It was The World Humanist Day on Friday 21st June. How humanist are you? Find out by taking this quick quiz:
A lot of people assume RS is just a study of a few different religions, maybe the differences between them or the practises which may be involved in them. In actuality, it’s far from this. RS is about understanding everything from human nature, to how we should live our lives, to how and why the universe was created. It answers all the big questions, tying them together with both religious and secular ideas. A big part of this is ethics and philosophy. I think the best part of philosophy is how everything flows together, meaning you can jump between ideas and link them together, using them to answer part of a bigger picture or to focus on a finer detail; another thing is how easily and frequently it applies to everyday life. Every time you make a decision, it can be regarded as morally right or wrong, and which one of these it is classed as is down to philosophy.
However, just because this subject covers such large and important questions, finding out about it doesn’t have to be so daunting. There have been many great books about philosophy and RS, and a large portion of these are actually fiction.
One such book which is particularly enjoyable, as well as being approachable, is ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder. This book follows the story of 14-year-old Sophie Amundsen, and a philosopher, Alberto Knox, who’s mission is to teach Sophie about the history of philosophy. This book is great for understanding the development of philosophical ideas over the course of history, and also has an enticing, yet philosophical, plot.
Another similar read is ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ series, a four-book series by Douglas Adams. These books combine science, mathematics, technology and philosophy into an incredible yet informative story about a man called Arthur Dent, who is caught up in a complex series of events and a bizarre journey through the universe.
One of my favourite philosophical fiction books is one I read recently from the school library, called “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery. It tells the unique story of three very different people from very different backgrounds: the middle-aged concierge of a large apartment building, Renée; a twelve-year-old girl, who lives in the building, called Paloma, and a resident who newly moves in, Kakuro. They all share a passion for philosophy, art, literature and culture, but for different reasons, have kept this secret. The book is a brilliant collection of Paloma’s “Profound Thoughts” and of Renée’s quest to keep her intelligence under wraps. It has both an amazing plot and an abundance of important thoughts and questions. Reading books such as these is a brilliant way to gain an understanding of philosophical questions, without necessarily having to tackle heavier non-fiction works.
The skills you learn in RS are unique to those learnt in many other subjects, because they can be applied not only to everyday life, but to other areas within school. RS teaches you about problem solving, logical thinking, and how to give clear and developed arguments to a statement or question. It allows you to be evaluative and creative. It contributes greatly to writing skills; RS is very beneficial when it comes to forming solid, persuasive answers. Debating issues in lessons is brilliant for confidence building, teamworking skills, leadership and communication. Above all, RS is an opportunity to be incredibly passionate, whether it be about an event, a belief or an ethical issue.
RS is, without a doubt, one of my favourite subjects, because there are always opportunities to get involved and to voice your thoughts, each lesson brings something new, exciting and different, introducing you to new cultures and ideas which can literally change your life – and not least because of the amazing RS teachers at our school.
There really is something to love for everyone when it comes to RS: and for many people, like me, that’s basically just all of it.
By Nishi, Year 9
- Can you name the Muslim female World War 2 veteran who was awarded a George Cross for bravery?
- What was the name of the first mosque in Britain and who founded it?
- Where does the musical instrument the lute come from?
- When the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation as a Prophet, who was the first to believe in him and support him?
- 2 women in particular are mentioned as eternal role models in Chapter 66 of the Quran. Can you name them?
- Who built the first pinhole camera around 1000 AD?
- What does Allahu Akbar mean?
- What chapter in the Quran is named after a much revered lady?
- What contribution did early Muslims make to modern surgery?
- Do you know what the words ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ mean?
- The second largest holiday for eating candy is Easter. Which is the first?
- In which country did the idea of the Easter bunny start?
- What was the purpose of the Easter Act passed in the UK in 1928?
- True or false
A lamb is one of the symbols of Easter.
- What does the egg represent at Easter?
- What does “resurrection” actually mean?
- What is the name of the apostle who betrayed Jesus?
- Where was Jesus’s broken body laid to rest?
- Complete this quote:“He then began to teach them that the ___ __ ___ must suffer many things and be _______ by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after ____ days rise again.
- Why are Greek Easter eggs red?
We have returned safely from a fantastic trip to Japan. The students have been a real pleasure to accompany and were a credit to themselves and the school.
Mrs. Edmundson and Mr. Davenport
Judaism quiz from the Jewish Society, written by Ruby in Year 8
- How many Gods do Jewish People believe in?
- What did G-d give to Moses on Mount Sinai?
- What is the name of the three most common Jewish denominations
- What is a Bar Mitzvah/ Bat Mitzvah?
- What is the name of the Jewish Holy Book?
The trip to the Synagogue was an amazing experience! It was very interesting because it linked perfectly to what Year 8 have been studying in their RS lessons. We got the opportunity to ask the experts lots of questions, which was definitely not wasted! We were shown around and taught about the main features of a Synagogue and what happen when Jewish People worship. I learnt a lot from this trip. For example, we were told that Jewish People have a prayer for the Royal family, which originated as a way of thanking the Royal Family for allowing the Jewish Population back into England after their previous expulsion. Also, the fact that we got to see the Torah, Jewish people’s holy scripture was very exciting!! To be honest, I expected the Synagogue to be architecturally similar to a church; old and traditional. But to my surprise, the Synagogue was very modern. Overall, this was an awesome trip and was very valuable in helping with my understanding in this particular topic about Judaism.
Written by Fatima, Year 8
10 Questions to debunk Christmas Myths
How many wise men are there?
Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?
What, in the traditional nativity story, may be a clue as to why this event could not have happened in wintertime?
Where (what dwelling place) does the Bible say that Jesus was born?
How many Gospels actually retell the birth of Jesus?
Can you complete the end of this well-known carol?
“the cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little lord Jesus ____ _____ _____ _____.”
Where does the Christingle originate?
Why does Santa wear red?
What is the traditional name of Boxing Day?
What did people traditionally do on Boxing Day?
Who is celebrated in the festival of Navaratri?
Which Hindu God is believed to have the head of an elephant?
Which Hindu group can often be found in the streets of Manchester, chanting and handing out free Hindu literature?
In which month is the festival of colour celebrated by Hindus?
Our next ‘Did you know?’ quiz will be 10 Questions to debunk Christmas..
This quiz is about Islam
How many Muslims fought with the Allies in the First World War?
What language does the term ‘alkali’ come from?
Who said, ‘What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and to remove the sufferings of the injured.’
Saint George, The Patron Saint of England, hailed from which countries?
Where does the term ‘checkmate’ originate from?
How many times is Mary, the mother of Jesus, mentioned in the Qur’an?
Our next ‘Did you know?’ quiz will be written by one of our own faith groups: Hindu society.