RE is fundamental to understanding, appreciating and responding to the world in which we live. It is therefore a subject that will be pivotal to pupils beyond their school life as they navigate their own lives and encounter various faiths and beliefs that are different from their own. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards ways of life and beliefs are different from their own. It also encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection.
The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and appreciation for the expression of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community. It is necessary to acknowledge that some of our pupils will have had less experience of the diversity that their community has to offer. Therefore, RE becomes a very special opportunity to create this link and begin the journey towards broadening their cultural experiences.
It is essential that pupils are provided with subject specific knowledge regarding a variety of religions so that they have a strong foundation of key concepts, beliefs, practices and vocabulary associated with each. As they progress throughout our school, they will continue to build on prior knowledge and understanding while applying subject specific skills at a deeper level. We understand the necessity for our pupils to begin exploring aspects of religion at the earliest opportunity. This is why it has been introduced to them in Foundation Stage through stories and role plays which provide exposure through the environment and promotes discussion. Our goal is to be able to build on pupils’ learning at each stage so that as they progress throughout school, they are able consolidate, develop and deepen their learning.
Religious Education is unique in the school curriculum in that it is neither a core nor a foundation subject, however the Guidance released in 2010 views it as an important curriculum subject.
EYFS - children will be taught RE through playing and exploring and active learning. Children will also be encouraged to think critically and develop their own ideas and strategies for doing things.
In Key Stage 1, children will be taught RE in three strands:
- Learning about religion
- Learning from religion
- Breadth of study
In Key Stage 2, pupils are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through deeper enquiry into known religions as they progress through the school. They explore key questions through conceptual enquiry into Christianity whilst also drawing from Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, as well as non‐ religious worldviews as appropriate, recognising the impact of religion and belief locally, nationally and globally.
- They make connections between differing aspects of religion and consider the different forms of religious expression.
- They consider the beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life central to religion.
- They learn about sacred texts and other sources and consider their meanings.
- They begin to recognise diversity in religion, learning about similarities and differences both within and between religions and beliefs and the importance of dialogue between them.
- They extend the range and use of specialist vocabulary.
- They recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong, and valuing what is good and true.
- They communicate their ideas, recognising other people’s viewpoints.
- They consider their own beliefs and values and those of others in the light of their learning in religious education.
Experience and enrichment opportunities at Charlbury:
- exploring sacred texts
- using imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas
- responding to images, games, stories, art, music and dance
- meeting visitors from local religious communities
- making visits to religious places of worship where possible, and where not, making use of videos and the internet
- taking part in whole school events- (multi-faith days, Harvest Festival, school performances)
- using ICT to further explore religion and belief globally
- comparing religions and worldviews through discussion
- debating and communicating religious belief, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking ultimate questions posed by these
Through the implementation of the RE curriculum pupils will be able to:
- extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs
- develop a religious vocabulary and interpret religious symbolism in a variety of forms • reflect on questions of meaning, offering their own thoughtful and informed insights into religious and secular world-views
- explore ultimate questions of beliefs and values in relation to a range of contemporary issues in an ever-changing society
The impact of RE is monitored and assessed in a number of ways. We look at the extent to which our pupils are engaged in discussions with their peers, sharing their own beliefs with others to understand and appreciate differences between themselves and the children around them. Through pupil interviews, students are able to articulate what they have learned when prompted by their work. These interviews, as well as other observations both within RE lessons and everyday school life, enable us to gather evidence of the extent to which our pupils demonstrate welcoming, clear communication and respect of pupils with beliefs different to their own. Through the careful planning and continuous review of an engaging RE curriculum, we can observe how our pupils show and apply their own moral compass as well as accumulating an increased cultural capital.