The Church of England Education office state that “Religious education (RE) in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness”. (John 10:10). We believe that RE should be of the highest standard and that it should reflect our school’s distinctive Christian character.
We believe that it is vital for all children to learn from and about religion, so that they can understand the world around them. Through RE, children develop their knowledge of the world faiths, values, beliefs and cultures. Most importantly, we also emphasise that everyone needs to respect each other for who they are no matter what their beliefs or religion. Religious Education also has a significant role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different beliefs and faiths and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection.
It is our intent for the Religious Education curriculum to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions, explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions and develop understanding of the numerous religious traditions, beliefs and practices that are followed in our multi-cultural society. We want them to know how an understanding and knowledge of religion enables pupils to combat prejudice, preparing them for adult life, employment and life-long learning.
RE is an important subject that is taught creatively and enthusiastically in order that children can learn about faith, identities and ways of life, and so that they are equipped for life in modern Britain and our world.
Our curriculum follows the Suffolk agreed syllabus for RE. The agreed syllabus has two main aims. They are that pupils should:
Learn about religions and explore human experience.
Learn from religion and respond to human experience.
We use the Emmanuel Project scheme of work produced by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. Christianity is taught as the main religion, along with other major world faiths and beliefs.
There are six units, each based on one of three key Christian beliefs: Creation, Incarnation and Salvation, but everything is unpacked at EYFS level, drawing on and extending children’s experience. Development of the concepts is supported by a carefully worded key question/unit title and an enquiry-type model.
Key Stage 1
The agreed syllabus divides the curriculum into seven main areas of learning:
Prayer and Worship.
Leaders and Teachers.
Stories and Books.
Symbols and Artefacts.
Key Stage 2
The agreed syllabus divides the curriculum into nine main areas of learning:
Beliefs and Questions.
Teachings and Authority.
Religion and the individual.
Religion, family and community.
Worship, pilgrimage and sacred places.
The journey of life and death.
Symbols and religious expression.
Beliefs in action in the world.
Quality first hand experiences are encouraged to enhance teaching and learning in RE. These include: handling artefacts and exploring sacred texts; imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas; responding to images, stories , games, art or music; visits to places of worship where possible, and visitors from local religious communities; comparing religions and worldviews through discussion; debating and communicating religious beliefs, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking questions posed by these.
Through their R.E. learning, the children develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of other people's worship and beliefs and are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. Children develop a religious vocabulary and interpret religious symbolism in a variety of forms; they reflect on questions of meaning, offering their own thoughtful and informed insights into religious and secular worldviews. Pupils demonstrate a positive attitude and respectful behaviour towards people of any religion and show an understanding of cultural beliefs different to their own. Pupils can express what they have learnt about a religion and from a religion; they are able to compare similarities and differences between different world faiths and have an understanding of how different faiths are intertwined with culture.
We further enrich the Emmanuel project by visits to places of worship and by inviting visitors into school. We have strong links with our local church members regularly contribute to our Collective Worship in school.
Parents may, if they so wish, withdraw their child/ren from religious education, but are encouraged to speak to the Headteacher about their concerns.