Together for Humanity

Many young people have never knowingly met an Aboriginal person, a Jew or a Muslim. Research shows that information on its own is not enough to eliminate prejudice and misunderstandings. By engaging children and adults in positive experiences of diversity and teaching them about different religions and cultures, Together for Humanity looks to address divisions and replace them with mutual respect and cooperation.

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UK: How could the teaching of ‘tricky questions’ be improved in schools?


Philosophy is sometimes associated with an anti-religious agenda perhaps because of the way in which some high-profile atheists attach themselves to it, but this misrepresents philosophy’s relationship to religion. First of all, many of the greatest and most well-known philosophers were or are religious and in a variety of different ways. So in this article, we look to the handling of all the important and tricky questions and dealing with personal biases…

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UK: How could the teaching of Judaism be improved in schools?

When we look to Judaism, we look to public acts of worship such as synagogue services and the use of Tenakh and Talmud in daily life. There is the worship in the home and private prayer, prayer in Jewish worship including amidah – the standing prayer and rituals such asbirth ceremonies; Bar and Bat Mitzvah; marriage; mourning rituals. Children are taught about Shabbat in the home and synagogue, the Jewish Festivals including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. What is an effective education in Judaism for children in Schools? Here, one UK teacher criticizes elements of the curriculam and makes suggestions.

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UK: How could the teaching of Sikhism be improved in schools?

UK Sikh children at school

An ideal lesson plan on Sikhism might scope to creating small groups, allocating one or another aspect of Sikhism and setting off to research their topic in relation to Sikhism. They may be researching Sikh practices, Sikh language, Sikh culture, etc. They may use the internet, encyclopedias, and other books to supplement their research. The outcomes might be presented as write a song, a poster, a PowerPoint presentation, ‘teach’ the class in a mini-lesson, write a short play, etc. How do we inspire teachers to be confident “out of the box”?

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UK: How could the teaching of Buddhism be improved in schools?

UK: How could the teaching of Buddhism be improved in schools?

Wheel of Dharma

Observations about the delivery of Buddhist RE to students in the UK refer to Systematic and traditional delivery, addressing the usual main topics : The Three Jewels, (i.e. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eight Fold Path, etc. There is a Thematic strand, e.g. Exploration of religious founders, rites of passage and festivals, specific virtues and ethical values such as forgiveness, selfless and charitable behaviour, etc, along with a Comparative approach : i.e. Buddhism taught alongside another faith such as Christianity.

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Sikh SRI in Victorian Primary Schools

Sikh symbols

Recently issued Victorian Education Department Ministerial Direction MD141 on Special Religious Instruction in Government schools requires publication of SRI Curriculum materials in the public domain. On this page, the Sikh Council of Victoria post their materials for SRI Classes in Victorian Schools.

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Religious Instruction Secretariat

The role of the Religious Instruction Secretariat is:

  1. to oversee and coordinate the approval process by the education department of the volunteer religious instructors already approved by the nominated religious body for each faith tradition.
  2. to assist new religious groups to offer religious instruction in government schools
  3. to approve the religious instruction program content to be taught in government schools
  4. to provide inservice training for the volunteer teachers on an annual basis

In Victoria, beginning in 1998, RfP Australia has been contracted by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development regarding the teaching of religious instruction in Victorian government schools. This process is now conducted in accordance with Section 2.2.11 on “special religious instruction” of the Victorian Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

RfP Australia oversees the provision of religious instruction in government schools, through the registration of instructors from faith communities not associated with ACCESS Ministries, the Catholic Education Office or the United Jewish Education Board. It also has been contracted by the Department to oversee the approval process of the religious instruction on behalf of the Minister. Currently, this involves the following religious groups:

  • Baha’i
  • Buddhist
  • Orthodox Christian
  • Hindu
  • Sikh