Religious Education for our younger pupils is often associated with exploring festivals but, with a bit of imagination and some good resources, RE can be much more than that.
Spring is the perfect time to make the most of the outdoor learning environment. With many nursery settings and KS1 classes enjoying topics linked to the natural world at this time of year, it is important to recognise that religious education can make an enjoyable and worthwhile contribution. Popular topics such as Mini-Beasts, Gardens, Our World, The Park, Animals, Birds, New-life and Spring all lend themselves well to RE.
However, to ensure that we are properly including RE in our topic planning, we must first identify what makes RE distinct from Personal, Social, and Emotional aspects of learning and Cultural understanding – areas with which RE often gets confused!
One of the most important things children must learn about is the environment in which we all live. How the food chain works, how nature is a force, which works in ways we don’t know about and don’t think about as much as we should, how for every action there is a reaction.
In this day and age of computer games and the internet, children must be encouraged to appreciate our great outdoors, to learn how to cherish and enjoy it, and take care of our future generations, and how something as simple as a nature sign can spark an interest, which hopefully lasts a lifetime.
Learning about our environment is one of the most important things we can pass on to children, and the reason outdoor classrooms are springing up all over our schools.