Schools and their right to teach what they believe in is making headlines due to the Religious Discrimination Bill. I want to share with you what I believe was a near-perfect model of religious education.
The photo attached is from my daughters' school in London. (My family relocated for three years from 2009 for work on the London Olympics.)
The school our children attended will leave them with a lifetime of cultural, socioeconomic and multiple faith appreciation.
There were over 45 languages spoken and many faiths practiced at the school. The school was also coupled with a school for deaf children, many of who had visible and hidden disabilities. All the students learnt sign language. In a celebration of ability, the school's deaf choir "Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf Children" performed at the London Olympics.
Inclusive religious education
Religion was explored at the school via a multi-faith approach. Significant days of faith were explained by children to other children. They all shared in Christian, Jewish, Islam, Hindu and other religious faith-based celebrations. My children would come home and talk about these significant days with an understanding I certainly didn't even come close to having as a child. They are better for it. I am better for their education.
Persecution of any faith or personal identity would not have been tolerated, fortunately, the school's environment meant exclusion never manifested.
All of us can do better.
We do need to talk about religion, but not in a way that excludes, in a way that includes.
We should always aim to lift up, not push down. Enjoy the Kaos Signing Choir for deaf children. A showcase of Inclusion and ability.