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RE:Quest  A review of this comprehensive RE Site by Christine Goodwin - a Primary School Teacher

Faced with 32 new year 6 children and a range of topics from journeys through to believing and belonging, any new teacher would be thrilled to find a readymade site for resources and materials.

I was one such teacher in Autumn 2009, with both the challenge and opportunity to teach RE in a ‘different’ way, having the chance for the first time to be unapologetically Christian in the bias of the teaching! Working in a Church of England School, with a Christian head teacher allows me the real privilege of bringing Christianity to life for these fabulously enquiring and uncompromising minds.

Our first unit was believing and belonging, giving the chance to introduce the children to the idea of infant and adult baptism and thanksgiving. The children had no difficulty in accepting the differences in these ceremonies, and even commented on how they thought it was good that ‘one religion’ had lots of different choices!

They were intrigued by the adult baptism, and what was very good was the interview with the young man- this kind of ‘real person’ really brought the meaning of the ceremony to life for the children. As a church school, we were able to follow this up with an interview in class with another young Christian from a Youth Group , which allowed the children the chance to practise questioning, listening and note-taking skills, as well as deepen their understanding of why Christians feel the need to baptise at all.

The site has a good  factual section on the Bible, which formed our next unit ‘Sacred Texts’, including a section called ‘The Bible – a Guide for Life’. For some children in the class, this was one of the few times they had ever been given an idea of how the Bible could help them in life, and being able to provide this guide to them , talk to them about the reality of the text , and how it is relevant now, was a real opportunity.

The  Request site is generally easy to use, but as with most, does has little glitches, including not knowing what is on a page before you get to it, being very text heavy, and some of the videos of dramas are a little tired looking and could be improved . I would love to see more cartoon style drama clips, interviews with children on the site and some more interactive tools to use on screen in the lesson.

I will definitely keep using the site for the rest of this year. It has helped with lesson preparation, and given me ‘food for thought’ about how the subject can be best taught.

 Thank you Request - it is lovely to have free materials, especially those with a genuine Christian theme! 

The RE:Quest portfolio.  The CDs of Christianity Unpacked have been distributed free of charge to almost every school in England Scotland and Wales. Anyone who is unable to find a copy in their school can e-mail them and they will send them a copy free of charge (http://www.request.org.uk/teachers/resources/offer.htm).  The web site can be reached through www.request.org.uk ).   

BI members will be pleased to see a recent addition of a section on the Thanksgiving Service which owes a little to your Editor’s influence!

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