Humanism and Education – A One-Day Conference

Announcing a One-Day Regional Conference

organised and promoted by

Lancashire Secular Humanists, Liverpool Humanist Group

and Greater Manchester Humanists

Humanism and Education

Saturday 28th June 2014

 Winmarleigh House, Winmarleigh Street, Warrington WA1 1NB

Children in School

Children in School

Robin Grinter, Vice-Chair of Greater Manchester Humanists, will speak on “New thoughts for young minds – bringing Humanist perspectives to Religious Education”.

Rachel Ashcroft, who is a Religious Education Coordinator and Year 6 teacher, will present “The Circle of Life: teaching about Darwin and Humanism at primary level”.

Richy Thompson, Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education) for the British Humanist Association will share his knowledge about Faith Schools, and update us on the Fair Admissions Campaign.

Lunchtime fringe events will include:
– Liverpool group development
– Warrington group development
– BHA school visiting programme

“Exploring Humanism” is an introductory course developed by Greater Manchester Humanists, and adopted by the BHA. Robin Grinter and Anna Whitehead, the course presenters, will give us an overview.

“Science and Religion in the classroom” is the theme of the talk by Alom Shaha, author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook

A “Humanist Question Time” will be chaired by Guy Otten. The panel: Rachel Ashcroft, Richy Thompson, Alom Shaha and Anna Whitehead.

We will be entertained by the Greater Manchester Humanist Choir.




Alom Shaha

Alom Shaha – Young Atheist, Humanist and Science Educator

Alom Shaha is a science teacher, writer, and filmmaker, who has spent most of his professional life sharing his passion for science and education with the public. Alom has produced, directed, and appeared in a number of television programmes, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) and the Nuffield Foundation. Alom has been a local councillor, a school governor and volunteered for other charitable organisations. He was born in Bangladesh, but mostly grew up in the Elephant & Castle in London He teaches Physics at a comprehensive school in London and writes for a number of print and online publications. He is the author of  The Young Atheist’s Handbook.


Richy Thompson is Campaigns Officer for Faith Schools and Education at the British Humanist Association.

Richy Thompson - BHA Faith Schools Campaigner

Richy Thompson – BHA Faith Schools Campaigner

Richy graduated from the University of Oxford in 2010 with a Masters in Computer Science. While a student there he founded and was the first President of Oxford Atheists, Secularists and Humanists, and also coordinated the first Oxford Think Week. He subsequently became Press Officer of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS), and in July 2010 was elected as the third President. He simultaneously became a campaigns volunteer at the BHA as well as the European Humanist Federation, before becoming the BHA’s Faith Schools and Education Campaigner in May 2011.



09:30-10:00 Registration, tea and coffee
10:00-10:05 Welcome – Ian Abbott
10:05-11:00 New thoughts for young minds – bringing Humanist perspectives to RE. Robin Grinter, GMH Vice-chair
11:00-11:55 The ‘Circle of Life’: teaching about Darwin and Humanism at primary level. Rachel Ashcroft, RE coordinator and Year 6 teacher
11:55-12:15 Tea & coffee; Greater Manchester Humanist Choir (tbc)
12:15-13:15 Faith schools and fair admissions. Richy Thompson, BHA Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education)
13:15-14:15 Lunch and fringe events
14:15-15:00 Exploring Humanism course developed for GMH. Robin Grinter & Anna Whitehead, course presenters
15:00-16:15 Science and Religion in the classroom. Alom Shaha – author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook
16:15-16:30 Tea and coffee
16:30-17:45 Humanist Question Time chaired by Guy Otten. Panel: Rachel Ashcroft, Richy Thompson, Alom Shaha & Anna Whitehead
17:45-17:50 Closing remarks – Ian Abbott


How Much and How to Book

£24 including conference refreshments – a cold buffet lunch will be provided
(£20 early bird reduction for bookings received by Friday, 13th June 2014)


For further information, contact:

John Coss: email: tel: 0161-430-3463
Ian Abbott: email: tel: 01253-812308




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