Welcome to Pippa Simou

by Anne Krisman

Several Redbridge schools begin this term with a new head of RE. Pippa Simou has just taken on the job as Head of Department at Caterham High School, in Barkingside. She comes to us from a post at Southgate School in Enfield, where she taught for three years.

Pippa is already full of praise for Redbridge RE teachers, "They are really on the ball and united in the common cause of high quality RE." She has attended a residential weekend for teachers involved in reviewing the Agreed Syllabus, "I came away inspired." Pippa also says she was "completely overwhelmed" when she met our RE adviser, Bill Gent - "I had never really appreciated how good and valuable an adviser could be until I saw him in action!"

Does she have any favourite RE themes? Pippa admitted, "I get so much pleasure from the lessons I teach and the materials we cover I find it hard to identify favourite themes. I suppose it is themes such as human relationships, the philosophy of religion and celebrations, which I can really get my teeth into."

She remembers a Year 7 lesson when they recreated a Shabbat meal, a lesson on Hindu worship in the home, and a successful lesson on Muslim prayer when pupils watched a video and took notes for a quiz. "This relied on active learning and really engaged the children, increasing their enthusiasm and motivation."

Who is her most inspirational religious figure? "As a practising Christian my most respected and special religious figure has to be Jesus. Among other things he is an excellent role model, even if his example is hard to live up to!"

Pippa says that she is "delighted" to be teaching in Redbridge, and we are just as pleased to have her on board!

Anne Krisman

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