What is RE?
To the staff, governors and children at St. Mary’s C.E Primary School, Religious Education is the explicit teaching and learning about world religions and faiths. It is about the deepening of our understanding about how religious and faith beliefs guide and support thought and action amongst the world’s people. RE is also about finding common religious principles amongst the different ideologies throughout the world that supports us to respect one another and live in relative peace.
It is a road map which takes you on a spiritual, moral and social journey through life. It is a journey where love and compassion, friendship and endurance can be explored through stories from Holy books and discussion. It offers wisdom and hope to all for a better life and the chance to be a better person. This road map offers an opportunity to experience our inner self and life and provides meaning to our lives as it gives us an understanding of our Christian beliefs, values, differing points of view as well as an understanding, tolerance and acceptance of world beliefs, views and values. It is a way of gaining experience and knowledge to help articulate and grow what our inner self and life means as well as a way of improving our dignity, as through discussion about social, moral and spiritual issues we flourish, aspire and achieve.
Through the family like safety we provide our children within school, we can explore the ‘Big Questions’ which allows us to learn from and about religions of the world and the dilemmas facing mankind and society, locally and globally. It allows us to celebrate the diversity of our community and world, encourages us to have courage to ask the bigger questions and provides us with a means of seeking universal truth and to know what it means to be loved as we are.
Through our daily school life at Mary’s Church of England Primary School we encourage our children to build respectful friendships and demonstrate compassion towards others. Through this we build a strong community spirit, as together we are a family. Our teaching and learning provides the children with the wisdom and endurance they need to expand their minds socially, morally and academically so allowing them to achieve and flourish and fulfill the Church of England’s belief of living ‘Life in all its fullness (John 10:10). We encourage our children to demonstrate and develop a dignity in their work and themselves which enables them to hope to aspire to be the best they can possibly be.
Religious Education in St Mary’s has a unique position in the curriculum. It is a means for helping children explore the spiritual dimensions of life and to lay the foundations for understanding the Christian Faithand other World faiths. It is an integral part of school life and is developed throughout the curriculum, our collective worship and reflects on our SchoolEthos and Christian values. It embraces the Church of England’s vision of educating for ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10) through developing the children’s skills and knowledge about Christianity and all world faiths through the development of the spiritual and moral wellbeing.
We maintain strong links with Hornsey Parish Church and the local community. We welcome the contribution that our clergy team,who lead daily collective worship weekly,make towards enriching religious education in our school. The challenges that children will meet growing up in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society will be addressed through planned units of workunderpinned by the LDBS scheme of work. These offer the children a high quality RE curriculum and will enable children to developand explore their knowledge, understanding and respect for the traditions and culture of the Christian and other major world faiths.
The teaching of Religious Education provides the children with a rich and varied RE curriculum which takesinto account the age and understanding of the child and whenever possible is closely related to their first hand experiences.
To that end, we particularly welcome and encourage both visits to different religious buildings and visitors from different faiths into our community. Also, as we respect all children in our community we offer the parents to right to withdraw their children from any lessons, whether RE, SMSC or SRE based.
The main strands to be followed are:
- Christian Teaching: Teaching directly related to Christianity and the work of Jesus Christ. e.g. The Life and Teachings of Jesus; Bible Stories and study; the Church and other places of worship; enquiry through Bible texts and how they relate to our Christian Values, Christian Celebrations and enquiry into other World faith celebrationsetc.
- Christian Community: Christian living; Caring and helping others; Relationships: in school/with Church/Home and Community, Caring and responsibility for the environment, Community action projects.
- Thematic: Cross-curricula approaches developing an understanding that R.E. is not an isolated subject but is related to other areas of the curriculum, especially via art, drama and song.
- Prayer and WorshipWorship and prayer are an integral part of our community as we celebrate our Christian values and our relationship with God through our daily collective worship in which pupils create their own prayers relating to our weekly Christian value to share with our community. Prayer is often used in RE lessons as a creative activity to encourage pupils to ask questions and discuss its meaning, apply learning from the lesson to everyday life. Children compose their own prayers; offer a spontaneous prayer or learn Anglican prayers such as The Lord’s Prayer.
- Other Faiths: Awareness and respect for the different faiths are covered through certain units of work designated for this purpose. Visits to other faith places of worship and visitors from such places take place in accordance with expectations from the LDBS Syllabus.
The London Diocesan Board of education in its publication ‘Guidelines for Religious Education’ identified ten themes of Religious Education which schools should include in their schemes of work:
- Worship and Prayer
- The Bible
- The Life of Jesus
- Celebrations in the Christian Year
- Exploring the Church
- The other five major faiths
- The Creative Arts and Religious Education
- Bible and traditional stories
- Symbols and Sacraments
- Understanding what it means to be a Christian
All these areas of experience form the basis of the religious education we provide in our school.
Aims for Religious Education:
- To provide a high-quality religious education curriculum, which is 2/3rds Christianity, which is rich and varied so enriching our children’s beliefs and values.
- To ensure teaching and learning 1.5 hours per week.
- To ensure all staff are given the appropriate resources and training to deliver lessons based on enquiry, creativity and reflection.
- To ensure that children understand that Christianity and other world faiths are living faiths which shape our culture and heritage.
- To provide an age-appropriate RE curriculum so our children can give a thoughtful account of Christianity and other world faiths.
- To promote the spiritual, moral, cultural and intellectual development of pupils in our school and prepare them for the experiences and responsibilities of adult life.
- To develop our children’s understanding of our Schools ethos and Christian values through enquiry into Bible stories and other world faiths.
- To provide teaching and learning which all can access and through which all their RE skills can be developed.
- To ensure that attainment and progress are on a par with English and has a high profile in the school.
- To develop a curiosity about spirituality and God through enquiry, questioning, discussion, creation and reflection.
- To develop an understanding and knowledge of the Bible, Christian beliefs and World faith beliefs in a way that relates directly to their lives and the world around them.
- To extend their use of religious vocabulary and provide them with the ability to express their views and opinions through enquiry, discussion and reflection.
- To introduce pupils to an experience of God’s Spirit, and be able to reflect upon, listen and pray to God.
- To develop a respect and understanding of other religions, cultures and traditions and a relationship with God.
- To develop an understanding and experience of God through praise and worship, enquiry and discussion, reflection and creativity.
- To develop the children’s Christian values and understanding of these in relation to our school vision.
- To develop the children’s knowledge of the Parish Church and other World faith places of worship both as a building and a community of people who share the same faith.
- To encourage children to reflect about theirown beliefs and values with a positive interest in others with different beliefs and a confidence to challenge and be challenged through informed discussion.
- To develop caring attitudes to members of the school communityand to the wider community and act upon those attitudes through involvement in community projects that make a positive difference to others.
- To develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment. With a strong sense of excellence and high standardsof care and pro-active concern for others and their property.We look to provide religious education for all pupils in accordance with the provisions of The Education Reform Acts, SIAMS 2018and with the support and guidance of the LDBS, Clergy,Governors.