Formal Religious Education at Pre- and Primary Schools in England: The Example of the Islamia Primary School

Author/s:

DOI: 10.12738/talim.2017.1.0002

Year: 2017 Vol: 1 Number: 1

Abstract

Muslims are a religious group who make up about 4.8% of the population in the United Kingdom. Over 500,000 Muslim children attend public schools where Christianity is basically taught alongside different religions, church schools that promote different Christian sects and teach Christianity, or one of the over 120 Muslim schools where Islam is taught. In this study I will examine the place of religious education practices by taking one of the Islamic schools receiving state support under the UK education system, which supported their educational activities in the 2012-2013 academic year. The school that is the topic of my investigation was opened in 1983 as a pre- and primary school; in 1998 it began to utilize the state support that parish schools benefit from. The school is a superior school through its representative strength of Muslims on the points of providing religious continuity in a Christian and secular society and creating an Islamic environment. This school, which captures academic success, provides students from an early age with education in the scope of basic Islamic research under three basic headings: Islamic studies (akaid, morality, siyer, Koranic commentary, and hadiths), the Arabic language, and Islamic art and music. In this context, Muslim students of different races and cultures have an educational environment where they can learn their own religions around the common component of Islam. This school, which adopts a religious educational approach over denominations, supports religious education through social and cultural activities outside of the course curriculum, such as are in parish schools.

Keywords
Early childhood, Primary school religious education, Islamic schools, Religious education in the UK, Islamia Primary School