(a) To receive, for information, the monitoring form in respect of
schools’ self-evaluation for the Spring to Summer 2017 period.
(b) To present a summary of the following schools’ self-evaluation:
(i) Ysgol Glan y Môr, Pwllheli
(ii) Ysgol Talysarn
(iii) Ysgol Bro Hedd Wyn
(iv) Ysgol Llanllyfni
(v) Ysgol Bro Tegid
(a) The Assistant Education Quality Improvement Officer guided Members through the handout circulated in which a summary of school findings was set out, drawing attention to the fact that five primary schools and one secondary school had been inspected by ESTYN during the 2017 Spring term.
(b) Members were guided through the self-evaluations of the schools of Ysgol Glan y Môr, Bro Hedd Wyn, Llanllyfni and Bro Tegid.
The GwE Challenge Adviser praised Gwynedd schools for their readiness to share their self-evaluations of religious education and collective worship, and emphasised that monitoring the standard of religious education was one of Gwynedd SACRE's responsibilities. It was explained that they sought to accept the self-evaluations from schools during the inspection term or shortly thereafter. As religious studies was not a national curriculum subject, it can be seen from the self-evaluations that the schools were fulfilling the requirements of the Cytûn syllabus which was produced locally by the SACRE.
From the self-evaluations presented, it was seen that the schools had deemed that the standards and the education provisions were good and the collective worship was meeting statutory requirements. Ysgol Llanllyfni's self-evaluation was presented based on work conducted over a long period of time, but reference was made to ESTYN's recent inspection report which noted that the provision in key stage 2 was fully meeting the agreed syllabus. The school would be producing an an action plan in order to tackle the work and it was hoped that SACRE would see an improvement will along with examples of work in October.
Reference was made to improvement issues that were noted by the schools:
· Ysgol Glan y Môr was eager to help boys to achieve improved standards in religious studies by developing literacy, reading and writing.
· Ysgol Talysarn was eager to ensure that pupils could demonstrate progress by studying various religions; ensuring that religious education was scrutinised regularly by the School's Curriculum Panel
· Ysgol Bro Hedd Wyn was eager to ensure that the Foundation Phase received a broader and richer experience
In response to an enquire regarding SACRE monitoring arrangements, the Challenge Adviser explained that this is carried out as follows:
· Scrutinise external results in October or in the Spring meeting
· Browse through inspection reports
· Invite schools to present self-evaluations by ensuring that the content is evaluative and quantitative
· Invite schools to give presentations on the work completed in the classroom
In terms of collective worship, it was explained that was was conducted daily, but that there is no requirement for a mass Assembly, it can be conducted in classes and there was no specific time for it. In accordance with the Act, the sessions must mainly be Christian and schools were requested to be sensitive to other religions. It was explained that parents had a right to exempt their children from collective worship as they had the right to exempted them from religious education classes. Schools had a right to conduct Christian collective worship, but from a religious education perspective, it was not the school's duty to make children religious.
Historically and traditionally, situations where staff had refused to lead collective worship in schools had been very rare, and it was noted that a stock of useful resources had been published and were available to help staff lead sessions. In addition, schools could invite local religious leaders to lead collective worship sessions and schools welcomed this link. It was also noted that some schools made use and appreciated the "Open the Book" scheme, where a group of people would tell a story or act out a biblical story to pupils.
RESOLVED: To accept and note the contents of the inspections and self-evaluations and in accordance with procedure to request that the Assistant Education Quality Improvement Officer sends a letter to the above schools to note SACRE's appreciation of the efforts made by them in achieving the grades.