Religious Education (RE) is compulsory part of school life in the UK. Many people regard it as important because it promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils. Whilst schools have to teach RE, parents can withdraw their children for all or part of the lessons, and pupils can choose to withdraw themselves once they’re 18.
This blog post is designed for students taking GCSE Religious Education, and provides them with what we see as the best resource websites on the internet.
- GCSE Bitesize Religious Education: This site runs through the tenets of various religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, providing students with revisions of main topics, as well as online tests. The tests not only indicate wrong and right answers, but also provide useful explanations of why an answer is wrong, which is very useful in a subject which delves into definitions and theories that can be quite complex to grasp. This resource discusses the basics of each religion but also analyses how beliefs affect our views of important issues such as war and peace, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination and the sanctity of life.
- Religious Festivals: This useful site, aimed at children aged 11 to 16, covers the most important religious festivals of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. An introduction is presented for each religion, following discussion of specific traditions and festivals. A very handy component of the site is the ‘Questions answered’ section, which addresses interesting questions like ‘Why did God allow his Son, Jesus Christ , to be killed?’ or ‘What do Christianity and Judaism have in common?’.
- Student Life Festivals & Events: This resource approaches the subject of festivals and events by season, informing students of ‘What’s On’ on various days of the year. The site is not solely focussed on religious festivals, if not on important yearly events such as Spaced Day or Environment Day as well. GCSE Religious Education students will find the sections on Easter, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah and more, useful for revision.
- Class Clips – RE: This resource features a host of video material which can be viewed via streaming in class or at home. The material is an excellent source of information on everything from ethics and relationships to religion and science, inspirational people and peace and conflict. Check out stories on issues like charity with dignity, Hinduism and current environmental problems or current remembrances of the Holocaust. The site invites debate on issues as to whether religion is fair game for comedy, and highlights issues brought about by religious conflict (for instance, a nurse was suspended for offering prayer).
- Get Revising: This resource is a collection of mind maps, games, revision material and puzzles, uploaded onto the site by different users. Since content is continually being generated, the site is not neatly divided into categories, and may therefore require a little more surfing time. It is definitely worth one’s while, however, since it contains a wealth of hidden gems that have taken hours of preparation to complete. Take the fun crossword that tests students on important aspects of Siddhartha’s life – where he preached his first sermon, whom he met on the road to enlightenment and where he died. It should be noted that some of the content on this site requires a small yearly premium of under £5 a month, but there is plenty of useful free contents as well.
- TES Connect: This resource may be aimed at teachers, but all it takes is a short registration process for all users to have access to a host of notes, lesson plans, film clips, resource sheets, downloadable photos and more. The material delves quite profoundly into highly specific issues, which units tackling themes like what constitutes Christian aid, the nature of poverty and examples of emergency and long-term aid provided by religious groups.
We hope that you have found this article useful, and please feel free to add comments to tell us about what you think are equally good RE resource websites that you have come across on the internet.