Why is religious studies compulsory in primary and secondary schools?
GulliversTravels123 · 09/10/2018 12:55
Just that really- it’s more obvious why Maths and English matter, don’t understand why a subject which IMO is a load of twaddle is compulsory.
I’m guessing there must be a reason?
Rufusthebewilderedreindeer · 09/10/2018 13:00
Its not compulsory in all senior schools, well not as GCSE at any rate
It certainly isnt in the one my children attend but I appreciate that most schools have to cover it at least til GCSE stage
It is a weird one though i agree, my friends children have had to take it at GCSE and i really don't understand why
Lauren0rder · 09/10/2018 13:02
Citizenship is compulsory in my boys school.
In other schools it’s RS. No idea why.
TubbyTubster · 09/10/2018 13:04
To be inclusive I suppose. It really annoys me and I vehemently disagree with children being exposed to religious beliefs in the early years especially, before they are capable of rational and critical thinking.
TabbyMumz · 09/10/2018 13:05
A quick Google will show you it's mandatory under the education act 1944 I think. Mine had to do it at gcse level too.
RedSkyLastNight · 09/10/2018 13:06
At DC's school it's called "Philosophy" and it contains a lot of material about morals and ethics, which I think is quite useful.
Isn't it compulsory in some secondary schools because historically it was seen as an "easy GCSE" that the school was mostly teaching anyway (for league table purposes)?
RomanyRoots · 09/10/2018 13:06
It isn't compulsory at my dd private school, she's never done it. However, all the state schools I know have RE.
Maybe the gov think the riff raff need moral guidance.
Frogscotch7 · 09/10/2018 13:07
I suppose to try and understand other people better. They should call it “religion, health and culture” or something instead.
TabbyMumz · 09/10/2018 13:08
At Junior school it's more about teaching them about all the different religions that people believe in rather than pushing any sort of religion on them. However I didn't like it when my kids told me that one teacher asked everyone in the class who had been christened to put their hands up and then questioned those who hadn't as to why they hadn't.
GulliversTravels123 · 09/10/2018 13:09
Yeah where I live my DS is in year 9 and it’s effecting his options which really annoying
LibraryLurker · 09/10/2018 13:09
It is a historical throwback. Pre 1870 many children in Britain did not attend any school, they would be working in factories some from age 5. The only people interested in teaching them to read and write were the Churches, hence the establishment of Sunday Schools. Children flocked to them because even then they could see the advantages of being literate and numerate. As state education began to be established, Board schools were set up to fill the gaps In the provision made by churches. All schools were required to include religious instruction as a compulsory subject. It has never been changed. Also the reason for 6 weeks summer holidays originated because children were required to work on the land to bring in the harvest. Landowners had normally proved the land/buildings for schools so could demand that this need for additional workforce was met.
TabbyMumz · 09/10/2018 13:09
Romanyroots.....So you think everyone who attends state school is riff raff? Charming.
TubbyTubster · 09/10/2018 13:11
TabbyMumz That’s not on at all! Did you complain? I guess the one benefit is that it gives us an opportunity to hone our children’s bullshit detection skills.
SissySpacekAteMyHamster · 09/10/2018 13:11
We've just been told by DS's school that it is no longer compulsory at GCSE level. DS is year 9 now so won't have to do it next year.
Deadbudgie · 09/10/2018 13:13
Because religion is important to a lot of people even if you think it’s a load of twaddle (nice indication there of your diversity values). It is an integral part of our understanding the history of both this country and many others and therefore the current day. Even if you want to view it as a study of cultures and beliefs you can’t deny religions continuing importance in society. Most RE is now studying various different religions so no chance to brainwash.
Theperfectchangeling · 09/10/2018 13:13
A Total waste of a GCSE and study time for anyone who doesn’t wish to study it further! I do believe that kids should undertake a form of cultural studies throughout their education, to promote understanding, debate and critical thinking around the cultural/religious issues and associated ideologies that affect society, however, imho this should be dropped at the latest yr 9 onwards, unless the student opts in.
LibraryLurker · 09/10/2018 13:15
I finished secondary school in 1983. Even then it was an option for GCE but alongside we had "RE" for years 7 to 9 -Scripture really,. Then 2 years of "Moral issues" - definitely a wider view which I think became known as PSHE? I know friends whose children has to do the half GCSE - apparently it was an easy subject to boost school results.
DroningOn · 09/10/2018 13:17
Walking to school with our 6.yo DS this morning in the rain to hear that it's raining because God is crying.
Think kids shouldn't be exposed to this stuff before they're able to understand it for the nonsense it is.
AlexanderHamilton · 09/10/2018 13:17
No - Romany thinks the government think that (all her other kids went to state school there is a special reason her one child is at private).
At Dds school it was covered under PHSE but she chose it at GCSE & A Level as she loves the philosophy aspect.
Ds does the basic non examiner understanding of religion & issues stuff.
I think it is important for all kids to have some sort of understanding in order to promote tolerance.
bandito · 09/10/2018 13:18
Because people's religious beliefs have hugely influenced global politics, culture, art? Because unless you understand who Jesus Christ and the Prophet Mohammed were thought to be, you have no hope of being able to understand many current global issues. It actually doesn't matter what you believe but why wouldn't you want children to have this knowledge in the same way that you'd want them to know about maths or science? It may be twaddle to you, but it is a way of life to millions of people on our planet.
Roomba · 09/10/2018 13:19
I actually think it is vital to have a decent knowledge of religion if you plan on pursuing many subjects at a higher level. If you don't know the background and history of the church, for example, it makes studying English Literature, Art, Philosophy, Law, History, Politics and many Social Sciences much, much harder. Can you fully understand Shakespeare with no knowledge of Christianity and the religious beliefs of his time? Can you understand Middle Eastern history with no knowledge of Judaism, Islam, Christianity? Even science subjects deal with ethics, which may be influenced by religious factors.
I don't think it is necessarily taught well sometimes, or it wasn't in my time anyway, as there was little explanation of how religion affects every other subject. So it's often seen as a waste of valuable time that could be spent on English and Maths, which is wrong imo.
AlexanderHamilton · 09/10/2018 13:19
Apologies for answering for you Romany - its justr I've conversed with you for so long now I knew that perception of you would be wrong.
Notrightatall · 09/10/2018 13:20
Maybe to have a better understanding of others and what they are thinking. You know d8versity etc. It's not pushing them to follow religion but to understand those who do.
Jamiefraserskilt · 09/10/2018 13:20
To promote understanding of different beliefs and therefore, tolerance.
Stopped being compulsory GCSE round here between son 1 and son 2.
Core 1 was boring, core 2 was philosophy based and interesting.
cariadlet · 09/10/2018 13:21
I'm an atheist, but think RE is a very important subject. Far from the indoctrination that you would get at a place of worship (Sunday School) it teaches children about what other people believe. When well taught it also develops critical thinking and other useful skills.
Like it or not, religion plays a major part in the lives of many people from Christian fundamentalists in the US to Islamic terrorists to the vast majority of believers who don't spout on about their beliefs, but just go about their business, quietly doing good when they can.
It's impossible to promote a secular, rational point of view and to argue against those beliefs without understanding them - especially with extremists who follow a warped version of their "holy" texts.
PiperPublickOccurrences · 09/10/2018 13:22
It's compulsory here, one period a week at senior school.
But it's wrong to call it religious studies. In scotland at least it's RMPS - Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies. Yes they look at major world religions, but also discuss moral and ethical issues. They are taught critical thinking - questioning, reasoning, looking for evidence, considering alternative viewpoints. All very important skills to have whatever your future career.
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