This was divided up over two sessions focusing on the subject topics of ‘Religion and Conflict’ and ‘Religion and Medicine’. In session 1, pupils were split up into groups and worked on a carousel of two tasks which were concept mapping and reading pictures, with each task lasting 30 minutes before swopping over.
In the second session, pupils became the audience for a panel of invited guests to discuss the issues they had been revising the previous sessions. These were contemporary and challenging topics covering war and conflict and if was is the right response. This included pupils and the panel voting on whether the UK should bomb Syria – exactly as the MP’s were discussing the topic in the Commons. Questions then moved on to the rights and wrongs of IVF, abortion and euthanasia.
Students have investigated religious beliefs and teachings about peace and going to war (just war), pacifism as an alternative to war, ways in which peace can be gained through peaceful protest (the actions of Martin Luther King/Ghandi), the nature and causes of suffering, the importance of forgiveness as a means of reconciliation and a way to avoid conflict.
- Can war ever be ‘just’?
- Is it always possible to forgive?
- Is it a weakness to forgive?
- Why do people suffer – God’s fault or man’s fault?
- Can religious beliefs ever really help those who suffer?
- Can conflict ever be solved without violence?
A big thank you to Ffion Carter, Ellis Davies, Josh Griffiths, David Hopkins, Rosie Johnson, Daisy Lovering, Cari Pritchard and Caoimhe Ulyett for asking the questions. The RE Department is also very grateful to Father Keith Evans, Assistant Priest at Ystradgynlais Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, retired Neath GP Dr Pat Dryden and local Vet Mr Mike Jessop for making up the panel and being so thoughtful, professional and honest in their responses.
What the pupils thought:
Ffion Carter ‘I loved it’
Caitlyn Young ‘It was helpful, and Father Evans gave really interesting answers’
Ria Anthony ‘I like it that everyone was honest and said it like it is’.
David Hopkins ‘It was very helpful. It’s difficult to choose the best speaker as they all had interesting views.’