Why Teach RE?

A question and exclamation mark of jigsaw puzzle pieces

I always started my lesson by “telling” the class what the letters RE stood for! RE stands for REALLY EXCITING…as RE reaches into ALL subjects of the curriculum… English, History, Geography, Maths, Science, Art etc! – Michael Westerman

I believe RE is the best and most meaningful way of creating a successful and wholly integrated society. The more people know about the faiths currently thriving in Britain the more likely we will be, as a nation, to embrace out multi cultural society

To my mind there can be nothing more rewarding than enabling young people to question the fundamentals of human existence and explore the most basic beliefs of religion.

In the simplest terms, studying religion and belief has a claim to be an indispensable part of a complete education because of the influence of religions and beliefs on individuals, culture, behaviour and national life. Most religions and beliefs offer answers to life’s deepest questions. And most young people are seeking answers to those questions, as they grow into independence and work out how to live a good life.

James Carr from John Hampden Grammar School explains why RS is important to him

Teaching RE for me is a privilege. I love the fact that every day I am teaching vastly different things and learning alongside pupils. I enjoy the creative and explorative nature of our subject, and having debates where my mind is opened up just as much as the pupils. I don’t believe there is another subject that can do this. -Helen Thomas (Middlewich High School)

Throughout my journey in education I found it deeply upsetting that RE is often viewed as outdated, irrelevant and unappealing both in the curriculum and teaching methods. This inspired me to pursue a career in teaching… I hope to inspire students to develop an eagerness in learning about faiths and cultures that are foreign to them and accept that there are many paths in life and there are vast differences in beliefs, practices, morals and ethics within society.

RE provides opportunities for children and young people to reflect and analyse, to discuss and debate, to explore and discover, and to learn more about the world in which they live. What could be more exciting than being part of this?

Whenever I come out of RE my head is exploding with questions and my whole body aches – this is not because I don’t understand – it is because I’m buzzing with new thoughts.
(12 Year Old Pupil NATRE Survey 2008)

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Socrates
Socrates encapsulates not only what I love about my subject.

Have a look at @misschalk’s blog which has an excellent post about the importance of RE: http://imisschalk.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/why-everyone-in-schools-should-care-about-re/

 It’s great to teach RE because what other subject affects each person so deeply – @Rhubarbtheslick

My interest and passion in teaching RE is not borne out of a strong personal religious feeling, as I am agnostic, but out of a fascination with how important religion is in all our lives, regardless of our beliefs.

 It was RE that developed my cultural awareness and helped me empathise with and understand people from different traditions. Without RE it is very likely that I, coming from a deprived and culturally homogenous background, would have remained ignorant of others’ faiths and cultures. I want my students to benefit as I did from a solid Religious education.

I have thought long and hard about my future career… after many long discussions with close friends, it became clear that there is nothing I regard more highly than having the responsibility to educate future generations.


Salary and Conditions

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