EDUCATION, inspiration and challenge were on the report card for attendees at a recent conference for schools work.
REINSPIRED welcomed a range of speakers, including Steve Chalke MBE, founder of Oasis Community Learning, for the Inspiring Faith in Schools day, held at Waingel’s College on Saturday, March 9. The charity works with schools to offer creative, engaging and spiritually developing RE lessons and collective worship. The conference was a chance to hear more about this work and how other groups are supporting schools in a variety of ways, including working with school governors and excluded pupils, holding listening posts at lunchtimes and leading small group sessions to help children with their self-esteem.More than 70 people attended and sessions were hosted by the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud. In his introduction, REINSPIRED project director, Paul Haynes, said that he hoped delegates would find the day not just inspiring, but be challenged so they would get on and do. The aim of the day was to inspire the delegates about the possibilities and equip them to deal with practicalities of working with schools. Bishop Andrew reminded the audience that “children are living messages for a time we shall not see”. He added that this prompted the question, “What sort of a message are we sending through our involvement with education?”During his address, Steve Chalke shared his vision for offering quality education – something that is not just getting good grades in GCSEs, but learning about values and to be valued, about worth and self-worth, about respect and self-respect. He reminded the audience that it is through their own faith and beliefs that they can support children in this. Carrie King, an REINSPIRED team leader and primary teacher, said: “It was a fantastic day, and we certainly felt challenged to get on and do it.”
Hear Steve Chalke’s sessions at www.inspiringfaith.org.uk/listen-again.
Picture shows: The Bishop of Reading and Steve Chalke in conversation during the Inspiring Faith In Schools day