EDUCATION: Fishing for tools to teach

02 November 2006

Tony Parfitt, from RE Online, trawls the web

The internet is an increasingly valuable source of free material for RE, although when pupils are involved it’s always worth going through a reliable "portal" site where specialists will have checked that materials are appropriate.

RE Online ( is a leading portal site with resources for teachers and students at all levels within the national curriculum. Funding from the Association of Church College Trusts (ACCT) means the site not only points to work produced by others, but is increasingly involved in producing its own resources, too.

One of the latest resources is a response to inspection changes this term focused on self-evaluation. Collaboration between the Association of RE Inspectors and Advisers, the Culham Institute, and RE Online has produced a free toolkit to help teachers do this work — it’s at

The Culham Institute website ( also has a wide range of material for those working in education, including curriculum resources on the major Christian festivals and a section for clergy.

Also be aware of work done in other subject areas with an RE connection. For example, the RE and the Environment Programme ( not only produces resources on the links between RE and the environment: it also organises competitions and has a REEP awards programme. The Science and Religion in Schools Project is another interesting site:

Websites also exist for helping you make the most of Teachers’ TV, which broadcasts regular programmes on teaching and learning in RE and has a video library of previously broadcast material. So many broadcast programmes have potential for RE that it is difficult to keep up. So far, access is also limited — for example, if you use Freeview, programmes are available only from midnight to 6 a.m. so it’s a case of setting the recorder. Usefully, programme schedules are listed at, but visit for pointers to the week’s programmes with potential for RE lessons. has information on places of worship that can host school visits. If you’re looking for someone to visit your school, check out orgs/index6d.html.

Buying ICT resources for RE is fraught with pitfalls. Look at to see what is available. There you can find RE resources, prices and suppliers’ details. In some cases there are also reviews by users.

Books are still the bedrock of resources for many, and lists publishers’ catalogues.

Tony Parfitt is senior projects associate at the Culham Institute and REonline project manager.

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