Why do Catholic schools teach about other religions?
Teaching about other religions is important for several reasons:
1. Learning about the religion and cultures of those who do not share the Catholic faith is one of the ways in which Catholic schools embody the call to love one’s neighbour. As the Church says, “The love for all men and women is necessarily also a love for their culture. Catholic schools are, by their very vocation, intercultural.” (Congregation for Catholic Education p61).
2. It is required by the Bishops, who state that the Catholic nature of our schools entails “a willingness… to try to understand better the religion of one’s neighbours, and to experience something of their religious life and culture.” (Catholic Bishops' Conference p3).
3. Many of the children in Catholic schools are practicing members of other faiths and our schools need to be places of hospitality for these children. It is an act of respect and courtesy that our curriculum helps them to reflect on the nature of their own religious identity. As the Church says, “All children and young people [including those of other faiths in our Catholic schools] must have the same possibilities for arriving at the knowledge of their own religion as well as of elements that characterise other religions.” (Congregation for Catholic Education)
4. It prepares the pupils in our Catholic schools for life in modern Britain, giving them an understanding of the beliefs of others. This in turn will improve social cohesion and contribute to the common good by increasing mutual respect between those of different religions.
As part of the RE curriculum, each class studies a different world religion. This helps pupils to develop an understanding of themselves and others, promoting their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- In EYFS and Y1 the children visit our parish Church. They have the opportunity to speak to Fr. Mario, our parish priest, and develop their knowledge about the Catholic faith.
- In Y2 the children learn about Sikhism and visit a Gurdwara.
- In Y3 the children learn about Judaism and visit a Synagogue.
- In Y4 the children learn about Buddhism and visit a Temple.
- In Y5 the children learn about Hinduism and visit a Mandir.
- In Y6 the children learn about Islam and visit a Mosque.
Where face-to-face visits are not possible, these experiences are provided virtually.