Primary RE SLEs

A number of people attended the welcoming but socially-distanced event, including Fr Martin Sylvester. There were local representatives from other Christian traditions too.

Theresa showed the group three short films made by Pact. In one piece, Lewis, a former prisoner, performs his own powerful spoken word poetry.In another, two former prisoners speak movingly to each other about their experiences, how faith helped them to make a fresh start and how Pact staff and volunteers treated them: ‘They didn’t judge me. They spoke to me like a human being’.

Pact Services Manager, Lesley Ward, also attended the event and explained the life-changing work she leads covering a number of prisons and community hubs in the diocese and further afield. Lesley shared important insights into the challenges of the prison environment, particularly during the pandemic. She was able to give more information about some of the learning opportunities Pact provides, such as the parenting skills training, shown in another Pact short film. Pact works to strengthen family relationships where appropriate as this gives hope and the real potential of living a better life together in the future. Those leaving prison with strong family bonds are 39% less likely to return to crime.

The discussion led to several useful action ideas. While sharing the distressing ‘hidden sentence’ a family can live through alongside their loved one in prison, Theresa highlighted the National Prisoners’ Families Helpline which Pact provides. Fr Sylvester suggested that a poster giving details of the Freephone Helpline number ought to be in every church porch. Theresa agreed to take this forward.

Pact welcomes support from parishes and individuals. To keep in touch, if you have not already signed up to our magazine, Fresh Start, you can do so here: Sign up to Fresh Start | Prison Advice and Care Trust

There are opportunities to work as a volunteer supporting a number of Pact's services in the diocese. Pact has an established training and support programme for volunteers.

Parishes in the diocese may like to think about becoming ‘partners’ to prisons in the region where Pact has a presence. This has worked well in other areas recently. For example, parishioners have worked together to provide gift cards which prisoners can give to their children, sharing a little love and joy and strengthening family bonds this Christmas - as part of Pact's Operation Elf.

We currently have two RE SLEs who support our schools in a variety of ways including the following;

  • Support for teachers with regards to the planning and delivery of the Come and See programme
  • Working with schools to review and revise their provision within RE, Catholic Life and Collective Worship.
  • Assisting schools with areas for development relating to their most recent Diocesan Canonical Inspection.
  • Supporting RE subject leaders with respect to their role, providing further resources, guidance and expertise.

Schools are invited to contact the Primary RE adviser directly to request support using a support request form below. Please also see below some further information with regards to the RE SLEs and support provided.

Primary RE SLEs

Clare Lund

Subject Leader for RE

Primary School: St Patrick’s, Mansfield


As an experienced RE Subject Leader, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Mansfield, my view of the place of RE in the Catholic school is that it is the fabric of Catholic Life for the whole school and parish community and therefore central to all we do. With such value comes a need for high quality knowledge, understanding, experience, advice and passion.

I have worked as the RE Lead in school for over ten years and as one of the Lead Teachers for the past few years, supporting David and a plethora of colleagues, both formally and informally, in the development and implementation of a wide range of resources and initiatives. I have a broad experience of Come and See, since its trial and introduction across the Diocese in 2012, and have supported colleagues with planning, resourcing and empowering pupils to own their next steps in learning.

As a member of the Assessment Working Party, I have contributed to the ever-evolving assessment systems, in order to keep up-to-date with new methods and maintain similar links between the assessment of RE and that of the other core subjects.

My experience as a catechist in my home parish of St. Philip Neri, Mansfield and, many years ago, as a member of the Briars team, continues to ensure my enthusiasm for vibrant creativity in collective worship, learning and enjoyment in RE. Enabling pupils to feel confident in their spiritual identity and enjoyment on their journey in faith is a true passion. I feel it is our role as Catholic educators to ensure that our children experience a broad range of faith encounters, both academically and spiritually, in order for them to deepen their faith and to enhance that feeling with scriptural and catechetical knowledge and expertise.

As an SLE, I hope to continue to support pupils, staff and schools across the Nottingham Diocese in ensuring that high expectations, standards and outcomes are aspired to and attained, through the passionate delivery of and commitment to the teaching, learning and experience of our rich and varied RE Curriculum.

Sharon Bools

RE Subject Leader

Primary School: St Norbert’s, Spalding


I have been working in the Nottingham Diocese for just over 10 years, and have been the RE Subject Leader at St Norbert’s Spalding for 6 years.

During this time I have worked on improving all aspects of RE, Collective Worship and Catholic life.I regularly attend RE Subject leader meetings in either Mackworth or Lincoln to ensure that I am up to date with current practise, policy and initiatives.I have a passion for teaching RE and supporting others in helping to plant seeds of faith for future generations.

My areas of expertise in RE are planning and teaching of RE and Collective Worships.RE can be taught in many creative and inspiring ways, yet still contain depth and challenge for the children.In Collective Worship I always aim to plan and deliver liturgies that are inspiring and empower the children to take their faith out into the community, through applying challenging but achievable missions.

Regardless of distance I am willing to support any schools within our Diocese to raise standards and deepen the faith for all our children and practitioners.