REEP’s Faiths for a Future is based in the recognition that there are strong educational, environmental and religious reasons for taking a ‘green’ approach to Religious Education (RE). Children are intensely aware of their own environment and yet they grow up into a society that seems to be blindly destroying it. For their moral and spiritual development children need opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs concerning the world around them. Exploring the traditional beliefs of their own and other societies helps children both to understand and appreciate these beliefs and to cultivate their own. It introduces them to different ways of seeing and valuing the world and helps them to think clearly about how we should treat the planet.
Structure of the Faiths for a Future Programme
Religions are often defined as ‘traditional belief systems’ a distinction made in the Westhill Model for teaching RE. This method provides the basis for REEP’s approach to the Faiths for a Future Programme, summarised as follows.
REEP’s Learning Cycle
The activities in the Faiths for a Future Programme are based on REEP’s understanding of the four stages of learning that children go through. Whether you choose a systematic or a thematic approach to RE, we recommend that lessons take children through a series of learning stages that starts with their own personal experiences and finishes with them expressing their own beliefs and values in a form of practical action.
The Faiths for a Future Framework
In our framework we have found it useful to group religious beliefs and values under four subheadings.