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Pupils promote equality and diversity through RE at SACRE event

Pupils from faith and non-faith communities came together to study social issues including racism, fairness, justice for all, tolerance and respect at a special conference recently.

The inter-school religious education conference for 12-15 year olds, organised by Wolverhampton Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) and supported by Westhill Endowment, highlighted the values that are shared between different religions and world views.

Pupils examined case studies together with the help of Lat Blaylock, facilitator and editor of the national RE Today magazine, and their religious education teachers, including Rabbi Hugo Gryn’s experience of Hanukkah in a concentration camp during the Second World War.

They also took part in a discussion game about forgiveness, considering different viewpoints and contexts, while activities gave every pupil the chance to consider and record their own ideas on some key issues and priorities. There was also a sculpture workshop in which teams of pupils created 3D resources to express their responses to the key themes of the day.

Attendees were asked to think about how they could become ambassadors for respect through RE in their own schools and were provided with resources to help them in this role.

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Wolverhampton is a multi-cultural, multi-faith city, and so religious education is a very important part of every student's learning.

“Events such as this conference provide a safe space to young people, whether they are religious or not, to explore issues which can be challenging such as racism, tolerance, respect, and justice for all.”

Religious education must be taught in all schools by law, but it is not part of the national curriculum, and it is therefore the responsibility of local councils to ensure there is a Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education in place and a locally agreed syllabus available to schools.

Wolverhampton SACRE represents a balance of all interests in the local community. It provides a framework for the study of religious education in schools in the city and advises the council on how to improve teaching and collective worship for schools in the city.


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