more contemporary and positive in its thematic approach.

 

Concerns were raised that it is easy to lose the RE aspects of Humanities in the new curriculum, as the specification needs to be developed.  It is hoped that the supporting framework will be delivered and monitored to the highest standards.

 

The Chair reported that he and the RE Co-ordinator, will be attending a meeting of the North Wales SACREs on Thursday in Conwy to discuss responses by SACREs from across North Wales to the new curriculum. 

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the information presented in relation to the New Curriculum for Wales 2022.

  That the Chair and RE Co-ordinator provide feedback to the SACRE following their attendance at the North Wales SACREs meeting.

 

Action:  As noted above.

5.

Religious Education Standards pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To present information regarding Estyn inspections undertaken at the following schools:-

 

  Ysgol Gynradd Amlwch

  Ysgol y Graig, Llangefni

  Ysgol Gymuned Pentraeth

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Estyn School Inspections - Winter 2018 & Spring 2019

 

Estyn inspection reports undertaken at Ysgol Gynradd Amlwch, Ysgol y Graig, Llangefni and Ysgol Gymunedol Pentraeth were presented for the SACRE’s consideration. 

 

The Clerk to the SACRE reported that she has provided the full Estyn inspection report for each school, rather than extracts, to give a better picture and flavour of the work undertaken at the schools.

 

It was reported that there were no issues arising from the Estyn inspections, and that all three schools met the requirements.  It was noted that the ethos, RE provision and Collective Worship are good in all the schools.

 

A member of the SACRE highlighted that Estyn are inconsistent in their use of Welsh ie in the Ysgol Gymuned Pentraeth report, Estyn refers to ‘Collective Worship’ as ‘Cyd Addoli’, rather than the correct translation ‘Addoli ar y Cyd’.

 

RESOLVED to note the information presented in the Estyn inspection reports.

6.

Schools' Self-Evaluation Reports pdf icon PDF 689 KB

To present Religious Education self-evaluation reports by the following schools:-

 

  Ysgol Y Talwrn

  Ysgol Pentraeth

  Ysgol Gynradd Amlwch

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The schools’ self-evaluation reports by Ysgol Y Talwrn, Ysgol Gymunedol Pentraeth and Ysgol Gynradd Amlwch were presented for the SACRE’s consideration.

 

It was noted that the standard of teaching attained in RE in the above schools is either adequate or good. 

 

The SACRE showed concern that self-evaluation reports are not checked by a professional body, and there is no means of support for schools who might need assistance to improve and raise standards.

 

The Chair proposed that he visit Ysgol Y Talwrn to observe Collective Worship, and view the work carried out by pupils at the school.

 

Mrs Mefys Jones-Edwards gave a verbal report on the self-evaluation report she has prepared for Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones, entitled the Faculty of Humanities.  She highlighted the following 5 key points from her report in relation to RE:-

 

1.  Standards 

 

   KS4 and KS5 results are very good, with each pupil attaining a qualification in the subject;

     KS3 results are adequate to good, as they vary with different groups;

      Standards in relation to boys need to improve, as boys are currently underperforming across the island;

      KS5 standards need to improve in the Philosophy Unit;

      Literacy is very good, due to planning that has taken place to improve

          oral and written skills. 

      Numeracy and IT skills only need to be developed as necessary.

 

2.  Well-being and Attitude to Learning

 

      Pupil participation in lessons is very good; they enjoy the subject;

      Teachers and pupils have a good relationship in RE lessons;

      Pupils’ attitude to more independent learning needs to be developed,

        and is one of the 12 areas of the new curriculum. 

 

3.  Teaching and Learning Experiences

 

      RE provision as regards lessons, books and speaking to learners is

        good;

      Pupils benefit from experiences through visits;    

      Skills and information on understanding Christianity and other faiths are tailored well within the work plans.

 

4.  Care, Support and Guidance

 

      Teachers question learners when providing feedback to pupils, which

        require sharp responses, which in turn improves the standard of work in

          the classroom;

       Dialogue between teachers and pupils has improved;

      Collective worship sessions are held daily in Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones.

           

5.  Leadership and Management  

 

      Strategic co-working is taking place with other schools regarding GCSEs

         and A levels, resulting in improved collaboration;

      Self-evaluation happens annually in the school, and the following year’s Improvement Plan is based on information provided in the schools’ self-evaluation report;

     Each member of staff within the school has an opportunity to develop

         professionally;

       Need to share good practice in preparation for the new curriculum, as

          there will be obvious changes.

 

The Chair thanked the teachers involved in preparing and presenting the self-evaluation reports to the SACRE.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

   To note the RE self-evaluation reports presented. 

   That the Chair contacts the Head Teacher of Ysgol Y Talwrn to arrange a visits to the school to observe a Collective Worship session and the work carried out by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Wales Association of SACREs (WASACRE) pdf icon PDF 371 KB

To present for information, the draft minutes of the WASACRE meeting held on 26 March 2019 in Cardiff.

Minutes:

The draft minutes of the previous meeting of the WASACRE held on 26 March 2019, were presented for information.

 

The Chair referred to Item 8 on the agenda - Professional RE support for SACREs. 

 

The Chair reported that WASACRE has now received a response from Kirsty Williams, the Minister for Education, to concerns raised regarding the lack of professional support for SACREs across Wales.  In her response, the Minister outlined the arrangements that had been put in place for meetings between WASACRE and Welsh Government.

 

It was further noted that Libby Jones and Paula Webber are currently in discussion with the Minister and Welsh Government, and have emphasized that in order to move forward and adopt the new curriculum, investment in resources must be delivered.  They have recommended that Welsh Government invests money into establishing consultants regionally to

provide vital support, and this proposal has been submitted to Welsh Government. 

 

The SACRE showed concern regarding the Minister’s statement that the issue of providing expertise should be resolved between LAs, schools and each individual SACRE. The SACRE was disappointed with this statement, and felt that as SACREs are established by law, responsibility to provide support, encouragement and finance to SACREs should lie with Welsh Government.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the information presented in the WASACRE minutes.

  That RE teachers bring samples of GCSE and A Level examination questions to the next meeting of the SACRE.

  That the Clerk to the SACRE includes an item on the Committee’s next agenda to discuss GCSE and A Level results.

 

Action:  As noted above.

8.

Correspondence

To receive any correspondence.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that he has received a reminder from Dr Peter Hemming of Cardiff University regarding a previous e-mail Dr Hemming shared with the SACRE, regarding an evaluation survey he is undertaking on Diversity of Religion and Belief Guidance and Resource.

 

The Clerk to the SACRE reported that responses had been received from schools, but not from SACREs. 

 

RESOLVED that the Clerk to the SACRE re-circulates Dr Peter Hemming’s e-mail to members of the Anglesey SACRE.

 

Action:  As noted above.

9.

The Anglesey SACRE's Next Meeting

To note the date of the next meeting of the SACRE on 8 October 2019 at 2.00 pm.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next SACRE meeting is scheduled for at 2.00 pm on Tuesday, 8 October 2019.