Religious Education helps pupils consider their place in the world that they live in, and understand better some of the ideas and choices they face as global citizens. RE encourages pupils to explore fundamental philosophical, theological, ethical, and spiritual questions in a reflective, analytical, balanced way that stimulates questioning and debate. It focuses on understanding humanity’s quest for meaning, the positive aspects of multi-faith understanding and pupils’ own understanding and responses to life and religion.
Thus RE enables pupils to explore the spiritual, moral, social and cultural dimensions of contemporary challenges faced by humanity, such as poverty and development, globalisation and interdependence, sustainability.
Many investigations in RE are particularly valuable in developing pupils’ global perspective and sense of themselves as part of a local and global community. Through RE, they develop knowledge and understanding of different religions and worldviews, including their sources of wisdom, the impact of their teaching and their importance in people’s lives. In RE pupils find out about religious beliefs, teaching and practices and what they have to say about human needs, rights and responsibilities, citizenship and social justice, and so develop deeper understanding of topical issues such as health, wealth, poverty, war, and the environment.
Through their investigations in RE, pupils learn to ask, discuss and respond to fundamental questions, use a range of evidence, solve problems, present and support reasoned opinions, share ideas and argue effectively and respect the viewpoints of others. These capabilities help develop pupils’ intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness, express their personal response and ability to think critically, so are very supportive of global learning. Sejal – please add a link to the Critical thinking web page.
By engaging with the big questions of existence, a range of religious beliefs and key global issues, pupils develop and understand their own views and those of others. They are thus supported in developing their own moral and ethical framework, including values of empathy, tolerance and respect and responsible attitudes in the local and global society they are growing into.
This understanding may inspire them to become more active citizens, and effect personal, social and global change.