RealityBites in Schools

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Citizenship and British Values

RealityBites offers lectures and conferences focusing on citizenship education and, in particular,

the different ways in which a citizen can contribute to the improvement of their community, to include the opportunity to participate actively in community volunteering, as well as other forms of responsible activity.

Revised National Curriculum 2014

A key feature of these conferences is to nurture students' abilities to ask good questions in the context of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) and so to help them become responsible and mature citizens who understand British values.

Each 90 minute conference is £200 plus travel costs, or schools can take all three for just £500. The 45 minute lecture is £100.

We are thrilled at Journey Makers to have our own curriculum which really enables children of different race, faiths and backgrounds to explore some of life's big questions: God, faith, purpose, identity, morals and citizenship. It has been brilliant for us to work with RealityBites on the creation of this curriculum, and we have seen really encouraging results as children engage with these stories as they begin to better understand themselves and the world around them. So thank you RealityBites for helping us on our Journey!

Rachel Dawson, Head of TLG Journey Makers

Mafia Stories, British Values and the Problem of Evil

90 minute conference  |  Key Stages 4/5

Students are invited to think critically about responsible citizenship, as they explore true stories of Mafia gangsters, as well as the inspiring people who have resisted the 'brotherhood'. The conference connects these Mafia stories to the promotion of British values by focusing upon the 'rule of law'. It then explores five different ways of understanding evil and criminality that are seldom probed and analysed, looking at Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan Materialist, and Christian perspectives on evil and suffering.

This unique conference promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils in the context of both citizenship and British values.

Celebrity Culture, Trafficking and Responsible Citizenship

90 minute conference  |  Key Stages 4/5

Students engage in critical thinking by starting from a value system they are familiar with: celebrity culture. Lifting the lid on the quirks and wonders of this modern-day cult helps young people to understand the hugely influential mindsets of consumerism (I shop therefore I am) and materialism (everything is just physical), and how these beliefs impact such issues as the dignity of life and human trafficking.

Stories of people who are resisting this mindset activate curiosity in pupils and introduce religious and secular views on ethical business, citizenship and social responsibility.

Lottery Winners, Money and Religious Faith

90 minute conference  |  Key Stages 4/5

Students are invited to think critically about the responsible and irresponsible ways in which people use their money. They hear the heart-warming story of Sheelah Ryan, who won $55 million in 1988 and used her jackpot in an imaginative and responsible way which contributed greatly to her community. This is contrasted with the story of William 'Bud' Post who won $16 million in the same year but ended up a sad and bankrupt man, the target of a hit-man hire by his brother to kill William and his sixth wife. How is faith present in all these stories of money madness? How would students respond if they were to win the lottery?

This conference explores issues of economic stewardship both in terms of citizenship and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Responsible Citizens and Spiritual Development

45 minute lecture

Students explore the lives of citizens who have modelled responsible activity by transforming the lives of factory workers, disabled employees, homeless people, vulnerable children and refugees. Their stories are inspiring and thought-provoking and nurture the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students.

The Presenter

Mark Roques (BA MPhil PGCE): teacher, author & storyteller

Mark RoquesFor eleven years Mark taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at Prior Park College, Bath. As Director of RealityBites since 2005, he has developed a rich range of resources for teachers and is a popular speaker at educational conferences in the UK, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Mark is the author of three books, including the Religious Education textbook The Good, The Bad and The Misled, and his innovative approach has led him to appear on television (Channel 4) and radio.

For more information, to book any of these courses or to discuss a bespoke assembly, lesson, or curriculum, please contact RealityBites.

When Mark taught in my school, he not only taught brilliantly in the classroom but he kept the entire school on the edge of their seats as he told stories which were transformative and gripping, especially for young people today around the world.

Dr Giles Mercer, former Headteacher of Prior Park College

Mark is an inspiring and unique communicator with the capacity to break down complex ideas in understandable and humorous ways.

Sue Starling, Principal, Flinders College, Melbourne

Mark is one of the most engaging communicators I have seen working with young people. He combines clever story-telling with insights into culture and the values of our society. I have watched groups of sixth form students listen with rapt attention to his presentations and find themselves in intense discussion and debate as a result – the kind of engagement that leads to real learning. Mark is one of the best speakers and conference leaders on ethics and culture in education today.

Chris Curtis, CEO, Youthscape

Mark Roques of RealityBites is a rare find: a great communicator with something of real value to communicate! Our students found Mark's story-telling gripping, and it caused them to question preconceived opinions – to think for themselves about ideas they'd adopted unquestioningly up to that point. Great education!

Jonathan Winch, Principal, Emmanuel College, Newcastle

I was really impressed by Mark Roques' dynamic, and thought provoking style of delivery. His presentation on people trafficking was full of great content and really engaged our students leading to an excellent plenary. What he offers is a valuable addition to any RE programme and I hope he will work with us again in the not too distant future.

Pete Smith, RE Teacher, Notre Dame CathoLic Sixth Form College, Leeds

You have given us a key that will unlock our teenage students in a refreshing and powerful way. Might I add that I recommend your presentation to any high school teacher who wants to be able to connect and engage their teen students with questions of faith in an exciting and effective manner.

Paul Marshall, Principal, Emmaus School, Canberra

At Leeds Faith in Schools, we have had several training sessions, some great meals and lots of fun with Mark Roques! His stories and the way he uses them to bring points to life have really helped me to be more effective when communicating the Christian faith, especially John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood and Thomas Baker and the cannibals – both feature in two of our best assemblies. Highly recommend him and his work to you all.

Adam Price, Leeds Faith in Schools