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Religious education school staff to look at minority beliefs

06/04/2009 Joanna
A new religious studies syllabus will see school staff teach students about minority beliefs, it has emerged.

The pilot GCSE from OCR will see pupils pick two of six less popular religious beliefs on which to focus during their exam as part of the section on the rise of certain sects and movements.

Among those set to feature in lessons will be the faiths of the Druids, Moonies, Rastafarians, the Order of the Bards and Ovates.

Humanism, Agnosticism and atheism will also be covered in the new qualification, while those in relevant teaching jobs will also equip students with knowledge about the world's six major religions.

"The pilot addresses a range of issues relevant to students today, who often see religious issues in the news without necessarily having an understanding of the background," explained Clara Kenyon, qualifications director at OCR.

England requires a religious education curriculum as a "matter of urgency", Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain of pressure group Accord argued earlier this year in a letter to the Times Educational Supplement.
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