Young Ambassadors ConferencePosted on: July 20th 2016
The report which follows is from Lucy Bayliss and Monty Moran on their activities at the Young Ambassadors Conference held on 6th June and at school this term.
As part of our role as Young Ambassadors for RE, we participated in the RE Council of England and Wales’ Conference at Conway Hall - home to the Ethical Society - in London, which had an overall focus on the idea of creating community cohesion and looking at the role of RE in promoting this. We began by being introduced to the role of the RE Council, which is to promote the importance of religious education; we were also told about the REC’s plans for the future, which include an independent commission on Religious Education in schools. After this, the keynote speaker Lord Winston was introduced, who gave a fascinating speech on the importance of faith, its role in modern Britain and how he personally balances his Orthodox Jewish faith with his work in science in areas such as genetic modification and fertility treatment. Ranging from the tower of Babel to the work of Galileo, his talk opened many branches for thought and discussion on religion and spirituality, as well as the ethics of modern science, such as the recent genetic modification of pigs to grow human organs.
After this, each of the Young Ambassador teams presented on the worldview that they had been exploring over the last few months. As the Amery Hill team, we delivered a talk on our recent work on the Quaker faith, which was a collaborative project with the local Quaker Meeting House just outside our school. A variety of faiths was explored including Sufism, Jainism, Modern Kadampa Buddhism, the Bahá’í faith and Zoroastrianism, before each team discussed their work as RE ambassadors over the past year and created plans for the upcoming year.
At Amery Hill we are still establishing ourselves as a group, but have already been involved with several projects and events. This week we invited two speakers to Amery Hill for a presentation and debate on humanism and how being humanists affects their everyday lives. Dr Alan Montgomery and Ms Rosemary Harker, from the Farnham Humanists joined Amery Hill students for a thought-provoking discussion. For more information on the Farnham Humanist’s schools outreach programme, see their website www.farnham.humanist.org.uk/
The RE Young Ambassadors team from Amery Hill School, with Head of RS, Mrs Esther Keen, and teacher Mr Ian Carpenter
Students arriving at the Ethical Society
Guest speakers Dr Alan Montgomery and Ms Rosemary Harker, from the Farnham Humanists, with Amery Hill students