A celebration of different faiths at Siddal Moor Sports College this week helped to launch the new Religious Education curriculum that will be rolled out for the borough.
At a time when Ofsted are criticising schools nationally for failing to focus on the subject adequately, Rochdale’s new syllabus intends to raise the profile of RE and celebrate the work done in Rochdale's schools.
Religious education is compulsory for all pupils registered in maintained schools up to the age of 18 and local authorities are expected to develop their own syllabus. Religious Education results across the borough have been consistently strong and continue to improve.
Rochdale Borough Council has enlisted help from the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) to develop a programme that will facilitate the teaching of a broad range of faiths, cultures and values.
Almost 20 schools, both primary and secondary schools across Rochdale Borough, came together to showcase their learning and understanding of different religions at Siddal Moor Sports College. They presented artwork, sculptures or poems developed in class.
Cherry Vann, Chair of SACRE, said: “It was a wonderful celebration of a wide range of faiths and values. Rochdale’s rich and culturally diverse population means that locally we benefit from a fusion of faiths. Learning to appreciate and respect each other must be a key part of our teaching and it’s promising to see such knowledge exhibited by these children today.”
Ghulum Rasul Shazad from the Council of Mosques was impressed by the levels of creativity and effort that had gone into all of the exhibitions. “A brilliant display has been created exploring local faiths such as Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. Much credit has to be given to our local teachers that doing a fantastic job to inspire and nurture multi-faith attitudes.”
Across Rochdale Borough Christianity is the most practised faith, but there are a wide range of faiths practised by many other people. The Rochdale Borough Multi-Faith Partnership provides a forum for exploring faith issues and developing dialogue between and within faith communities. They also help to raise awareness of faith and faith issues amongst the whole community.
Donna Martin, cabinet member for children, schools and families at Rochdale Borough Council, added: “I’m confident our new syllabus will play a key role in promoting social and community cohesion, respect, understanding and acceptance. These are all important values needed to create harmony in a diverse society.”
Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.