24th March 2000 at 00:00
THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! By Ina Taylor. Hodder amp; Stoughton pound;7.50.

The Office for Standards in Education is still emphasising that RE in KS3 does not always challenge pupils sufficiently, or go beyond good KS2 teaching. This book is not guilty on both counts. It is a rites of passage text using the "big six" religions of SCAA and QCA syllabuses: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism.

The rituals and beliefs surrounding birth, commitment, marriage, death and beyond are addressed in short, clear, separate religion sections as well as in generic sections to introduce, for instanc, attitudes to death. There is plenty of text - but not too much - to get beyond the tabloid headline approach to rites of passage, although the sections on angels and ghosts are too short.

The colour photos are provocative, providing good teaching opportunities, except that the picture of a Jewish grave is the wrong way round, as the Hebrew inscription reveals. But I particularly enjoyed the wedding photos on an aircraft wing and underwater, and the way in which the text explored them. Ina Taylor has written a text that will be helpful both in "Learning about" and in "Learning from" religions.

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