Since November, the Second years in the R.M.E department have been exploring the issues of Human Rights. We have been discovering the different opinions on the importance and uses of Human Rights and investigating if they are put into place to ensure everyone on the Planet has them.
Through a different range of tasks, we have been looking at the different efforts that Organisations and Groups have been making to try and improve the rights that people may or may not be receiving. We had visits from our local youth worker, Nicola Bruce and three of our communities’ ministers, Rev Dr Robin Hill, Rev Jamie Griggs and Rev Robert Simpson who ran group-work sessions highlighting the work of Christian views to human rights. From this session, students also learned about lots of different Christian based Human Rights Organisations such as World Vision and Oxfam and the work they do to improve the conditions of people in our country as well as the rest of the world.
Students have also been investigating other large initiatives aimed to improve the living and working conditions of some of the Worlds poorest people and concentrated a large portion of time looking at Fair-Trade. To try and raise awareness of the different groups and organisations, there is a massively vibrant and colourful display in the RME corridor that not only catches the eye, but contains lots of information that aims to inform. These posters were voted for by the Students themselves as the best and most informative pieces of work.
The Second Year have demonstrated throughout this course of work that they have the confidence to question there own pre-conceptions, having been asked and asking themselves about the things in life they truly value. They have successfully been able to take their values and beliefs and apply them to different settings. They have developed the tools to contribute their thoughts and opinions in a valuable and effective way. And above all they have learned about the responsibilities that they have as a Global Citizen to be aware of the issues
Famous author - Sir Terry Pratchett will call for a tribunal to be set up where people can apply for legal permission to end their lives
The fourth year have done themselves, the RME department and the school proud this week by taking part in a seminar on euthanasia conducted by a team of dedicated professionals. The fourth year have impressed with their level of participation, their willingness to learn, their respect for the views of others and lastly their good manners on receiving visitors into their school.
Three of our communities ministers, Rev Dr Robin Hill, Rev Jamie Griggs and Rev Robert Simpson, together with our local youth worker, Nicola Bruce collaborated to present the seminar examining Christian attitudes to Euthanasia. Our guests demonstrated beautifully a spirit of compassion and understanding through their obvious fondness for one another and respect for each others views despite a possible conflict of opinion. The team were equally impressed with the pupils and particularly a group cutting a name for themselves in the RME department; Cameron Purves, Tara Guiney, Marwan Chouh, and Chloe Reid.
Euthanasia is an issue which will, at some point, touch the lives of most people making it an issue which has gained an extremely high profile in the media and modern political and academic debate. The MSP Margo McDonald is putting up a fight to have euthanasia and assisted suicide legislated in Scotland. On Monday, in the famous Dimbleby Lecture, Sir Terry Pratchett “made a provocative call for assisted suicide to be legalised.” Might this indicate public favour? The matter of legislature is one that concerns our S4 who have developed a firm understanding of the issues involved; like who make s critical decisions and how can we safeguard against unnecessary deaths?
This week’s seminar was an opportunity for us all to be reminded of our goals when considering such important ethical issues regardless of our religious identity; that man is capable of compassion and this compassion should guide us in our ethical endeavour.
The RME department have been extremely fortunate this week in welcoming Dawa into the department to talk to us about her country, Bhutan.
Firstly, Dawa spent a period on Tuesday afternoon with the Higher RMPS class discussing how cultural Buddhism embodies the philosophical principles of traditional Buddhism. This was an extremely valuable exercise for those who participated as they came away with an understanding of Buddhism that might only have been better achieved by a trip to Asia itself, the home of Buddhism.
On Wednesday morning Dawa was back again; this time talking to the second years about the nature of rights and the nature of happiness. The second year was captivated by Dawa’s pride filled description of Bhutan’s sophisticated policies on Gross National Happiness. Dawa answered question after question tirelessly from the intrigued second years who marvelled at the idea of measuring a countries progress by happiness instead of economic growth. In particular a cohort of pupils who demonstrated beautifully the skills necessary to become responsible citizens and confident individuals; Siobhan Sharp, Connor Woods, Ian Crawford, Michael King, Craig Cunningham and Melissa Burns.
The RME Department have struck it lucky again! Kate Johnson, the lastest addition to our merry band here in the Social and Moral Education Department, arrived at the beginning of term. Miss Johnson has already made liberal contributions, bringing her energy, enthusiasm, her efficiency and her easy smile! Both teachers and pupils alike are looking forward to working with Miss Johnson this year. Welcome Miss Johnson, NAMASTE (we greet you and bow as your servant)
As the year draws to an end, it is with mixed emotions for the RMPS Department. Sunny, long, lazy days are just around the corner but so too is the imminent departure of the much loved Mr Hughes. Mark Hughes has spent a year in the department and will be gravely missed. He has filled many roles during his time in Preston Lodge, from technician to artisitic director, from IT manager to interior designer and from colleague and teacher to friend. Mr Hughes is heading off round the world to experience,first hand, the religions of which he teaches. Good luck Mr Hughes, OM MANI PADME HUM (praise to the jewel in the lotus)
S1 had the chance to visit Stirling Castle and visit the site of Scotland’s famous battle at Bannockburn. Pupils were able to try on different outfits from the period and even see what it was like to be locked in the stocks!
Check out our pictures below.
1 Grange 2 attacked the sponsored walk with a ferocity which left Ms McGaw and Mr Hughes in their wake. The 5 k disappeared rapidly under the amazingly quick 1 Grange 2 making it clear to all that they were earning all that precious sponser money! Well done guys!
Check out some of our photos!
S3 had the chance to visit Edinburgh Castle to explore how it was used during World War One.
Pupils learnt what it would be like to be a soldier in the Scottish Regiments and what it would feel like to be involved in trench warfare.
On Monday 26th 2008 the education officer from East Lothian, Sarah Cowie, came into school to work with S1C.
The class enjoyed handling artifacts and guessing their uses. They had a great time!