Sunderland faith school gets top marks for teaching

Venerable Bede School - RE teacher David Johnson, Richard Goodman, head of RE and head teacher Gill Booth with pupils in a RE lesson.

Venerable Bede School - RE teacher David Johnson, Richard Goodman, head of RE and head teacher Gill Booth with pupils in a RE lesson.

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HARD-WORKING staff and pupils are celebrating gaining top recognition for teaching.

The Venerable Bede RC Academy’s Religious Education department has clinched a prestigious national award.

Delighted staff and students have been awarded the RE Quality Mark (REQM), which has been developed to recognise high-quality religious education in schools across the country.

There is a renewed focus from Ofsted on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils.

Headteacher Gill Booth said: “Achieving the award at the highest level of gold is an indication of school-wide commitment to excellent teaching and learning in religious education.”

Head of RE at the Tunstall Bank secondary, Richard Goodman, said: “The award recognised the outstanding learning in RE, both in terms of exam results, and the high enthusiasm and enjoyment students have of the subject.” 

Gaining the award was no easy feat for the Ryhope school, as an assesor spent the day with the department’s senior staff, as well as pupils from all year groups.

Towards the end of the process, he also looked at students’ work and subject surveys to get a true picture of the curriculum and progress. In his report, the REQM assessor said: “There are some schools which I shall remember with satisfaction for a long time. The Venerable Bede in Sunderland is one of them.

“It was a privilege to visit the school and meet the department and some of the pupils.”

He said he was impressed by how RE makes a powerful contribution to young people’s learning, providing them with chances to explore the big ideas and questions of religion and belief.

The REQM has been developed to celebrate quality RE and The Religious Education Council of England and Wales provides support and monitors the quality of the award.

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