Teacher Training & Continuing Professional Development Pathway

This pathway can be used to support Newly Qualified Teachers, teaching staff and diocesan teams, as part of a wider programme of Continuing Professional Development. It provides space for reflection and discussion on core Christian themes.

There are eight sessions about happiness, love, the existence of God, the person of Jesus and the life of the Church, with an optional full or half-day retreat.

This pathway has been designed specifically to facilitate training for newly qualified teachers and staff with a range of religious knowledge and experience.  Each session gently builds on the one that precedes it, but it is still possible for new guests to start attending for the later films. These films try not to use Christian jargon or technical language but to present the faith to those who may be hearing about it for the first time.

This pathway is perfect for those who have little or no religious background and those who may have lost touch with faith. By attending this course, participants will gain a solid understanding of core Catholic Christian teaching, with opportunities for rich discussion and sharing with others.  You will find this course lends itself particularly well for use in small groups.

Sycamore has been designed to be used ‘Out of the box’.  With minimal planning and preparation, teachers, leaders and diocesan coordinators can quickly and easily access the wealth of supplementary resources to support each session, such as printable session guides, discussion questions for each film, scripture references and links to key supporting documents.   There are also a wide range of publicity materials to assist you in advertising and promoting your course (https://www.sycamore.fm/planning/publicity-materials/).

This pathway is flexible and easily adapted to the school or diocesan timetable, particuarly as part of a wider program of Continuing Professional Development.  There are multiple options for running this course (7, 8 and 10 week options), including an extra retreat day, based around extra two sessions (Film 7 on “Faith” and Film 8 on “Prayer”). See the information about how to run a retreat day here. It’s recommended to run the retreat day if possible after week 5 or 6, so that the topics of Faith and Prayer are treated after the sessions on Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

If you want to have a follow-on course after this one, you can run the Sycamore Enquiry Group, Part II, and invite participants to this (https://www.sycamore.fm/pathways/a-enquiry-pathways/enquiry-group-part-2/).

Sycamore offers support for leaders preparing to run a course in school or diocesan context.  There are a wide range of training resources on our website or we can work with you to provide tailored sessions to cater for the needs of your group or community.  You can find all the resources online here https://www.sycamore.fm/training/forming-a-team/ or contact us directly using the button below.



(1) THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS [“Film 1” in Series: click here to view]

The impossibility of sitting still. What is happiness? How to press the pause button.


(2) THE EXISTENCE OF GOD [“Film 2” in Series: click here to view]

Why bother thinking about religion? Five reasons not to believe in God. Arguments for the existence of God?


(3) A GOD WHO SPEAKS? [“Film 3” in Series: click here to view]

The hiddenness of God. When God broke the silence. Discovering the face of God.


(4) WHO IS JESUS? [“Film 4” in Series: click here to view]

He came to bring life to the world. The Saving Death of Jesus. The light of the Resurrection.


(5) THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH [“Film 5” in Series: click here to view]

How the Holy Spirit can change your life. No one gets into heaven alone. Why we need signs, symbols and sacraments.


(6) THE BIBLE [“Film 6” in Series: click here to view]

What is the bible? Can we trust the bible? How the bible can change your life.


(7) FINDING TRUE FREEDOM [“Film 9” in Series: click here to view]

Is there such a thing as right and wrong? Where can we find moral guidance? How do you discover your true identity?


(8) THE MEANING OF LOVE [“Film 10” in Series: click here to view]

What is love? How to love your neighbour. Knowing the love of God.


RETREAT DAY: Click here for information


(A)  THE GIFT OF FAITH [“Film 7” in Series: click here to view]

What is faith? Are Christians just stupid or are there good reasons to believe? How to take a step of faith.


(B) THE POWER OF PRAYER [“Film 8” in Series: click here to view]

What is prayer? Does prayer make a difference? How to pray.


Please note that the accompanying “Film Number” (e.g. “Film 13”) and Session Number (e.g. “Session 13”) refer to the complete list of Sycamore films and not to the order of each module in this course.

You can find the complete list of Sycamore films here and the complete list of Session Guides here. The “Film Number” and “Session Number” is a fixed code number so you know which film is being referred to, even if it appears in different places in different courses.

If you are using the YouCat readings as part of your course, see the page here about using the YouCat.

INTRODUCTION BY FR STEPHEN WANG: This short video can be used with groups as an introduction to their first session together.

Visit the Vimeo page here to download the video for offline use.


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