North Yorkshire SACRE Newsletter


School Improvement and Early Years’ Service

January 2022







Welcome to the spring term SACRE newsletter for North Yorkshire schools.  This termly newsletter will keep you up to date on what SACRE is doing and the support it offers to North Yorkshire schools alongside national and regional updates and news on RE resources and training.


What is SACRE?

The  acronym  SACRE  stands  for:    Standing  Advisory  Council  on  Religious  Education
Why  is  there  a  SACRE?
Every  local  authority  (LA)  has  to  have  a  SACRE  by  law.  The  Children’s  Services  division of  the  LA  that  takes  responsibility  for  making  sure  SACRE  works  well  and  SACRE’s  work  is  related  to schools  and  their  curriculum.  
What  does  a  SACRE  do?

The  law  says  that  RE  must  be  taught  in  all  schools  and  a  SACRE’s  role  is  to  advise  its  local  authority  on  what  needs  to  be  done  to  improve  religious  education  (RE)  and collective worship  for  schools  in  its  area.  This  is  because  RE  is  not  part  of  the  National  Curriculum;  it  is  a  local  responsibility.  Through  the  SACRE,  local  communities  and  teachers  have  the  opportunity  to  influence  and  support  what  pupils  learn  in  RE. 

The  SACRE’s  main  function  is  to  advise  the  local  authority  on  matters  related  to  the  religious education,  which  follows  the  locally  agreed  syllabus,  and  on  collective  worship  in  schools.   

Where do I go for advice relating to RE or Collective Worship in my school?
 Olivia Seymour, is the Professional RE Adviser for maintained schools in North Yorkshire over the coming academic year. (Please note for church schools Olivia can provide advice relating to the Agreed Syllabus but we encourage church schools to seek wider RE advice from their home diocese)
 Olivia also provides advice to community schools on matters relating to collective worship (church schools should again seek advice from their home diocese)
 Enquires into the Local Authority can be directed to and the service will provide a 
 conduit to the specialist advice. 
 You can find out more about RE in North Yorkshire schools here: 
 You can find out more about collective worship in North Yorkshire schools here:








Olivia Seymour








Image representing the portal: NYES-Logo

Spring Term training and Professional Practice Groups for Primary and Secondary RE Leads


This year NYCC is offering termly online professional practice networks for all schools.    These networks will include support for subject knowledge, curriculum-planning using the North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus, national and local updates, resources to support RE and an opportunity to ask questions and share good practice. 


Primary This term the Primary RE professional practice networks will focus on

‘Assessment in RE’ including a focus on the Ofsted Research Review for Religious Education

There are two options for the network

Tuesday 1st March 2022 09.30-11.30   course code SI-0322-T039

To book go to

Monday 7th March 2022 13.30-15.30 course code SI-0322-T040

To book go to


Secondary This term the secondary RE professional practice network will focus on

intent and implementation of an effective RE curriculum (with a particular focus on curriculum progression, deep dives and Ofsted expectations)

Monday 28th March 2022 16.00-18.00 course code SI-0322-T041

To book go to

Primary Religious Education Subject Leadership Course


This practical course is suitable for new or developing Primary RE subject leads to support developing an effective RE curriculum. This course will be split over 2 sessions with a gap task in between

The course focuses on

·         developing an effective RE curriculum using the locally Agreed Syllabus

·         developing an understanding of the role of Primary RE lead

·         developing meaningful and manageable monitoring and evaluation


Day 1: Wednesday 16th March 2022 09:30 - 11:30

The role of a curriculum leader

Curriculum intent and implementation

Supporting effective teaching and learning

Subject knowledge and supporting professional development


Day 2: Thursday 31st March 2022 13:30 - 15:30

The role of a curriculum leader

Curriculum implementation and impact

Assessment in RE

Effective monitoring and evaluation

Deep dives in RE

To book go to





Spotlight on SACRE members

Each term we want to introduce a different member of North Yorkshire SACRE and this term the spotlight is on one of our North Yorkshire SACRE teacher representatives Tara Askew

I have been teaching RE, known as RPE- Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in my current school, for the last 10 years. I currently work at Tadcaster Grammar School, I have also worked in York and Harrogate.

I am now a curriculum team leader in my current school and I oversee the teaching and learning within my department. I teach KS3-5 and I am the Ethics and Christianity specialist at KS5. At Tadcaster I tasked myself with ‘turning the tide’ for the subject. The subject was undervalued by staff and students, so over the past 4 years I have worked to improve SOWs, build in extra-curricular activities including an overseas trip to Rome. I have a keen interest in ensuring that quality teaching of the subject takes place and that there is a clear value given. Our ethos for the subject is- ‘Everyone is different and that is OK’.

I am an exam marker for AQA and took part in the Chester and Bangor university sessions during the covid pandemic with my students.   I strive to be the best classroom practitioner I can be, to ensure I give the best for my students. To do this I am part of the research practitioner group at Tadcaster. A group of teachers who are tasked with researching and developing classroom practice that is shared at whole school training. Other areas of interest to me are running. This year I have set myself a target of running each month for my physical and mental health. My yearly target is to reach 1000 Kilometres over the year and gain a medal each month.


Why I am a member of SACRE

I am a member of SACRE as I think it is important to ensure a teacher representative is able to give an insight from inside of the classroom.  It is important to share what is happening within schools and discuss areas for development and success.

Schools and curriculums need to adapt as society does, therefore working with others and building an RE space, curriculum and voice for our area is very important.


RE Online competition back for 2022:  Lessons that make a difference!

Closing Date:  Monday 14th March 2022 at noon.


 Which lesson changed or challenged your pupils’ thinking?

Which lesson made a difference to your pupils?

Which lesson had the greatest impact on your pupils’ learning?

Which lesson inspired your pupils most?

RE:Online are inviting children and young people to write a 500-word blog or record a 2-minute audio or visual file about a Religion and Worldviews (or RE) lesson that has made a difference to them. The aim of this competition is to celebrate an education in religion and worldviews, but also to demonstrate its importance in changing, challenging, and inspiring children and young people. The lesson could be one which takes place in the classroom or could be an out of classroom experience. Winning entries will be notified and their blogs/vlogs posted on RE:ONLINE in Summer 2022.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to all pupils aged 5-18. Pupils can enter individually or in pairs. Entries are limited to five per school per age group. Schools may want to hold their own internal competition and submit to RE:ONLINE their best selection.


To find out more go to: FREE teaching resources on Humanism and non-religious worldviews


How do humanists decide what to believe?

Can you be good without a god?

How do non-religious people find meaning and happiness?


Designed by teachers for teachers, Understanding Humanism provides over 100 new resources for ages 5-18. Featuring: presentations, information sheets, activities, films, and assessment.


To find out more visit the website:



Teacher Training

Humanists UK deliver teacher training about humanism to help with subject knowledge and practical ideas for the classroom. They can offer training as part of initial teacher training (ITT) and for continued professional development (CPD).

They regularly host their own training sessions, which teachers and subject leaders can sign up to individually You  can also arrange bespoke training sessions for your school, trust, university, or organisation.  To find out more go to:




Online Teachers’ CPD with the Jewish Museum

What does it actually mean to be Jewish? Is Judaism a religion, culture or ethnicity?  How do I teach Judaism holistically, whilst giving space to the different intersectional communities?


Join the Jewish Museum for Virtual Teachers CPD that explores what it really means to be Jewish and how best to teach an authentic and inclusive Judaism in your classrooms.

This CPD is open to both Primary and Secondary School Teachers.




Religion Media Centre Factsheets


The Religion and Media Centre offers factsheets for various religious and non-religious worldviews.

These are useful to top up subject knowledge. This website is also a great place to find up to date news items around the theme of religion and worldviews. 

Find out more here:

 Belonging and Believing resources for 3-7year olds

Belonging and Believing is a new series of books which will help you enable young children to engage with the  lives of a five/six year old child from eight different religions and worldviews.
With the author and photographer having worked directly with the families, the books focus on the ‘lived experience’ of the children, their families and communities, bringing real lives into the classroom.
The Belonging and Believing resources aim to inform, inspire, engage and excite children, teachers, and everyone interested in understanding and respecting diversity of religion and worldviews.

Books are £14.99 each or a complete set of 8 books is £110 and can be ordered here:

The titles are:

My Bahá’í Family

My Buddhist Family

My Christian Family

My Hindu Family

My Humanist Family

My Jewish Family

My Muslim Family

My Sikh Family


If you read one thing this week….

Primary teachers: take a look at Justine Ball’s fascinating research into ‘decolonising’ Jesus in Primary schools. You will find a helpful summary and a video of Justine talking about her research here:

Secondary teachers:  take a look at Joe Kinnaird’s blog and this new article on Whole Class Feedback in the RE classroom: Defining Excellence



Festival Calendar

Search for religious festivals by religion and/or month here: