June 2014: RE Head leads the way nationally

ben wood

THE Head of Religious Education at Haslingden High School has been selected to lead teachers across the country in implementing a new national curriculum.

Ben Wood has taught the subject for 12 years and has been the department head for the last seven.

Ofsted’s national lead inspector for RE Alan Brine visited Mr Wood’s department in January and together they wrote a ‘best practice’ report which was published on the Ofsted site.

When the new national curriculum framework was announced, which is implemented from September, the Department for Education funded Expert Advisory Groups to assist with implementation.

As a result of his department’s success, not only is he one of 20 on the Expert Advisory Group, he was also selected to chair the secondary teachers’ working party.

“I am positive about the new curriculum and I think it is far better being less centrally focused,” said Mr Wood.

“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 (SACREs) on implementing new curricula and our discussions so far have centred on curriculum design, assessment, pedagogy and resources.

“The new curriculum is giving experts in the subject the opportunity to develop what they teach in a way they know best.”

Of his new role he said: “It is an opportunity for me to help set the agenda.”

Although he is not religious, Mr Wood chose to specialise in the subject because he finds it fascinating and very relevant to what is going on in the world today.

He added: “I think it is important to know and have an awareness of other people’s religions.”

Mr Wood heads a department of six RE teachers at the school.