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Diminishing RS

(37 Posts)
faeriefruitcake Sun 13-Dec-15 00:38:28

I need help, RS is being diminished in many schools because Ofsted does nothing when schools are non compliant. RS is a fabulous subject that allows students to understand the world they live in and ask questions that matter to them. There are over 5,000 deities worshipped on this planet. I even cover atheism and humanism. Please sign my petition, I know about the apostrophe, auto correct bit me.

CantSee4Looking Sun 13-Dec-15 01:27:34

Sorry but I actually feel that there is no place in school for religion. Of any kind. Could not abide the subject when in school. Still can't. Faith is fine. religion is the problem. There is better uses of the time. Extra support in key subjects for those that need it. Life skills would be better - form filling, financial management (budgeting), understanding tax and basic contracts, etc.

faeriefruitcake Sun 13-Dec-15 01:32:42

Then don't sign the petition, I'm asking for support. I get ripped apart enough at work. Currently the majority of people in this country have some sort of religious belief and if you ignore that then how do you expect student's to make sense of their world. As for the list surely that's what a parent should show their child?

CantSee4Looking Sun 13-Dec-15 02:00:36

If parents are expected to work full time, keep house ferry kids to and from activities. When. Also you are not taking into account the high proportion of adults who can't do those things. They are serious life skills that a very high significant proportion of adults can't do so can't pass on to their child.

In some cases I am encountering illiterate adults who are struggling to function in the modern world and the numbers of those who are insufficiently literate to cope with modern demands are scarily high and not sufficiently addressed.

To make sense of the world is not necessarily about what each faith believes. It is to understand how society is functioning, how politics works and how religion can influence this. But this aspect is not covered until the very higher levels if at all. And rarely in a manner that has any practical value at all.

I am not ripping you apart I am just suggesting that society has different demands and that the syllabus needs to keep up and adapt. Yes there could be a place for religious studies in school but there are also other more important stuff that is covered. And that religious studies has not adapted its syllabus sufficiently enough to be relevant to the majority of individuals in the long term future. Especially when the current government system seems more keen to push individuals into working every hour that god sends rather than actually being able to spend time bringing up their children.

CantSee4Looking Sun 13-Dec-15 02:01:14

and the numbers of those leaving high school who are insufficiently literate to cope with modern demands are scarily high and not sufficiently addressed.

timelytess Sun 13-Dec-15 02:18:47

I've signed, I'm number 380.
This was my RE petition
Don't get into a 'Why RE?' argument with people - your life is hard enough! I had 21 years RE teaching, now a very broken (but happy) person who doesn't teach anymore.
Yesterday, I had lunch with a group of people who were all younger than me, the youngest was 25. Listening them discuss philosophical and ethical issues reminded me what I used to enjoy about teaching Religious Studies. Its a great subject - but what the system does to RE teachers isn't great at all.

CalmYoBadSelf Sun 13-Dec-15 02:24:45

I agree with you that an understanding of religion, even if you do not belong to any group yourself, enriches your understanding of life

My DD chose to study RS to A level and it made a huge and positive difference to her personal development

AuntieStella Sun 13-Dec-15 05:24:23

I think, that in a diverse world RS is vital.

And the course is examining faith, religion (and the difference between them), ethics and the nearest thing to philosophy that's generally available in state schools.

strawberryandaflake Sun 13-Dec-15 05:50:38

CantSee, RS doesn't promote religion, it promotes understanding of other people. Given all that is going on in the world more understanding is needed, no?

I think you need to maybe be more open minded.

meditrina Sun 13-Dec-15 06:07:45


OP's posted in 'secondary education', so the curriculum would be designed for those progressing normally through KS3 and KS4.

I don't think anyone would disagree that more should be done to prevent individuals from falling down cracks and leaving school illiterate. But once at secondary that is more about specific intervention (that might mean removal from some curriculum lessons because the time is needed for basic skills, the lack of which hinder ability to access curriculum in the first place).

It's should never be at the expense of the curriculum itself, which is geared to typical/average students (which on the bell curve theory are the majority).

Secondary school RS isn't IME learning about the details of practices of a series of religions; it's about looking at big moral/ethical questions from different starting points, and how to debate things from different viewpoints.

senua Sun 13-Dec-15 09:25:32

I'm not sure that I fully agree with this sentiment from the petition:"It is a chance to explore their own beliefs, religious or not."
I feel that RE is more about other people's beliefs. It is understanding that there is more than one position. It is understanding those positions.
Yes, it is a chance to think through your own ethics/morality but principally it is about otherness.

But I'm all for it, it's a good subject - how can the the study of fundamentals like who/what/why not be a good subject.

faeriefruitcake Sun 13-Dec-15 10:43:30

Since I teach about Humanism and Atheism as well as looking at Religion I do think I really do think it's the students get the opportunity to think about whether they are religious or not. Heck we've even had a look at Rastafarianism. The law says that every student must study RS until they are 18. That doesn't mean it has to be an exam subject, a chance to explore and question to consider their position on all sorts of questions is important. Too many schools are non compliant exam factories. This is not good for the health and well being of young people, one hour a week where they can study anything that interests them that is cooencted in some way to faith and belief is not a bad thing.

BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 10:46:05

STILL people think that RS is designed to make people HOLY

its so not

Figmentofmyimagination Sun 13-Dec-15 10:58:51

My DD does RS gcse and loves it. I don't think the title of the subject does it any favours, and it's more about ethics and philosophy - big 'why' and 'whether' type questions.
I'm all in favour. The more people who grow up questioning why we buy into collective myths the better, whether these are Christianity, capitalism, money, communism or whatever.

BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 11:04:40

kids generally ALL love it - spec if taught well.

Its only their parents who bleat on about it, having NO knowledge of what is going on in the classroom

BeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 13-Dec-15 11:06:28

Hi faeriefruitcake - we're going to pop this over to petitions.

drivinmecrazy Sun 13-Dec-15 11:06:48

I admit to previously having a very negative view of RE as a subject. But since my yr10 DD has been studying PER I have done a complete U Turn, indeed it took me some persuading to understand the relevance of the subject and was more than confused when my DD decided to chose it as an option. After a great talk with her PER teacher I was convinced.
It is considered highly by universities because it teaches debate, reasoned arguments and great essay writing skills. Most of all it teaches the student tolerance in life, that while we may not share the same moral and belief codes all arguments have some validity.
I am often amazed by the discussions it sparks at home on all manner of issues. It's wonderful to see that my DD has views on subjects she might not normally give more than a glance to. She is beginning to really understand the world around her and that everything does not begin and end with her own life and ideals.
I do think the renaming of the subject as PER is important as it gives the subject a better definition, philosophy ethics and religion, of which religion is only a part of the debate

BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 11:08:20

i am so glad you see this. We are doing abortion atm and i told the kids to go home and have a good chat to their parents about what they were studying and their parents' opinions

Parents evening was great - parents so interested and looking at the exam paper like this shock saying they wish they could study it

faeriefruitcake Sun 13-Dec-15 12:05:15

Thank-you for the debate and support. I know I am biased but modern RS shouldn't promote one religious view, it should promote free thinking.

Just this week I sat down with a Y10 who wanted to know if she was going to hell because she touched herself, we had a long chat about various different points of view and whilst I didn't contradict what she was hearing at home I hope I gave her a broad enough view to realise she was doing nothing wrong.

CantSee4Looking Sun 13-Dec-15 13:40:48

1. I never said It promoted religion, I said there is an issue with religion.
Teaching the facts of religion does not take into account the actions done by religion. Persicutions of people by religion.
jews of christians
christain cursades
Jews of palastines
To teach one without the other does not give a full view of the whole situation. And there is not enough scope within the syllabus to do this effectively. Nor would the understanding of a number of teachers be sufficient due to the complexity of the subject.

2. kids generally ALL love it - spec if taught well.
It is a shame that it is not taught well in a number of cases. Ds' school being an example and he will be removed from lessons in future.

3. Abortion is ethics not religion. Whilst religion will take part of the decision and discussion it is deceptive to say it is religious studies. Even covering things like Helen Kellar and the topics we did at school, are not actually religious studies they are ethical studies.

4. The whole subject needs a rebrand and an over haul. But I still feel strongly that there are life skills that need to be taught that should be taught in school because society doesn't teach them and assumes they are none. The two could be combined within a new title. It would not be impossible.

5. To discover society is not just to learn the facts of why it makes decisions.

CantSee4Looking Sun 13-Dec-15 13:42:06


BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 14:19:01

Most issues like abortion are done with an ethics slant then religious attitudes towards it. As anyone who'd researched a syllabus would know.

BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 14:19:32

And war and discrimination also covered by same syllabus.
So why not find out a bit first?

BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 14:20:02

I don't want my kids to be Spanish. Done any stop them learning the language.

BrendaandEddie Sun 13-Dec-15 14:20:33

And life skills? Er hello parents!

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