POLICY FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Introduction:

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 of the Christian Faith. It is an integral part of school life and is developed throughout the curriculum. It is generic to the ethos of the school.

We maintain strong links with Hornsey Parish Church and the local community. We welcome the contribution that visitors who lead Daily Worship 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. These are organised in accordance with Diocesan recommendations and will enable children to develop their knowledge, understanding and respect for the traditions and culture of the other major world faiths.

The teaching of Religious Education in a Primary School must take into account the age and understanding of the child and whenever possible be 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 the classroom

The main strands to be followed are:

1. Christian Teaching:

Teaching directly related to Christianity. e.g. The Life of Jesus; Bible Study; the Church and other places of worship; Christian Celebrations etc.

2. 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.

3. Thematic:

Cross-curricula approaches developing an understanding that R.E. is not an isolated subject but is related to other areas of the curriculum.

4. Prayer and Worship

Worship music is often used in RE lessons to create the atmosphere of awe and wonder that is a key part of RE lessons enabling pupils to share in a sense of wonder, thankfulness and praise for the world and everything in it.
Prayer is often used in RE lessons as a plenary to encourage pupils to 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.

5. Other Faiths:

Awareness and respect for the different faiths is covered through certain units of work designated for this purpose. Visits to other faith venues and visitors from such places take place in accordance with expectations from the current Diocesan Syllabus.
Policy Themes:

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:
1. Worship and Prayer.
2. The Bible.
3. The Life of Jesus.
4. Celebrations in the Christian Year.
5. Exploring the Church.
6. The other five major faiths.
7. The Creative Arts and Religious Education.
8. Bible and traditional stories
9. Symbols and Sacraments.
10. 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:

1. 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.

2. To develop an understanding and knowledge of the Bible and Christian beliefs in a way that relates directly to their lives.

3. To introduce pupils to an experience of God’s Spirit, and able to reflect upon, listen and pray to God.

4. To develop a respect and understanding of other religions, cultures and traditions.

5. To develop an understanding and experience of God through praise and worship.

6. To develop knowledge of the Parish Church and other local Christian churches both as a building and a community of people who share the same faith.

7. To encourage children to reflect about their own beliefs and values with a positive interest in others with different beliefs and a confidence to challenge and be challenged through informed discussion.

8. To develop caring attitudes to members of the school community and to the wider community and act upon those attitudes through involvement in community projects that make a positive difference to others.

9. To develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment. With a strong sense of excellence and high standards of care and pro-active concern for others and their property.

10. To provide religious education for all pupils in accordance with the school Trust Deed and with the provisions of The Education Reform Acts.

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