Why does an education in Religion and Worldviews (R&W) matter?

Voices of children and young people.

This was the question that many teachers posed to their pupils last term for our inaugural Blog Competition. We had an amazing number of entries and it is clear that everyone has a view on Religion and Worldviews (or Religious Education). At the end of this blog you can see the names of all the winners, but here I want to draw out some of the key themes and creative ways in which pupils want to advocate for our incredible subject.

An education in Religion and Worldviews enables us to understand diversity in our world.

The diversity of our complex world was a recurrent theme. Bloggers spoke of everyone being different, having different worldviews and the importance of appreciating this. Many felt that studying Religion and Worldviews brought a genuine, real and authentic understanding of the lived experience of being a religious or non-religious believer. For many blog writers, Religion and Worldviews is about the nature of humanity; understanding who and what we are as human beings with all the complexity and divergence that this brings.

An education in Religion and Worldviews increases our knowledge, providing global and historical perspectives.

The importance of knowing about and understanding religious and non-religious worldviews came through very strongly in many of the blogs. Young people spoke about the importance of understanding historical contexts to comprehend the way things are today. They highlighted the interweaving of history with religion. Many felt that knowledge acquisition led to respect and to challenging some of the media stereotypes of some worldviews.

An education in Religion and Worldviews supports development of positive values.

Bloggers talked about the many values they felt an education in Religion and Worldviews promoted. These included peace, respect and empathy. A number talked about the way in which this was modelled in their schools by safe spaces being created to talk about controversial issues.

An education in Religion and Worldviews helps you with your future career.

From the youngest to the oldest, bloggers highlighted the value of Religion and Worldviews in terms of future career paths; professions highlighted included law, international development work, counselling, mental health services, diplomatic roles and journalism. Many more spoke about the importance of the subject for simple daily interactions with people they meet.

An education in Religion and Worldviews offers something more…..

For many of our bloggers though the subject offers something more…. It sparks the imagination and curiosity, it empowers and opens doors of communication, it unlocks a tapestry of ideas and enables young people to develop their own patchwork of views. It gives each one of them confidence to talk about religious and non-religious worldviews in the public sphere.

For our bloggers, an education in Religion and Worldviews is considered vital so they are prepared for the real, complex society in which we all live. They want to be able to navigate this world and begin to make sense of it. They want to have knowledge, understanding and skills, but also values and attitudes which will enable them to be confident, free- thinking participants in this ever-changing global landscape.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR WINNERS!!

Key Stage 1

Winners

Areilla, Newbold and Tredington Primary School

Abhijot, Clifton Primary School

Harnoor, Clifton Primary School

Highly Commended

Namanpreet, Clifton Primary School

Ishana, St Andrews (Barnsbury) Church of England Primary School

Key Stage 2

Winners

Soha, Old Trafford Community Academy

Catherine, Lythe Church of England Primary School

Nancy, Newbold and Tredington Primary School

Emily, St Andrews (Barnsbury) Church of England Primary School

Highly Commended:

Sohani, Clifton Primary School

Farzad and Idris, Old Trafford Community Academy

Avineet, Clifton Primary School

Hunter, Pickhurst Junior Academy

Key Stage 3

Winners

Matthew, Thomas Gainsborough School

Abby, Saint Francis Xavier School

Arwen, St James’  Senior Girls School

Maxwell, The Bishops’ Blue Coat Church of England School

Cara, King’s Rochester Preparatory School

Highly Commended

Skye, Prenton High School for Girls

Maisie, The Morley Academy

Brooke, Prenton High School for Girls

Niamh, The Bishops’ Blue Coat Church of England High School

Vanessa, Goldington Academy

Ella, Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School

Olivia, St Mary’s Catholic School

Key Stage 4

Winners

Scarlett, Fulston Manor School

Caitlin, Goldington Academy

Lucy, Cox Green School

Maisy, Hagley Catholic High School

Highly Commended

Meadow, Saltash Community School

Jordan, Saint Francis Xavier School

Lily, Albany Academy

Pennie, St Hild’s Church of England School

Zama, Bradford Academy

Key Stage 5

Winners

Ashton, Old Hulme Grammar School

Ella, Highworth Grammar School

Jessica, Highworth Grammar School

Anna, Hagley Catholic High School

Megha, Langley Grammar School

Highly Commended

Reva, Langley Grammar School

Philippa, Old Hulme Grammar School

 

Kathryn Wright, on behalf of the Judging Team 2021

About

Dr Kathryn Wright is CEO of Culham St Gabriel's Trust

See all posts by Dr Kathryn Wright