Is R.E. a Skive?

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Skive verb – Avoid work or a duty by staying away or leaving earlyshirk:I skived off school: she used to skive lessons

I love the word skive, we used to use it all the time in school in Liverpool. I think I only stopped using it recently because I had to keep defining the word for people. So I think I’ll bring it back into my vocabulary again now.

I felt the need to write a response to this picture because I don’t think it could be more wrong. I’m not attacking the picture or the people/person who made it, I just think the sentiment is wrong. The message that the picture is communicating is that Religious Education or Religious Studies is a waste of time and a place to avoid work. This got my thinking and I just want to share my thoughts with you.

RE isn’t a skive, mostly because the RE teachers I know are incredible and would never let their subject become a place where students shirked their responsibility to learn and work hard but also because RE is vital if we are to be a healthy nation.

In RE students learn about why people of “x” faith do that and why people who believe “y” wear that and what it is in their holy book that makes believers of “z” celebrate that day in the day they do. I hope that I’m not alone in thinking that this is vital information. RE is fantastic at explaining why people behave in certain ways as they follow their different faiths, why clothing or food or silence or a certain colour is important to them. Without this knowledge, we can quickly become weary of these “others” and their “strange ways”. Without learning about other faiths/religions than our own, fear of the unknown/misunderstood can set in, often leading to bigotry, racisms, Xenophobia and Theophobia.

Education brings tolerance and I think that this is especially true of RE so to call it a skive is, in my humble opinion, wrong.

I love RE. I love that we get to be a part of this building up of the big picture of knowledge. I love that at Sutton Schoolswork we get to put the Christian part of the jigsaw puzzle into the RE lessons of local schools and I hope that the way we deliver lessons ensures that no skiving takes place because they are so good.

 

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