RE is important because religion has played an important part in the development of major world civilisations, and studying religion can assist in improving understanding of the diversity that exists within human society. Additionally, spiritual and ethical aspects of human nature are often overlooked in other areas of the curriculum.
Although St Hilda’s welcomes pupils of all religions and none, the school has a Christian foundation so the syllabus is weighted towards Christianity. Other belief systems covered include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Baha’i.
The RE curriculum is structured as a continuous programme covering Form I to Form VI. Each age group spends half an hour per week on RE in a classroom environment, with additional time allocated to visits to religious sites and church services, as well as related Assembly topics.
The aim of the RE curriculum is to leave pupils with a basic understanding of the principal beliefs of the religions studied and their relationship to the fundamental questions of meaning and purpose of life. This leads to a grasp of how people’s religious beliefs are reflected in their behaviour and hence their impact on society. Through these studies, girls will also develop enquiry and response skills and an increasing ability to communicate their knowledge orally, visually and in writing.