Approach to RE

20th April 2007 at 01:00
It was great to read that Huddersfield pupils are exposed to the diversities in our pluralist society (TES, April 6). Schools have a vital role in ensuring that such experiences are provided so that pupils can understand and value religion.

To me, and I'm sure for many colleagues around the country, this is not news. If such visits to places of worship are seen by teachers and members of our community as a rarity, I am concerned about the lack of experiential learning taking place in RE.

I am an RE specialist teaching in key stage 2. As an advanced skills teacher, I am in the privileged situation of working in various schools across the city. I am proud and excited to report that our pupils in Portsmouth are taught according to an agreed syllabus called Living Difference, which has a highly focused and concept-driven methodology.

The pupils at my school experience visits to places of worship, meetings with members of faith communities and experiential learning. It is not unusual for the hall at my school to be converted into a temple, synagogue or a place to celebrate a Passover meal. Such activities are led by colleagues across the school. We have been doing this for many years.

I do not wish my letter to appear negative. I know lots of schools provide wonderful opportunities for their pupils in RE. Perhaps more of this work could be highlighted in The TES.

Georgina Mulhall Solent junior school, Portsmouth

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