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Tell me if this is normal- year 7 RE

(65 Posts)
seeker Thu 04-Oct-12 21:54:40

Ds told me he was upset at school today. They are doing RE at the moment, and they are doing a project on various aspects of Christianity. He and another boy have been allocated the Crucifixion. Among other things, ds told me that they have to find out why Jesus was crucified, when and where crucifixion was used as a method of execution, why it stopped being used and whwt happens when someone is crucified.

Is this normal? Ds is already disturbed by some of the stuff he has found out, and they've only been researching it for a day! I am perfectly happy with the findingnout why Jesus was crucified, but I really don't think there is any value in the gory details is there? Or am I missing something?

pudding25 Thu 04-Oct-12 21:57:15

He's Yr 7, not yr 1! Most primary kids would love to hear about this, in fact, when I taught Christianity to my yr 1 class a few years ago, they were particularly fascinated to know how he was put on the cross.

Ingles2 Thu 04-Oct-12 21:58:55

No I wouldn't go for gory details, just a brief paragraph explaining the basics...
I am an atheist though and don't have a great deal of time for RE homework
grin
How's he settled in btw?

seeker Thu 04-Oct-12 22:07:29

I just don't see the point-how is the exact process of death through crucifixion relevant to the study of Christianity?

And actually, maybe year 1s would be fascinated- thoughtful 11 year olds with rather more mature imaginations might feel differently.

slambang Thu 04-Oct-12 22:07:37

I think by yr 7 this level of info is probably OK. The crucifixion is the most important bit of Christianity so they tell me and I think understanding what it involved is probably necessary to grasp its significance. You only need to go into a church to see bleeding Jesuses images, statues with nails etc so it's not exactly something we can pussy foot around.

Just get rid of RE from the curriculum altogether I say.

seeker Thu 04-Oct-12 22:13:23

I don't think it should be pussyfooted around- but actually asking them to look up all that stuff about suffocation because you can't breathe while handing from your hands and nails through the wrists and all that. Why?

He's fine, thank you Ingles- lots of sport so he's happy. He's had a couple of people having a go at him for "being clever"- somebody said "why are you at this school?" and he was quick enough to say "the same reason you are, mate" and he got a laugh, so he came home rather pleased with himself!

visualarts Thu 04-Oct-12 22:22:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherwith2kids Thu 04-Oct-12 22:25:14

slambag,

To be fair, it's the resurrection, not the crucifixion, which is the most important bit of Christianity ...

Possibly the most important bit in terms of the creation of 'Christianity' as a wolrd-wide religion would be Pentecost, with St Paul as the indefatigable putting-it-into-practice and all purpose chivvying-the-faithful bod.

Christians would say that the fact that Jesus died, plus the belief that this was for the sins of the world and was followed by him rising again, is central. The details of the method of death are not.

seeker Thu 04-Oct-12 22:26:12

It just seems to me to be part of the "London Dungeoning" of history- even castles which never had torture chambers have to build one now to get the punters in. I want my child to learn about the important tenets of world faiths- spending time looking up the gruesome details of crucifixion seems to me like studying Keats by researching the symptoms of tuberculosis.

slambang Thu 04-Oct-12 22:29:22

I stand corrected.

but as the whole lot is nonsense anyway, well...

teacherwith2kids Thu 04-Oct-12 22:31:50

Slambag,

I am not a Christian. However, a working knowledge of the main beliefs of important world faiths seems to me to be a fairly essential pre-requisite to general understanding of the world and its history.... which is why RE as an academic subject seems to me to earn its place in the curriculum, even though collective worship 'of a mainly christian character' does not.

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 22:35:32

Ds is in year 9, he's learning about punishments around the globe so it kind of fits in with this. RE isn't just about religion, there's more aspects to it (so it seems). He looked at crime last year as well for Geography.

visualarts Thu 04-Oct-12 22:36:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slambang Thu 04-Oct-12 22:40:36

Yes yes teacher.

Which is why the facts about crucifixion are part of understanding it.

I'm all for good RE actually. The moral stuff ds1 is doing about drugs, abortion, sex from the perspectives of different religions is really fascinating.

Knowsabitabouteducation Thu 04-Oct-12 22:42:19

What is the problem with what he is being asked to do? I assume there is no problem with the why or where, so the issue is the how?

Should we pussyfoot around human suffering? I don't think so.

If the school subscribes to the moral side of atonement theology, I can see why they might describe the martyrdom of Christ.

seeker Thu 04-Oct-12 22:48:08

I see no reason for 11 year olds to go into detail about torture. Christs'sor anyone's. I don't see what purpose it would serve except to upset some and excite others.

Knowsabitabouteducation Thu 04-Oct-12 22:51:26

Why sugar coat?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 04-Oct-12 22:52:15

>how is the exact process of death through crucifixion relevant to the study of Christianity?

I suppose it could be if the aim was to test the accuracy of the biblical accounts versus proper historical/archaeological evidence.

Startailoforangeandgold Thu 04-Oct-12 23:20:58

Why did DD have to watch the end of Anne Franks diary twice in Y6 and learn about the black death in all it's gory details in Y7.

Schools seem to love the nasty bits.

WW2 twice, WW1 (which makes me cry because of my grandfathers experience).

She refused to contemplate GCSE history with the Holocaust and the history of medicine in great depth.

Yes these are very major events, but a mixture of topics giving a more rounded view of history would be better.

visualarts Thu 04-Oct-12 23:23:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twoterrors Fri 05-Oct-12 08:20:22

Years ago, one of the Sunday papers did an Easter special on the crucifixion, from the medical point of view, with a detailed description of what happened at each stage to the body. It was horrifying and gave me nightmares.

Why would a school wants kids googling this stuff? If text had certificates it would be X-rated. Of course 11 year olds should not be required to look it up, and especially not when they are in a new environment and may not feel comfortable telling someone if they happen across stuff that disturbs them.

I think the teacher was being thoughtless, meant in very broad terms what happens and that the homework should focus on why - but should have known better what they might find.

I would tell him to stop, and send a note to the teacher enclosing links to some of the material, and ask politely if s/he really wants the children to continue.

seeker Fri 05-Oct-12 09:34:06

"If the school subscribes to the moral side of atonement theology, I can see why they might describe the martyrdom of Christ."

Oh, bloody hell, they wouldn't, would they? Not in an ordinary state school?

breadandbutterfly Fri 05-Oct-12 10:25:44

Blame Horrible Histories.

Agree that I would not want a dc to study this.

breadandbutterfly Fri 05-Oct-12 10:28:29

Took my dcs to a Horrible Histories show this summer - hated it. They got all the kids in the audience to sing a song about the hangings at Tyburn with all the audience doing 'actions' of being hanged - so unsuitable (tiny tots in the audience) it's not true.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 05-Oct-12 12:48:19

>If the school subscribes to the moral side of atonement theology, I can see why they might describe the martyrdom of Christ."

seeker, no, a non-faith school wouldn't 'subscribe' to any such thing. I suppose an individual teacher might but secondary RE teachers seem tolerably good at not letting their own belief dominate the curriculum.

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