Jo Brighouse

Don’t poke holes in RE

Not everyone is in favour of religious education in schools, but it is a compelling way to support children’s moral development – and they love studying it

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My daughter’s school has been teaching pupils how to treat others. “Everyone has invisible buckets on their shoulders,” she told me. “When you’re nice to someone, you are filling their buckets. But if you’re not nice, then you’re emptying their buckets.”

The image has clearly fired her imagination. Her younger brother has been reprimanded for bucket-tipping, and when Mr Brighouse helped me get something down from a top shelf in the supermarket, she yelled, “Mummy, Daddy’s filling your bucket!”, for all of aisle 7 to hear.

Having spent the majority of my life (as pupil and teacher) in faith ...

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