POLICY FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Statement of intent
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 so living out the Church of England’s belief of ‘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 as an academic subject. It is a means for helping children explore the spiritual dimensions of life and to lay the foundations for understanding the Christian Faith and other World faiths. It is an integral part of school life and is developed throughout the curriculum, our collective worship and reflects on our School Ethos 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, Holy Innocents 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 work underpinned by the LDBS scheme of work. These offer the children a high quality RE curriculum and will enable children to develop and 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 takes into 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 celebrations etc.
- 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.
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 Worship
Worship 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 spontaneous prayer or learn Anglican prayers such as The Lord’s Prayer.
- Other Faiths:
Awareness and respect for the different faiths is 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 9. 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 ensure an understanding of Christianity as a diverse and global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with Biblical text.
- To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world views appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and world views being studied.
- To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
- To recognise the concept of religion and continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
- To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking
- 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 Christian vision and 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 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 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.
Curriculum balance and time
- To provide a high quality religious education curriculum, which is two thirds Christianity.
- To ensure teaching and learning is 1.5 hours a week.
- To take part in a whole school RE week annually.
We look to provide religious education for all pupils in accordance with the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement (February 2019), the provisions of The Education Reform Acts, SIAMS 2018 and with the support and guidance of the LDBS, Clergy, Governors.
Collective Worship policy
Wellbeing and mental health policy