Religious leaders of Newham offer advice in teacher training session

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 November 2016

Claire Clinton, far right, with Newham faith leaders Picture: Faith in Schools

Claire Clinton, far right, with Newham faith leaders Picture: Faith in Schools


Teachers were treated to a Christian masterclass as educators teamed up with religious leaders to strengthen schooling.

Faith in Schools (FiS), a group made up of ex-teachers, visited Elmhurst Primary School in Upton Park Road, Forest Gate, on Wednesday, to train up Newham’s religious educators.

Twelve church leaders from across the borough highlighted the difference between Christian denominations in what FiS religious education adviser Claire Clinton said was an eye-opening exploration of faith.

“The teachers got to see the bigger picture of the Christian religion,” she said. “Christians come from all over the world, and it was great hearing about services in different languages that go on each week in Newham churches, as well as all the different nationalities that attend – one church has over 60 different nationalities in its congregation.”

She said she hopes the the group’s session helped support teachers in their professional development and stressed the importance of quality religious education in the country’s most diverse borough.

Park Primary School teacher Sarah Lennon was one of the teachers to benefit from the training day, which is part of FiS’s mission to make sure everyone in Newham meets a Christian so they can better understand the religion.

This latest push for understanding included Roman Catholic, Church of England, Baptist, Methodist, Orthodox and Pentecostal leaders.

Sarah is excited to apply what she learned in the session at her school in Mathews Park Avenue, Stratford, and said it was valuable to explore the diversity of Christianity.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a range of Christian church leaders,” she said. “I realised through discussions that the range of Christian denominations was confusing to those non-Christian school religious education leads. I also learned some of the differences between the different Christian churches, which was great.”

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