One of the many things I consistently look forward to each week is teaching Religious Studies to our Year 2 children. This is partly because teaching is far more exciting than office paperwork, but mostly due to the fabulously insightful discussions that take place. I am always astounded by their observations, thoughts and ideas regarding issues that are so much bigger than the world and experience of a six/seven year old child.
Last week we spent some time contemplating what ‘Religious Studies’ actually means. I was fairly confident they knew that it had something to do with when we think about God / Jesus / the Bible and our previous learning about Judaism. However, I wanted to elicit how much more it meant to them. This led to us finding out about some of the other world religions, not in any great depth, but just in terms of what they were called and whether or not they believed in God as most of us do. As one would expect, the children found all of this fascinating and had oodles of questions they wanted to ask to find out more. We also talked about whether it would be possible to be friends with someone who practised a different religion. I was so pleased the children looked at me as if I were crazy to even think such a thought as it clearly had not even crossed their minds that religion could, should or would form a barrier to friendship. What a wonderful idea during the week of Remembrance!
The discussion then led to some of the children sharing their personal thoughts on what they believed. One boy shared that he was a Christian who believed in God but he found it hard to believe that God made the world as he thinks it was probably something to do with meteorites. Several other children said they felt like this too and so discussion then took place as to whether it was ok to feel like this. We agreed that it was and that as they grow older they might have lots of questions about being a Christian that will be difficult to answer. One child worried that this might make God cross but another child said she didn’t think so because you should always ask a question if you are unsure. Another little boy who had sat quietly contemplating all that had been said, shared his view which quickly put ‘the world to rights’ and resulted in a collective sigh of relief and revelation, “I don’t think God made the world….it was definitely meteorites…but I think God ordered them so it was His idea which means He is still in charge.” This seemed to make sense to all the ‘doubters’ who collectively nodded their heads in agreement at these wise words of wisdom.
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