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Young Ambassadors: North-West

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Students from Grayrigg C of E Primary and The Queen Katherine School are taking the lead on the Young Ambassadors for RE project in the North West of England.  Both schools are situated in the Kendal locality, in the newly formed council area of Westmorland & Furness.  Jane Yates is supporting both schools on the project, as North-West RE Hubs Lead and RE Adviser to Cumbrian SACRE.  She says:

 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for these two schools to take the lead on a high-profile regional RE project. Both have valuable and important experience to bring to this project. I look forward to working with both schools and disseminating the Young Ambassador for Religious Education programme to more schools across the North West later.”

The Queen Katherine’s School

 

Queen Katherine’s has had an RE Ambassador group in school for nearly 10 years.  Currently, the RE Ambassadors organise a fortnightly lunchtime ‘Philocoffee’ session for students from across the school to debate and discuss different RE-related topics.  They are also creating a careers display linked to RE.  Taking part in this project, the RE Ambassadors would like to widen their scope into local Primary schools, to challenge some perceptions that RE only involves learning about Christianity.  Working within QKS, they want to challenge some parental misperceptions that RE is like the RE they did at school. The RE Ambassadors also want to start a book club with the school librarian, with a focus on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB).

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Previous examples of Young Ambassador Projects for RE at the Queen Katherine School:

 

  • Young Ambassadors from The Queen Katherine School meet the Archbishop of York – REC (religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk) - link

  • Young Ambassadors welcome Tim Farron MP on school visit – REC (religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk) - link

  • The Queen Katherine School Interfaith lunch – REC (religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk) - link

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Grayrigg C of E Primary School

Year 5 and 6 children - otherwise known as the ‘Mighty Oaks’ - are new to being Young Ambassadors for RE.  They have valuable experience with ‘pupil voice’, especially around anti-racism through their involvement with Anti-Racist Cumbria.  The overarching values at Grayrigg are belonging and justice,  with class values specific to the Mighty Oaks being courage and humility: courage to be the change they want to see in the world and humility to know that one member of humanity is no more important than any other.  Taking part in the project, they want to discover if people from different religions or beliefs feel a sense of belonging in their local community.

Starting to learn about Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) – Autumn Term 2023

Pupils from both schools began learning more about FoRB in the Autumn Term.  In the Secondary school, RE Ambassadors watched a short introductory film about FoRB; in the Primary school, they were introduced to FoRB through a variety of picture books on Children’s Rights.  As a result of these sessions, the pupils had lots of questions they were able to put to Josh Cass who is working on FoRB for Culham St Gabriel’s, a national foundation that is funding the Young Ambassadors project over 2 years.  The questions and Josh’s responses are recorded as a digital resource available here.

Quaker Tapestry Museum Launch Event – Spring Term 2024

A launch event was held in March 2024 at the world-renowned Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal.  Cumbria is the birthplace of the Quaker movement, which has a rich local history.  This history provided a powerful example of Freedom of Religion or Belief, as Quakers have faced opposition and persecution for their beliefs in the past.  During the event, the pupils worked together to learn about the compelling history of the Quaker movement, meeting members of the local Quaker community to start thinking more about what the Freedom of Religion or Belief means in practice.

You can read a newspaper article about the event here.

Young Ambassadors
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