Religious education seeks to make a major contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils by helping them to acquire a knowledge and understanding of major world religions, an appreciation of ultimate questions and responses to them, and to develop their own beliefs and values.
These objectives should inform planning, teaching and assessment and be identified in the medium-term planning.
- To gain a knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of major world religions, especially Christianity.
- To identify and describe the key features of Christianity and other major religions such as key figures, teachings, ceremonies, festivals and sacred writings.
- To identify elements common to a number of religions, such as public worship and marriage ceremonies.
- To identify features which are distinctive of particular religious traditions, such as the use of a mezuzah in Judaism or views about alcohol in Islam.
- To enable pupils to develop the ability to make their own reasoned and informed judgements about the religious and moral issues which arise from reflection on human experience and a study of religious belief and practice.
- To become aware of the ultimate questions which life raises such as: Is there a God? Was the universe created? Is there life after death? To appreciate the different answers offered by religious and other traditions.
- To ensure pupils know and understand the school’s key Christian values and embed these into our RE teaching and worship.
- To engage with issues which arise from a study of religions such as the value of special times and rituals, days for worship and festivals, mourning rituals and funerals.
- To enable pupils to consider ways in which beliefs, values and traditions might have significance for their own lives.
- To appreciate that much of personal value can be gained from a study of the teachings of living religions such as ideas about the way we might treat those less fortunate than ourselves from looking at stories like the Good Samaritan in the Christian Bible.
- To appreciate the value of religious ritual and practice such as silence, stillness, reflection and prayer.
- Our curriculum encourages children to learn through the asking of big questions, and those life questions which have no concrete answers.
Principles of teaching and learning
- To provide suitable learning environments with planned, progressive activities to enable RE to be delivered in a range of different ways.
- Regular opportunities will be provided for pupils to raise their own questions and to explore answers to them, and to discuss and reflect upon fundamental issues addressed in religious education.
- Pupils will experience a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences appropriate to the subject being learned, understanding that pupils learn best in different ways. Pupils will experience opportunities to learn and express themselves through:
- Listening to the teacher and peers
- Reading of texts
- Seeking information for themselves in books and the internet
- Discussion with the teacher and other pupils
- Pair and group work
- Using a range of media such as artefacts, video pictures, photographs, music, drama and role play.
- To use planning provided by the Diocese Church of England schools which explores all major world religions with a particular focus on Christianity
- Experimental, interactive and reflective learning.
- To ensure that Early Years teaching of RE reflects the Early Learning goals in the Early Years Scheme of Work, and provides a suitable foundation for and progression to, KS1 activities and learning.
Breadth and Balance
Although work on Christianity will predominate at all Key Stages, there will be work in depth on other world religions. Teaching will seek to bring about a deeper knowledge and understanding of religious traditions but also to develop a range of skills such as the ability to empathise, compare and evaluate attitudes and respect for diversity.
Religious education will be made relevant in at least two ways.
- Firstly, teachers will establish clear links between elements of religious belief and practice and aspects of children’s own lives, for example when teaching about the dietary laws in Judaism. Learning could start by asking questions about foods pupils like and dislike and where some families are vegetarian.
- Secondly, teaching will seek to enable pupils to gain something of personal value from their study of religious belief and practice, for example, the way that they might apply insights gained from religious stories to their own lives.
Religious education will challenge stereotypes, misinformation and misconceptions about race, gender and religion. It will seek to present religions in all their richness and diversity in terms of beliefs, traditions, customs and lifestyle in a sensitive and accurate way in order to encourage a positive attitude towards that diversity, respecting their right to hold different beliefs of their own.
Cross-curricular skills and links
Religious education makes a contribution to the development of general educational abilities such as literacy, seeing the world through other people’s eyes and the ability to express thoughts, feelings and personal beliefs. Religious education also makes a major contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It addresses issues which arise in a range of subjects such as English and history as well as personal and social education. As it is concerned with values and behaviour, religious education can make a significant contribution to education in citizenship.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education lessons. However, parents with a concern regarding the RE policy at this school are asked to confer with Headteacher before withdrawing their child.
Teachers are under no legal obligation to teach RE and where such a situation occurs it is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure RE within the class is implemented.