Schoolchildren helped Edge Hill University recreate the Holi Festival of Colour to highlight why it’s important to keep Religious Education on the national curriculum.
For the first time in the north-west, replicating India’s popular springtime religious celebration, students, staff and pupils from Nutgrove Methodist Primary in St Helens took part in throwing bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike as they celebrate the arrival of spring.
The idea behind the event on 10th May was to show how taking risks with learning makes it more meaningful and that RE can generate a more creative environment in the classroom.
It was also used to reiterate why RE should be included in the ever-changing curriculum.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has said RE would remain a statutory requirement at all ages for local authority and direct grant maintained schools, but no programme of study would be prescribed. Parents can also choose to stop their children from attending RE classes.
Maggie Webster, Edge Hill University’s Primary RE Subject Leader organised the Festival of Colour and a lecture about creativity and the Holi in conjunction with student Chris Kirk.
The author of Creative Approaches to Teaching Primary Education explained: “We wanted to recreate our own Festival of Colour as a celebration and to raise the profile of the Foundation subjects, in particular RE as a result of the new national curriculum. In a way, the subject is being side-lined so we are showing that RE fits into all areas of knowledge and creativity. It links into music, dance, culture and life and is a good way to show teachers that risks can be taken in the classroom to make learning more fun.”
On the day, there was a discussion around creative education, the value of RE and the cross-curricular nature of the subject.
“By letting people take part in paint throwing it will give our teachers of the future ideas to demonstrate how pedagogy and theory can be applied in practice within a school setting,” explained Maggie. “Hopefully it will encourage them to develop creative approaches in all curriculum areas.”
The event was also used to raise money for children’s charity NCB.