Why We Study Religious Education
We teach RE as a core part of our school curriculum to help our pupils develop their religious literacy. We understand religious literacy to be:
“our pupils’ ability to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and worldviews”.
Within this framework our aims in RE are for pupils to:
- Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and a range of world faiths and worldviews;
- Develop an understanding of the ways in which religious and non-religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions influence individuals, communities, societies and cultures, from the local to the global contexts;
- Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the beliefs, teachings, practices, sources of authority and ways of living associated with the principle religions represented in the UK;
- Develop positive attitudes of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
- Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
- Considering the ‘big questions’ raised by human experience and reflecting on how religious and other traditions respond to them;
- Responding to such questions with reference to religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions, relating them to their own understanding and experience;
- Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in light of their study of religious and other traditions.
How We Teach Religious Education
RE is planned in blocks around common themes. In each year group, children explore units looking at Christianity, Islam and, in Key Stage 2, Hinduism. Additional units in each year group will also allow children the opportunity to explore other religions and beliefs. Children will revisit previous learning and build further skills and knowledge appropriate to each year group.
In RE lessons are taught through the focus of three different lenses, believing, living and thinking.
We learn what people believe, the theology. Through this lens children will learn to develop textual interpretation.
We explore how people live according to what they believe, the human and social sciences. The ‘living’ recognises that there is a whole religion view, but individuals can make decisions inside their religion and there is diversity in their practices. Through this lens children will develop skills to analyse data.
We consider how what people believe leads them to understand the world around them. This is not just influenced by religion but also through other factors such as culture, language or age; it is the philosophy. Through this lens children will develop skills in reasoning.
Teachers use Key Concept Maps for each religion to focus teaching upon the substantive knowledge and each lesson will link back to this ‘powerful knowledge’. RE is taught and experienced in our school in a wide range of different ways. The subject is taught in discreet lessons and threads through cross-curricular teaching in each year group. RE is explored through stories, artefacts, sensory experiences, cooking, music, research, video, visitors in assemblies or to specific classes and, finally, going on visits.
What Is Special About Religious Education In Our School
The diversity in our students is limited and it is crucial therefore that recognise the variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds that make up wider society. We have a good relationship with faith practitioners from our local area and we value their contribution to our provision of effective RE. We actively seek to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain. As such, we promote key British values, including respect for and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We challenge racism and all forms of prejudice and we see RE as one curriculum area in which our pupils can encounter and critically reflect on a range of worldviews. Throughout their time in the school children take part in annual celebrations of diversity through the celebrations of Chinese New Year and Commonwealth Week.
Guidance encourages a range of teaching and learning styles in RE; our policy is to aim to ensure enquiry, art, drama, thinking skills, speaking and listening activities, multisensory activities, visits/visitors, ICT and other teaching strategies are used in order to enable each child to progress in RE according to their individual needs. We identify RE as one of the core subjects through which our pupils can develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.
We consider that an essential element of the delivery of good quality RE is encounter with a range of religious and non-religious worldviews. We encourage our pupils to participate in visits to places of worship when the opportunity arises; these visits are arranged in line with the programme of study for RE and provide pupils with the chance to encounter world religions as living faiths in modern Britain. We also encourage faith leaders and other members of faith communities to visit our school.