Religious Education Policy
Religious Education (RE) plays an important role in defining the school’s distinctive Christian character. Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together. (The Church of England Statement of Entitlement 2019)
As a Federation we recognise that spiritual development lies at the heart of the curriculum. All members of the school community should experience Christianity through the life of the school, as well as through the taught curriculum.
Christianity will, therefore, be the majority study in RE as understanding Christianity as a living religion is the foundation of Religious Education in church schools. It is important that this draws on the richness and diversity of Christian experience in the breadth of its Anglican and other denominational forms, and in the variety of worldwide forms. The encounter must be an open one which stems from and instils respect for different views and interpretations and in which real dialogue and education takes place.
Church schools have a duty to foster an accurate and increasing understanding of world religions and world views. As a result, pupils will gain greater insight into the world in which they are growing up. They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices. These outcomes must contribute to harmonious relationships within and between communities, promoting social inclusion and combating prejudice.
RE teaching also follows the legal requirements of the Education Reform Act (1988), which places RE as part of the curriculum; a statutory subject which is an entitlement of all pupils. The school bases its RE provision on the Shropshire Agreed Syllabus. In addition, the school uses the Understanding Christianity resource, materials from the National Society, and other appropriate units to enhance teaching and offer the extra dimension of its Church foundation.
At least 5% of curriculum time will be dedicated to meeting explicitly RE objectives, although the subject may be taught across the curriculum when appropriate. Within this teaching allocation at least two thirds of subject content will be allocated to an exploration of the Christian faith, and the concepts, beliefs, teachings and practices that lie at its heart.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
The aims of Religious Education in our school are:
To offer a full and positive presentation of living Christianity in an opportunity for encountering the Christian life in Anglican and other contexts, and to enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today
To enable pupils to learn about other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents
To develop an understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth, and so to consider important human questions, values and concerns.
To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual / philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs
The outcomes for pupils at the end of their time in our school are that they are able to:
Compare and contrast the key beliefs and practices of the religions studied and show how they are connected to believers’ lives
Describe different aspects of belonging to a religion – symbol, story, festival, belief, faith in action, ritual, worship
Express religious beliefs and ideas with the appropriate language, vocabulary and terminology and describe what they mean
Ask questions sensitively about the lives of believers and suggest appropriate answers
Reflect on the decisions people make – including believers – and suggest possible outcomes
Compare their own experience and identity with others – including believers
Reflect and empathise with the big questions of life, suggesting some answers / insights
Be confident to explore their own spirituality and search for truth
Value the religious journey of faith
Develop pupils’ ability to interpret and appreciate religious imagery and expression
In addition, the subject contributes to other areas of education and human experience and plays an important part of the wider programme of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Spiritual - widening pupils vision of themselves and their own experience, within the
context of a growing awareness and understanding of God.
Moral - helping each pupil develop their own informed values.
Social - helping pupils understand some major forces shaping the values in our society.
Cultural - aiding pupils in exploring aspects of their own cultural heritage, and in
developing positive attitudes towards diversity.
Additional links will be found across the curriculum especially with Citizenship and PSHE. RE can also make a positive contribution to enhancing creativity and enjoyment and ensure the well-being of all pupils.
RIGHT TO WITHDRAW
We wish to be an inclusive community but recognise that parents have the legal right to withdraw their children from religious education or collective worship on the grounds of conscience, without giving a reason. Parents wishing to exercise this right are asked to write to the headteacher who will then invite the parents into school to discuss their concerns, clarify the nature of the RE and worship provided by the school and set out the options open to the parents as set out in education law. However, the right of withdrawal does not extend to other areas of the curriculum when, as may happen on occasion, spontaneous questions on religious matters are raised by pupils or there are issues related to religion that arise in other subjects. Where a pupil is withdrawn from RE and do not take part in alternative religious education they will be supervised by an appropriate member of staff whilst doing work set by their parents which will seek to further their knowledge and understanding of their parents’ beliefs and values.
RE is given equal status with other core subjects in staffing, responsibility and resourcing. Pupil achievement in RE should equal or be better than comparable subjects.
As a church school we recognise that it should be a priority to build up staff expertise in RE.
The RE Subject Leader is responsible for:
- Producing a scheme of work for the school
- Supporting colleagues in the detailed planning and delivery of RE provision
- Ensuring Religious Education has status within the school
- Keeping in touch with subject developments and disseminating information as appropriate
- Auditing and recording current resources, supplementing resource provision when money is available and disseminating this information to staff
- Undertaking personal development and subject training and ensuring provision for staff INSET
- Monitoring RE provision, practice and outcomes
- Ensuring assessment strategies are in place in line with the Agreed Syllabus
Accountability for RE standards in the school
Meet with member of the Diocesan RE advisory team when possible
Teachers are supported by an RE specialist. The Executive Headteacher is currently our specialist
Links are made between other areas of the curriculum and children are encouraged to make links in order to develop their own ‘faith journey’
Pupils undertake journey days once every term to explore an aspect of the Christian faith
RE is planned for and differentiation is structured according to the content of the lesson
Pupils are encouraged to voice opinions
The British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are promoted through the teaching of RE
RE is monitored through: pupil voice; teacher feedback; evidence in books and the school environment