We would be grateful if you would complete the survey in the link posted above. The school has set up a committee to look at the way we approach the teaching and celebration of belief systems in our school. We would like to develop a transparent policy to guide our practice, and clarify which cultural practices (festivals) are showcased/ celebrated within the academic year.
All decisions must be guided by the Learn Together curriculum, which lays out the principles of Educate Together and the considerations that must be made in planning a programme for Ethical Education in an Educate Together school. Please see the below excerpts from the Learn Together curriculum. A copy of the entire document is available in reception if you would like to read the text in full.
The Multi-Denominational Principle: All children have equal right of access to Educate Together schools. Children of all social and cultural groups and of all religious and non-religious backgrounds are equally respected.” Pg 7
…. The Ethical Education Curriculum should encourage children to explore their own spiritual identities while also being aware of and respecting the notion that other people may think differently to them. The curriculum should celebrate difference and provide the knowledge, skills and attitudes that children need to enable them to make informed moral decisions and live in a pluralist society which embraces diversity” Pg 9
“General Aims of the Programme
The programme should foster in each child a knowledge and understanding of different value and belief systems in an atmosphere of critical inquiry and mutual respect” Pg 10
“Implementing the Curriculum in Your School
School Atmosphere and Climate
Values underpinning the Ethical Education Curriculum should be lived out in school through … acknowledging at all times the multi-denominational nature of Educate Together Schools through appreciating the individual and shared beliefs of children” Pg 14
“Strand: Belief Systems
The general aim of this strand is to develop in children a critical knowledge, understanding and awareness of the teachings of religious and non-theistic belief systems and how these systems relate to our shared human experience. The emphasis will be placed on an exploration of the infinite variety and richness of humankind through nurturing a respect for a person’s right to hold and practice individual belief systems and through creating spaces where values can be articulated and critically examined.
Children will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the right to hold and practice differing beliefs and what it means to live in a world of diverse beliefs.
- Introducing key figures in the major belief systems
- Exploring the rites and ceremonies associated with a variety of belief systems
- Exploring the important celebrations associated with such belief systems
- Encountering the philosophy and values of the major belief systems” Pg 35
“Educate Together Charter
Educate Together affirms that
2.1 Children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds have a right to an education that respects their individual identity whilst exploring the different values and traditions of the world in which they live
2.2 Parents are entitled to participate effectively in decisions that affect the education of their children. In particular, they have the right to decide what kind of school reflects their conscience and lawful preference.” Inside rear cover
If you have questions in relation to any of the topics in the survey, please contact your child’s teacher directly.
Thanking you in advance,
The Beliefs Systems Committee