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Special RE

We were surprised and disappointed at Jack Priestley's review of Erica Brown's RE for All (TES, April 5) and wonder at the validity of the comments of a self-professed non-special educator on a book specifically written for special educationists who are non-RE specialists.

RE is a subject which has, in general, been ill-defined in special education and the guidance in RE for All is being received with delight by special educators. Erica Brown places emphasis on beginning with the children's present level of functioning and awareness, and building on their experiences to develop their spiritual, moral and religious beliefs and attitudes.

We are perplexed as to why Jack Priestley should expect to find different content, when all schools work to agreed county syllabuses. Indeed special educators are not seeking a different or watered-down RE curriculum, but guidance as to appropriate means of access and teaching approaches which are relevant, realistic, and differentiated. Our pupils need support in the development of the ability to reflect. We wish to ensure that their experiences are meaningful rather than merely enjoyable.

As demonstrated in RE for All there is considerably more to RE in special education that the teaching of stories or myths.


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