A SCHOOL’S department head is to lead the way in how Religious Education is taught across the country.
Haslingden High School was singled out by Ofsted earlier this year as a shining example of how to teach the subject. Now the school’s head of RE has been selected by the Department for Education to help other schools do as well.
It comes as the DfE compile a panel of experts on different subjects to help schools adjust to the new curriculum.
Ben Wood has taught the subject for 12 years and led the department at Haslingden High for seven.
As a result of his department’s success, not only is the 37-year-old one of 20 on the Expert Advisory Group, he was also selected to chair the secondary teachers’ working party.
The married father-of-two said: “It is an opportunity for me to help set the agenda and bring what we have here to other schools.
“I am lucky to have very high quality teachers in my department.
“As well as talking about the place of religion in the world we prepare students for the ethical dilemmas we all face in life. However, provision of RE is very varied nationally.
"Some schools use it to great effect to unify and promote cohesion and other schools neglect the topic entirely. I believe it is better for schools to work out their own way of delivering the curriculum that is best for them and now there is a certain element of freedom. It is much less prescriptive.
“Our aim is to publish advice for teachers and Standing Advisory Councils for RE on implementing new curricula and our discussions so far have centred on curriculum design, assessment and resources.” Although he is not religious, Mr Wood chose to specialise in the subject because he finds it fascinating and relevant.
He added: “I think it is important to know and have an awareness of other people’s religions.”