All primary schools have half an hour a day set aside for the ‘patron’s programme’. In religious-run schools, religious instruction is taught at this time. In Educate Together schools, the Learn Together Ethical Education Curriculum is taught. Learn Together includes learning about morality and spirituality; equality and justice; belief systems and an ethical approach to the environment. Learn Together teaches children about different belief systems as well as atheism, agnosticism and humanism, without promoting any one worldview over another.
There are four strands in the Learn Together Ethical Education Curriculum, as follows:
Strand 1: Moral & Spiritual
The aim of the strand is to help develop in children an understanding and awareness of right and wrong. We teach morality and spirituality outside of a religious context. We look at values such as respect, kindness, peace and co-operation. In older classes, work is also done on the development of a conscience and the analysis of ethical dilemmas. Pupils explore meditation and stillness.
Strand 2: Equality & Justice
The aim of this strand is to develop in students an understanding and awareness of issues relating to human rights, equality, diversity, social justice and social inclusiveness and to empower them to make a difference. Work is done on rights and responsibilities. Discrimination is addressed. Classes do work on issues such as homelessness, migrant rights, LGBT rights, racism and ageism. Democracy on a local, national and international is addressed.
Strand 3: Belief Systems
The aim of this strand is to develop in children an understanding and awareness of the teachings of religious and non-theistic belief systems. We teach about the main world religions: Christianity; Islam; Judaism: Buddhism; Hinduism and Sikhism as well as Humanism; Atheism and Agnosticism
Strand 4: Ethics & the Environment
The aim of this strand is to develop in children an appreciation and respect for their environment and to empower them to take an active role in its stewardship. Issues such as climate change, pollution, endangered species etc are addressed.