A group of local children and young people from schools across Milton Keynes have been working together to look at ways to improve religious education in the city.
A year ago, the Milton Keynes Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education formed the ‘Youth SACRE’.
The aim was to bring pupils together to share ideas and resources in a bid to update local RE to meet the needs of the diverse community of children in the local primary and secondary schools.
Under the leadership of Shammi Rahman, humanities teacher and RE specialist at Denbigh School, the Youth SACRE has provided a great opportunity to build a bridge of cooperation between young people and SACRE. The meetings, held at Denbigh School, have allowed the children to inspire RE teachers with new ideas that are relevant to their world.
Shammi said: “The Youth SACRE is working together to provide a network to support the delivery of RE by sharing ideas. The young people, who come from different primary and secondary schools across MK, have done very well to reflect the community of interfaith cooperation and demonstrated true leadership in helping support a new vision for RE.”
From their discussions, the Youth SACRE has come up with a list of six things they would like RE to include:
Freedom of thought – whatever our beliefs
Opportunities for young people to ask spiritual questions
Increased tolerance and respect of others and to inspire intolerance of prejudice and racism
Help so that young people can understand others and encouragement to all teachers and pupils to develop a stronger understanding of their communities
Teaching about atheism, humanism and Jehovah’s witnesses beliefs so that pupils from these belief backgrounds feel more included
A clear message that Milton Keynes is a tolerant place which should be celebrated through RE
“We hope that even more schools will work with us in the Youth SACRE to build a stronger community of enquirers and to the improve RE for all children,” Shammi added.