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Conferences and courses


THE Make Poverty History campaign will be the focus of a national sixth-form conference to be held at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Westminster on 4 July.

The event, sponsored by Christian Aid, Tearfund, and the Damaris Trust, will launch the Global Student Forum — an initiative to help 16-19 school students become peer educators. The forum will explore the spiritual and ethical issues underlying global citizenship.

One third of those attending will be trained by Christian Aid to lead assemblies and participate in RE and citizenship lessons. Another third will be trained by World Vision to galvanise their peers into taking part in a 24-hour “famine”.

Tearfund, using their Lift the Label initiative, will train the remainder in how to help fellow students consider the effect of their lifestyle choices on the people behind the products. Students can apply through their schools. Information from the office of the conference organisers, the Damaris Trust: phone 023 803 15319.

The National Christian Teachers Conference 2005 will take place at the Britannia Hotel, Coventry, from 16 September. Topics under discussion will include the development of Christian teachers facing classroom challenges, and the meaning of success for a Christian teacher. For details and online booking: www.e-stapleford.co.uk

A maths day in a cathedral may sound unlikely, but it’s one of the innovations that has won Chester Cathedral’s education department the Sandford award for excellence in heritage education from the Heritage Education Trust (HET). Judy Davis, the Cathedral’s education officer, says that cathedrals are full of mathematical opportunities. “The maths, for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils includes estimating, measuring, symmetry, shapes.”

That is also true of the RE, science, and history trails. The Cathedral, dating from 1092, includes a well-preserved medieval monastic complex used to discuss the dissolution of the monasteries. More than 8000 pupils take part every year.

Pilgrim days, held over a week each autumn, draw in 180 pupils each day. A sixth-form programme includes enterprise, citizenship, and Christian symbolism. A sixth-form conference for 500 pupils is being planned for the autumn. Information from Judy Davis, Education Department, Chester Cathedral, 12 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU: phone 01244 500957. www.chestercathedral.com.

For those involved in voluntary youth work in a local church, Emerge Academy has an online course. The cost to register is £250.

As well as exhaustive online resources such as book chapters, articles, and Power Point presentations, there is also a chat forum that hopes to provide a global and interactive community of youth workers.

Further information from jo@emergeacademy.net, and from www.emergeacademy.net

A new RE software programme on how the media tackles religion, how religions promote forgiveness and conflict, and the attitudes of different religions to the environment is now available.

Called Kar2ouche, it enables pupils to choose characters, backgrounds, sounds, and music to create a storyboard.

Further information from Iain McCallum: phone: 07771 636612.

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