Moravian Messenger September 2019
P. 1

Education Sunday is on the 8th September and Sr Tanya reflects on how religious education is now taught in our schools
Religious Education is a subject which often comes with preconceived ideas from those who make an assumption on what the subject is about from its title, rather than thinking about the bigger picture and what opportunities it can provide us R.E. teachers with in the classroom. I am about to start a new role as Head of Religious Education in Methodist College Belfast, just a short walk from my home congregation of University Road. This new role will bring me plenty of personal new challenges in terms of management but also in keeping the subject relevant and engaging for students, in what is becoming an increasingly multicultural and also secular society. In this article I will give you an overview of how what is taught differs from what is learnt in Church and hopefully show how it
manages to maintain the interest of students.
Gone are the days of Religious Instruction, as it was once known. No longer is the subject about informing students how to conduct their religious behaviour, as it was in years gone by, but now we are about helping students discover the many different aspects of religion in our society and provide an inclusive environment to learn about those of all faiths and none. As R.E. is a compulsory subject until GCSE in Northern Ireland this gives an excellent opportunity to cover a wide range of issues for students, from Christian Church material to World Religions and various ethical issues.
In the beginnings of Junior School, from age 11-14, pupils study topics that we
would be more familiar with from a Church perspective. This includes a history of the Christian Church, looking at the likes of Pentecost and Persecution. Persecution displays plenty of horrified faces from the First Form pupils at the thought of the early Christians being accused of cannibalism and being burnt alive as human torches! They will also learn about the likes of Abraham and Moses, as well as St Patrick. One of the most popular areas of study for this age are early Christian leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Corrie Ten Boom and someone with a connection to Moravians, John Wesley.
As students move up through Junior School, we learn about the Life of Jesus, including Palestine at this time and the calling of the disciples. Students then
continued inside on page 101
Summer Camp 2019
(page 98-99)
50th Anniversary of Fulneck Moravian
(page 100)
Ashton McIntosh tribute
(page 103)
Heritage Days
(pages 104-105)

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