Second RE Quality Mark Conference

Posted: Sun 08th Feb 2015

We were delighted to welcome 40 colleagues to the second REQM conference in Birmingham on Saturday 7 February. The conference is held to bring together RE leaders who have achieved the RE Quality Mark Award. It is supported with generous funding from the Hockerill Foundation.

The conference is intended to share some of the practice in schools from different settings. The keynote was given by Dr Rebecca Nye who shared her research on children’s spirituality. REQM schools have opportunities to take part in classroom based research, funded by Culham St Gabriel's. This year there were several schools which shared their findings. Subject leaders led sessions on raising achievement for disaffected boys, the engagement and motivation of pupils in a middle school and a spirituality project between a secondary school and link primaries. A group of schools involved in the Keswick Hall Trust shared their work on collaborating to achieve the REQM and its implications for professional development.



The hashtag #REQMconf15 was used during the day and collated into a Storify


Snapshots of best practice

Challenging the limits of success
Emily Murphy: Broughton Hall RE Department

School RE Projects
Sabah Raza: First Farm Primary 

Innovation in RE
Erica Melton: Pates Grammar School

Teaching Islam
Amanda Dimmock: St Joseph’s Catholic Lower School




Spiritual Development – a church school perspective
Christian Pountain: St. Christopher’s C.E. High School

Wider professional development through classroom based research
Dawn CoxManningtree High School, Corinne Riddell-Croft: UEA and Steph Crossley: St Albans Catholic High School


Good practice from REQM Gold
Rekha Bhakoo and Manju Radia: Newton Farm Primary School


a_a_Feedback11.JPGAt the end of the conference, delegates responded to three questions:


The one thing I am taking from this conference is ...

  • Pride that so much great RE is happening in the UK
  • Energy, enthusiasm, new lease of life
  • Inspiration, enthusiasm, lots of ideas
  • Enthusiasm and passion from RE colleagues that encourages us all to aim higher!
  • The ideas from secondary colleagues on engaging reluctant boys and raising aspirations 
  • The Post It App
  • The practical ideas about using the sport project to engage students
  • To listen to the voices of all young people, not just the loud and articulate. I will make time to talk to the quieter students
  • To make sure all my students are heard. I will use post its for everyone to have reflection time.
  • Strong sense of purpose
  • New ideas, resources, more enthusiasm
  • The importance of visits and visitors
  • Classroom based research can be small (and not scary)
  • Pupils expect RE to be different from other subjects
  • The importance of sharing, enthusing and encouraging the best of the staff

One thing I am going to do on Monday is ...

  • Sort RE resources so they are on display, not in boxes!
  • Join twitter
  • Praise staff and children
  • Share today with colleagues
  • We are wondering board
  • Focus more on spiritual questions
  • Link with more special schools
  • Take more time to go off tangent and listen to pupils
  • We were wondering board
  • Talk with SLT about contributing to twilight sessions
  • Create an ethics in sport module
  • Introduce low stakes testing to Y10 GCSE
  • Meet with colleagues to continue reflecting on good RE practice
  • Tell everyone we are all doing a great job! Google for more visiting speakers
  • Set up a twitter account. (Now done it!)
  • Discuss with my head of department spirituality days with local primary schools
  • Develop a student developed unit (SDU) – great idea!
  • Organise more visits to places of worship
  • Look at RE assessment and see how it fits with the curriculum
  • Email a believer on the Culham St Gabriel’s website
  • Think about our departmental links with our local primaries and how we can develop them

One question I still have is ….

  • How do I encourage others in different subjects to be empowered too?
  • Find the time to develop further
  • How to expand inclusion of other faiths in a Catholic school
  • Where to start? So many good ideas!
  • Why are children still allowed to withdraw from RE?
  • Can the criteria be adapted like that of the AG&T award?
  • Could we see an exemplar folder for REQM?
  • How can we share our practice more widely?!
  • Can anyone help me set up a CARP (Collaborative Action Research Platform) style site? 
  • Why are there some schools that still do not engage?
  • How do I find the balance between the academic and the spiritual?
  • How can we do this more often?
  • The REQM has been great for our department, but will soon need renewing. Need to ask what we hope to gain and why we should do it again. We will need to justify the spending.
  • How can we do more of this level of sharing good practice nationally?