Have you ever considered how sin, the trinity or the story of the good Samaritan can be taught using sport? No? Not many people have, especially in a school context whilst also fulfilling the RE syllabus. PSALMS (Putting Sport Alongside Local MinistrieS) has created something which does just that.
Active RE was set up by PSALMS in 2017 and teaches the KS2 (7-11) Christianity modules of the RE syllabus using sport, games and physical activity. It’s designed to be a fun, fresh and engaging way to teach Christianity in schools and complements what is taught in classrooms around the county of Gloucestershire.
Since its pilot in 2017, Active RE has grown greatly and in the academic year 2019-2020, it is being delivered in 12 primary schools across the county, both in Church of England (C of E) and non-C of E schools. As a result, PSALMS recently ran a training day where 9 people were trained to deliver Active RE as a PSALMS sessional worker to help with the increased demand. For PSALMS (and Religious Education) this is incredibly exciting and is a way to challenge the perception that RE is a ‘boring’, ‘weird’ or ‘pointless’ lesson.
The project is fully supported by Debbie Helme, the RE advisor for the Diocese of Gloucester and Rachel Howie, the Diocesan Director of Education, who have helped spread the word amongst schools and hubs and invited Emily Twigg (PSALMS’ Active RE lead) to share a presentation with the RE hub leaders from across the county at the Cathedral back in October, which included a taster lesson for teachers. PSALMS are keen that more schools are aware of the positive impact Active RE is having and are keen to deliver in more areas.
A local head said ‘Active RE has been a huge success here. The children loved how RE was taught using a theme every lesson, and how learning was reinforced through every new game.’.
When asked ‘How is Active RE different to RE in the classroom?’, pupils from another school commented; ‘It’s fun and you’re learning.’, ‘Writing and reading in class but in RE Active we learn through games.’ And ‘Understanding the values better, more fun through games.’.