Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together.
Such an approach is offered through a commitment to generous hospitality, being true to our underpinning faith, but with a deep respect for the integrity of other religious traditions (and world views) and for the religious freedom of each person.
The above is from the C of E Statement of Entitlement https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/RE%20Statement%20of%20Entitlement%20for%20Church%20Schools.pdf
RE must be taught to all registered pupils in maintained schools unless withdrawn by their parents. Withdrawal needs to be given in writing to the Headteacher.
The principal aim of RE is to engage children by asking big questions about life in order to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion and worldviews, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
Religious education makes a significant contribution to pupils’ academic and personal development. It also plays a key role in promoting social cohesion and the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society.
As a church school, we ensure RE helps pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith and consider the impact and connection that Christianity has on Britain’s cultural heritage and the lives of people worldwide.
RE enables pupils to develop knowledge and understanding of other major world religions and worldviews and their impact on society and culture.
RE gives pupils a safe space to critically reflect on their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions.
Inclusion and Differentiation: (also see SEND policy)
All children have regular access to RE, appropriate to their stage of development. We aim to encourage all pupils to reach their full potential through the provision of varied opportunities. Work must be differentiated to aid children’s learning. Differentiation should be in place to meet the needs of gifted and talented children, who should have access to regular open-ended tasks and be given opportunities for further research and more challenging studies. Through our curriculum planning pupils gain a progressively deeper understanding and competency as they move through the school.
KS1 pupils receive 36 hours of RE a year while KS2 pupils receive 45 hours.
We teach Religious Education according to the aims of the New North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus (2019- 2024). This requires all pupils to learn from Christianity and the other 5 principal faiths in the UK: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism. Non-religious worldviews such as Humanism are also explored.
The Christian element of the RE curriculum is taught through the Understanding Christianity resource (produced by RE Today, the authors of the NYCC Agreed Syllabus). World religions are taught through the RE Today agreed syllabus.
Religious Education should not seek to urge religious beliefs on children nor to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs.
The RE curriculum is delivered through aspirational teaching of the three types of knowledge (known as the pillars of progression):
- Substantive Knowledge: knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions
- Disciplinary knowledge (referred to as “ways of knowing” by OFTSED: pupils learn “how to know” about religion and non-religion,
- Personal knowledge: pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions they study.
We use a range of resources (in addition to the Agreed Syllabus and Understanding Christianity) to support the teaching of RE across the school. Artefacts and books are used alongside visits and visitors and virtual resources to offer a variety of experiences.
The RE curriculum is designed to ensure that all learners are able to use their knowledge to succeed in life; implementing the principal aims of RE:
- Learners are engaged in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address.
- Learners develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions.
- Learners are able to develop responses of their own.
This is achieved through the teaching of the pillars of progression as detailed above.
Assessment of RE
Assessment in RE takes place at the beginning middle and end of each unit through the use of six key questions, unique to each unit of work. The questions in each unit assesses the three types of knowledge referred to above.
Leadership of RE – how will we know we have been successful?
Role of the Headteacher
- Lead, manage and monitor the implementation of the curriculum, including teaching and learning (which includes weekly / unit planning).
- With the governors, keep the governing body informed about the progress of the curriculum.
- Ensure that RE remains a high profile in the school’s development work.
- Deploy support staff to maximise support for the curriculum.
Role of the subject leader
- The subject leader is responsible for leading the development of RE across the federation by:
- Ensuring that teachers are familiar with the curriculum
- Leading by example in the way they teach in their own classrooms
- Preparing, organising, and leading training, with the support of the headteacher
- Supporting the headteacher in carrying out an annual audit and action plan with staff and governors
- Attending training and network meetings provided by LA consultants and advisors.
- Discussing regularly with the headteacher and governors the progress of implementing the curriculum Report on achievement and the quality of teaching and learning through thorough monitoring
Role of the class teacher
To plan effectively for RE and deliver high quality engaging lessons. Teachers must develop a secure subject knowledge and be confident in helping children navigate and challenge cultural and religious stereotypes, prejudice and extremism. It should be a priority in Church schools to build up staff expertise in RE.
Role of the Governing Board
- To monitor the effective leadership of RE across all three schools through the rigorous monitoring schedule
- To report back to the curriculum committee on a regular basis.