Tag Archives: Faith Schools
Earlier this week, I blogged about some concerning public comments made by the Head Teacher of St. Andrew’s Primary School in Accrington, UK regarding evolution and the Bible. I also proposed an offer to crowd source funds for a School trip to The Natural History Museum. I have followed up on that offer with the below email to the school. Please feel free to share and repost it.
From: Stephen Knight
Date: Thursday 28 January 2016
To: St Andrew’s Primary School
Subject: National History Museum Trip
My name is Stephen Knight. I am a podcaster, blogger and occasional fundraiser. I read with surprise and concern the public comments made by Head Teacher Christina Wilkinson on Twitter regarding evolution and the Bible.
“Evolution is not a fact. That’s why it’s called a theory! There’s more evidence that the Bible is true”. (25 Jan 2016)
I’ve published my thoughts on these comments here.
I’m a staunch supporter of free expression and freedom of religion, however given that these comments were made in an official capacity as Head Teacher, I feel that they must be addressed by the school. Especially since Mrs Wilkinson’s views do not appear to be representative of the curriculum. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what evolution is, what scientific ‘theory’ means and what constitutes ‘evidence’ which I find worrying.
Although I do not currently possess information to claim that the pupils of St. Andrew’s are being disadvantaged by Mrs Wilkinson’s failings in this area, given her senior role, her views do not fill me with confidence either.
With this in mind, I’d like to propose an offer. I would be pleased to launch a crowd sourcing campaign to fund a field trip to the Natural History Museum for some of the pupils of St. Andrew’s. It would be a truly enlightening and exciting experience for the young, inquisitive minds at your school. They will have the opportunity to learn about the wonders of evolution and see the abundance of evidence with their own eyes.
I hope we can work through the details of this together. It would be a fantastic opportunity and experience.
I will be also be publishing this as an open letter. I look forward to hearing from you.
I will update this blog with any responses.
The Conservative Conference is currently taking place in my home city of Manchester. Aside from it playing havoc with my morning commute, David Cameron has had some things of note to say about extremism and religious fundamentalism. There’s a more detailed summary over at The Telegraph, but I thought I’d post some of the paper’s highlights here.
On Jeremy Corbyn
Cameron says, of Corbyn:
“My friends, we cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love”
He also chastises Corbyn for describing the death of Bin Laden as a ‘tragedy’. Full context of that can be found here.
I’ve expressed my own dissatisfaction with the current Labour Leader on a recent episode of Taking The Myth. You can read a bit more about some of my shared concerns in this open letter to him on Left Foot Forward.
Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou (@ProfFrancesca) is this week’s excellent #GSPodcast guest. We talk the historicity of Jesus, Sunday morning television barneys, Richard Dawkins, Feminism, faith schools, the destruction of ancient temples in Palmyra, the Qur’an pages found in Birmingham and why she loves corpses! Also, Star Wars or Star Trek?
This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight and A Scotsman Abroad discuss the big topics with guest callers. Topics include: The Muslim Faith School threatening to expel students for mixing with ‘outsiders’, David Cameron’s recent speech on extremism, Maajid Nawaz, the state of modern Journalism and so-called ‘experts’. We also wonder whether digital content can also limit horizons. A Scotsman Abroad also lays out his proposal* for dealing with murderous extremists.
*Definitely a joke. I think. Likely a joke. I hope he’s joking.