As an educational establishment with a Methodist foundation the children learn about the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith in many different ways across the life of the school: for some this will be through grace at meals or prayers in the class; for all it will be through regular assemblies and acts of worship; and even our end of term dramas may become vehicles for teaching core elements of the life of Jesus.
RS deliberately does not take a faith-based approach, but aims instead, by academic methods, to introduce the children to most of the six major world religions and to help prepare them for a world where religion continues to play a substantial role in the majority of people’s lives.
We achieve this though a wide-ranging and age-appropriate syllabus. At the lower end of the school this is done mostly through overarching themes such as a ‘Celebration’ or ‘Light’, which allow the children to explore key stories and events from the main traditions.
Then as we work up through the school so the teaching becomes more focused and detailed; we may still teach thematically, e.g. by looking at the sacred scriptures of each religion, but we go to greater depth and also try to help children become articulate in the unusual language and concepts of religion. All the while we try to back up this learning by visits to local places of worship and by inviting faith practitioners to talk about what is dearest to them.
By its nature RS investigates the great questions of life by means of some of the most sublime writings human beings have produced and by meeting some of the most striking characters ever to have lived. It is, therefore, never a dull subject and the children often surprise themselves when they discover just how fascinating it can be.
The Reverend Nick Sissons, Chaplain