Events News

Approaches to Dialogue in Colleges – Training Event

Approaches to Dialogue in Colleges is a free online training event on 18 May 1.30pm.

Award-winning Birmingham-based charity The Feast have huge experience in facilitating grass-roots youth work which brings teenagers together across different faiths and cultures to build friendships, explore faith and change lives.  The Feast’s Guidelines for Dialogue are now used in hundreds of schools, youth work and community settings across the country.

This online workshop jointly run by The Feast and FE Chaplaincy Ambassador Nigel Roberts introduces approaches to dialogue in college life, and is suitable for any staff keen to know how to do this better – including student services, tutors and chaplains.

This event is free of charge.  To sign up, please contact Nigel Roberts on fechaplaincy[at]

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Films on Religion and Worldviews in the Contemporary World

Interested in starting a conversation about the place of religion/belief/worldview in the contemporary world? This collection of short films funded by Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, and featuring public figures from a variety of different faiths/beliefs, may be of interest.

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ROUNDED – New SMSC Resource for 16-19s!

ROUNDED – Ready for Life  is WMCFEC’s new interactive, flexible format resource for exploring key character dispositions with 16-19s.  The resource covers six themes common to many religions and worldviews, from a broad Christian perspective, through a 10 minute ineractive PowerPoint film plus a suite of supporting activities that can be tailored to group size, time and space available.

ROUNDED has been created by Simeon Whiting, commissioned by WM Churches’ FE Council and designed by Mazo Creative Agency, with voice work from the Saltmine Theatre Company.

You can download ROUNDED here (link to Google Drive).

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Integrating SMSC within Teaching and Learning in FE

Integrating SMSC within Teaching and Learning in Further Education is a new resource designed to giving FE teaching staff the confidence to draw out the spiritual, moral, social and cultural implications of their curriculum areas out of the content they cover.

Developed from a project involving three Midlands colleges, the centrepiece of the resource is a grid of discussion starter topics for many of the common curriculum areas colleges cover, along with a number of worked examples and a substantial introduction exploring how and why SMSC should be fully integrated within teaching and learning – not just left as a bolt-on extra for tutorial and enrichment time,

The resource has been written by Dr John Wise (former CEO of fbfe, the National Council for Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education), Dr Ian Jones (of St Peter’s Saltley Trust).  The discussion starter grid has been developed from an original idea by staff at Peterborough Regional College, and used with permission.

The report is available as a free download here.


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Want to help pilot our new resource on Cultivating Identity, Inclusion and Belonging?

We’ve been hard at work developing ideas for a suite of new interactive, flexible-format resources for 16-19s in college, exploring different aspects of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC).  With the help of talented local resource writer Simeon Whiting, we have a prototype resource on ‘Cultivating Identity, Inclusion and Belonging’ which is ready for trialling in college.  We’d love to hear from any colleges or chaplains who’d like to help us do this.

This week we also had good news that the St Christopher’s Educational Trust have made us a generous grant to help us complete a set of 6-8 resources on different topics, together with previous grants received from St Peter’s Saltley Trust, the Jerusalem Trust and the Friends Hall Farm Street Trust.  Watch this space for more details!

Picture: Still from ‘The New Lad’, part of our new SMSC resource on ‘cultivating identity, inclusion and belonging’, by Simeon Whiting.

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Mistaken Identities – Reith Lectures

The 2016 BBC Reith Lectures by Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah are a gold mine for anyone wanting to develop their religious literacy or find raw material for discussion on SMSC.  The first three are on ‘creed’, ‘colour’ and ‘country’, exploring religion, ethnicity and nationhood.

From a sociology of religion perspective there is much to debate, as you’ll hear from the discussion following the lecture in each of the podcasts.  But there are some important insights.  The first lecture in the series (‘Creed’) explores how religious traditions and movements are as much about ‘practices’ (i.e., how they actually live) as ‘beliefs’ (statements of faith).  That’s an important insight into understanding how things work in the religious sphere, and indeed for any body of belief or practice.

For more see the BBC Reith Lectures website.

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Interfaith Education Workshops

Three Faiths Forum are currently establishing a base in the West Midlands.  The charity offers a range of interfaith education workshops.  Might one of these be valuable in your college?  Read more on their website:


Creative Resource Writer Wanted!

WMCFEC and Dare2Engage seek a good theological thinker and creative writer, with experience of teaching/training in the 16-19 sector, to develop a prototype interactive resource on ‘cultivating identity, inclusion and belonging’ for use with 16-19s in FE and Sixth Form Colleges.  The work is offered on a self-employed consultancy or secondment basis. Download the tender document here: SMSCResources 16-19s-pilottender ed   Closing date for tender submissions: 25 May 2015.  


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West Midlands Faith and FE Forum – 10 June 2014

It’s only a month until the next WM Colleges’ Faith and FE Forum, brought to you by fbfe and WMCFEC. It’s taking place at Walsall College on Tuesday 10 June, 12-3.30. For more info as it becomes available, and to book your place (it’s free!) contact

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Schools with Soul… Colleges with Soul?

New RSA report ‘Schools with Soul’ report challenges educational providers to take a new approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development. Free download from the RSA website here. What do you think of the report’s findings?

The report’s writers note that SMSC is becoming marginalised in all but the most confident schools, that it suffers from a ‘scattergun’ approach wherein ‘everything and nothing’ counts as SMSC, and that there is a particular lack of understanding of what the ‘Spiritual’ in SMSC might mean. There’s a particular encouragement for education providers to sustain SMSC provision throughout the teenage years, These conclusions chime with research conducted by Andy Haynes into a sample of FE colleges’ understandings of SMSC in 2011 (see our ‘Resources‘ page).

The report contains nine ‘design principles’ for strengthening SMSC and nine key recommendations. What do you think of these? If they challenge you on the provision of SMSC in your college, WM Churches’ FE Council can help you develop this. Get in touch for a conversation.