CES News (133)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:31

Decision time for Catholic Academies

The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, is keen that all schools an England should become Academies as soon as possible. Academy status, he argues, will give schools more freedom and autonomy to make their own educational decisions in pursuit of higher standards and provide more funding to achieve those standards. For some existing schools ‘in difficulty’ it will provide ‘new start’ opportunities.

Twenty new Catholic Voluntary Academies opened on 1 July 2012, bringing the total number of Catholic academies now open to 110.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:21

Handing on the faith

Religious Education has been much in the news in the last year. The Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP, was strenuously lobbied in the hope that he might reverse his decision to exclude RE from the ‘E-Bac’ (the English Baccalaureate — a collection of core GCSE subjects favoured by the Government), but to no avail. Yet in England and Wales it remains a statutory subject which must be studied by all registered pupils until the age of 18. However, the quality of RE in schools varies considerably, as does its content, and it is true to say that most RE teachers are fearful that its exclusion from the E-Bac will see a decline in the number of pupils entered for public examinations in the subject. The situation is more hopeful in Catholic schools where RE is regarded as the core of the whole curriculum and must be allotted 10% of the time available for teaching.

Friday, 22 June 2012 11:42

Opportunities for Christian education

How are Church of England schools faring in the current educational climate? How can we ensure that they can continue to flourish as the system changes around them?

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issued a new edition of the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (3-19) for use in Catholic schools.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:10

Let the riches shine

What is ‘Religious Education’? In some schools, RE is little more than Sociology of Religion, while in others it follows a Comparative Religion model, helping make true Ronald Knox’s observation that, ‘the study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious.’ If, as seems likely, Religious Studies GCSE declines as a result of the English Baccalaureate, then we are likely to see many RE lessons become a sort of curricular appendix into which all the non-exam subjects like Citizenship and Sex and Relationships Education may be quietly banished.

What is it that makes a Catholic education unique and a force for good?  As a practising Catholic who has spent a career working in education right across the country this is a question that I am frequently asked by education professionals and by parents looking for that special something that they see a Catholic education gives. Having thought about this many times I now have some answers to give.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 10:33

90 Catholic academies now open

Five Catholic academies opened this month, bringing the total number of Catholic academies now open to 90.

Friday, 08 June 2012 12:52

The work of the RE Council

Religious Education is at the heart of the nature and purpose of the education of young people. It is at the core of the Catholic school. As the 2012 Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools says of Religious Education: 

“Religious Education has a central role in the curriculum of the Catholic school and is at the heart of the philosophy of Catholic education. Religious Education has developed in a way that reflects the particular identity of our Catholic schools in England and Wales.”

Friday, 01 June 2012 16:08

Learning to love their neighbours

The most important thing we can teach our children is to love your neighbour as yourself.  For young children it can be difficult to answer the question ‘who is my neighbour?’  For many of them it can just mean those who live close to them.

Holy Cross Catholic School, Plymouth has had a link with St John Vianney School in Gambia for over three years.  The link was celebrated during the Holy Father’s visit to the UK in 2010 at The Big Assembly, Twickenham.  

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