“Each individual is unique and the more ways a person has of looking at the world or at reality, it is argued, the richer that person’s life has the potential to become. One of the unique ways of looking at reality is through religion. It has its own approaches, such as faith, its own vocabulary and its own unique ways of expression. It is argued that if a child does not learn the religious approach to life then he or she will be deprived of one of the ways to view the world.” (“Religious Education at the Primary Stage” Ralph Gower.)
At Dulwich Prep London the Religious Studies Department aims to give the children the opportunity to explore and reflect upon human experience, and raise questions about the meaning, purpose and value of life. As they explore and become aware of the answers given by religion the children can begin to find answers for themselves which give meaning to their lives.
‘Religion has to be shown to be unique - a completely different, but valid, way of looking at the world in which we live.’ Failure to help children to have a religious perspective is to deprive them of a whole area of human experience.
Religious Studies in Years 5 and 6
In Year 5 the Bible is very much part of the course and God’s developing relationship with man is brought out. Stories from the Old Testament and the New Testament are looked at in detail with discussion on their relevance and meaning in today’s world. Questions about the Bible will be discussed, about its origin, nature and purpose. Topical issues in the daily news may be used in discussions and for study when they have a bearing on the work the boys are doing. Towards the end of the summer term the children study the life of the Buddha as an introduction to other religions.
In Year 6 three other world religions are studied, namely Judaism, Hinduism and Islam. It is hoped that a basic knowledge and understanding and therefore tolerance of other people’s faiths will be instilled in the boys and that they will learn to use their imagination to enter into other people’s experiences. There is an examination at the end of Years 5 and 6 based on the whole year’s work.