North Yorkshire’s pupils have been consulted over what would make religious education exciting and stimulating to them and what they would want to see in a new syllabus.
The syllabus is to include the teaching of the six major faiths – Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism – but also includes reference to non-religious beliefs, such as Humanism, and to Atheism.
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An art competition was also run for pupils across the county to design the front cover of the new syllabus. The winning image – a tree of life – was created by Libbie Hickson from Scalby School, Scarborough. Other highly commended work has been used to illustrate the syllabus which is full of student quotes about belief and spirituality.
North Yorkshire’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education has now published the Agreed Syllabus in conjunction with the local authority. Students, teachers, faith representatives and local authority education advisers debated the content of the syllabus at two recent conferences . It will be taught from September 2013 in the county’s maintained schools, apart from denominational voluntary aided schools.
Phil Bennington, North Yorkshire County Council’s principal adviser for schools said:
“This new syllabus will enable pupils to explore their own beliefs, values and traditions and those of others in meaningful and engaging ways.
It will encourage young people to develop respect and sensitivity towards people of all faiths and people with no faith.
Lat Blaylock is an adviser from RE Today Services, which works nationally and internationally to support the teaching of the major world faiths in schools, said the new syllabus marks a fresh approach to the teaching of religious education in North Yorkshire
Lat Blaylock said:
Hopefully this will help all children and young people to think deeply about life for themselves and to contribute positively to the diverse communities in which they live.