Dinah Starkey recommends some time-saving resources
THE QUESTIONS DICTIONARY OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. By Dr Elizabeth Ashton. Questions Publishing Company pound;15.99. Tel: 0121 666 7878.
How do you define the Eucharist? What is a prophet? These questions are addressed in Elizabeth Ashton's simply and clearly designed dictionary for key stage 2. Religious concepts are notoriously hard to explain but the book makes a brave stab at it, tackling topics such as forgiveness, prayer, and the Hindu notion of atman, or the soul. Some of the descriptions are too difficult for key stage 2 pupils and cross references would be useful. Nevertheless, it's good to see a serious attempt to get across the ideas which underpin any of the major religions.
BADGER RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. By Christine Moorcroft. Key Stage 1 Teacher book with copymasters. Badger Publishing pound;79 + VAT (parts can be bought separately). Tel: 01438 356907.
This key stage 1 pack is closely linked to the QCA schemes of work and teachers will welcome the careful planning and clear learning objectives, the lists of key words, ideas for discussion activities and detailed guidance on differentiation and learning outcomes. The photocopiable resource sheets that accompany each activity are variable in quality and involve too much reading and writing for younger children. However, teachers will find the guidance useful and there is plenty of scope for adapting the activities. The pack is accompanied by 10 posters which could be used throughout the school. They consist of images from each of the major faiths. Though simply presented, they are so rich and beautiful that they can't fail to inspire that sense of awe and wonder that is at the heart of good RE teaching.
ASSEMBLIES! ASSEMBLIES! ASSEMBLIES!. By Kryssy Hurley. Dramatic Lines pound;13.99. Tel: 020 8296 9502.
This highly practical resource pack addresses the themes of citizenship and PSHE. It covers topics such as rights and duties, sharing and team work and it's described as a tool kit for busy teachers.
Like all resources, it needs to be tailored if it is to fit the needs of an individual school but the clear, well thought out activities and accompanying lists of resources and follow up ideas certainly provide an excellent starting point for the teacher who has realised that yet again it's their time to do the class assembly.
This book is particularly useful for teachers of older juniors and many of the ideas will transfer well to the classroom. Just one word of caution.
Don't be misled by the title. While the activities will certainly promote children's moral and ethical development, collective worship it ain't.