CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE: GOOD PRACTICE CONFERENCES THE POWER OF WORDS: LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND COMMUNICATION IN RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION Apex City Quay Hotel, Dundee 12th November 2009 Workshop 1 Active learning in religious and moral education Cath Sinclair, Glasgow City Council An analysis of the forms of active learning and their particular effectiveness for learning in religious and moral education. Participants will have the opportunity of a hands on experience of active learning strategies and consider how such approaches can increase independent learning, communication and thinking skills through a religious and moral education context. There will be a chance to discuss and develop active learning skills through a specific challenge. Workshop 2 Learning for Life – from inspiration to aspiration David Lorimer, Character Education Scotland Adelle Fleming, City of Edinburgh Council Carol Gollop, Aberdeenshire Council This workshop will focus on the highly successful values project, which has been run in Scottish schools since 2006. Two teachers will share their experience of using the project with young people in S1 – 3. When used creatively this project offers young people a unique opportunity to increase their understanding of values and develop the four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence. Key skills include effective use of information and communications technology, analysis of sources, extended writing and personal reflection. The project also contributes to young people’s wider achievements through participation in the poster awards at school and national level. Workshop 3 A philosophical approach to religious literacy Graeme Nixon, University of Aberdeen This seminar will explore possible meanings and approaches towards religious literacy in religious and moral education. The structure will allow for some initial thinking about religious literacy as a term. This will be followed by a short participative exercise in Philosophy for Children. This will aim to exemplify an approach to religious and moral education which contributes to Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and experiences in literacy and health and well-being, as well as those of religious and moral education. Workshop 4 Developing spiritual literacy Marj Adams, The Moray Council The aim of this workshop is to discuss how spiritual literacy can be developed through exploring the wealth of symbolism and spiritual history which are part of our Scottish heritage. A recently developed unit of work which seeks to explore the sacred in the natural world by special reference to the 5000 year old standing stones of Calanais will provide a stimulus for further discussion. Pupils are enabled to recognise the spiritual dimension in the lives of their ancient ancestors in Scotland as they investigate the significance of standing stone circles. Similarly, participants will have an opportunity to discuss how to explore spirituality with pupils in their own locality. “...To see a world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower...” Workshop 5 The Bible and beyond...... Pat MacCowan, Stirling Council How Killearn Primary School looked at our programme and tried to bring it into the 21st Century. We need to do more than just tell Bible stories, we need to look at the lives our children are living in a world of many faiths and with people of no faith. Can we bring active learning approaches, collaborative learning experiences and relevance to how we lead our children to respect shared values and make informed decisions about religious and moral issues? Workshop 6 ‘It’s good to talk: teaching approaches to promote dialogue in religious and moral education” Professor Vivienne Baumfield, University of Glasgow The workshop will look at examples of current practice in promoting dialogue in religious and moral education. The contribution of religious and moral education to community cohesion though dialogue will be examined through a review of the impact of these approaches on learners. Workshop 7 Using the Storyline approach in teaching religious and moral education Janis Miller, North Lanarkshire Council A presentation on the Storyline approach and how Pentland School (for primary children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties) used this approach to improve learning within religious and moral education. Topics included ‘Joseph’ from Judaism and ‘The Ramayana’ from Hinduism. Links with art, music and drama provided our children with deeper, more enjoyable and active learning experiences. There will also be a short exploration of how this approach could be used to teach the Christmas story. Workshop 8 Glowing somewhere exciting Mark Rushton, Stirling Council A simple overview of the use of Glow with a senior class following a course in religious, moral and philosophical studies. Through practical demonstration I will focus on the use of discussion groups and document stores to improve dialogue and revision. We’ll briefly look at the use of Glow Meet for video conferencing and Glow Learn for delivering courses, setting assignments, assessing and marking. This will be followed by a general discussion of potential uses of online tools to enhance learning in religious and moral education. Participants will see for themselves how the use of the national RME Glow Group can enable teachers to share good practice and support each other in taking forward Curriculum for Excellence.