What is Religious Education?
At St. Andrew’s, we believe that Religious Education (RE) is about learning about religions, and learning from religions. RE encourages pupils to learn about and develop their own beliefs as well as learn about the beliefs and practices of others, whilst learning to respect those who hold beliefs different to their own. RE promotes an awareness of British values, tolerance of others and supports children in gaining knowledge of their own society and the wider world.
Through the eyes of our children, Religious Education is important because:
‘It helps us to think about and understand other people’s beliefs. If everybody could do this the world would be a better place. RE also gives us time to think about God and make our own decisions about what we believe.
A high quality RE curriculum is essential to meet the statutory requirement to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. At the heart of RE in church schools is the teaching of Christianity, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ. There is a clear expectation that as inclusive communities, church schools encourage learning about other religions and world views and fostering respect for them.
At St Andrew’s the students and their families can expect a religious education curriculum that is rich and varied, enabling learners to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith. We will provide a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the range of faiths and world views studied.
We will use an enquiry approach that engages with, for example biblical text, and helps develop religious and theological literacy as well as aim to develop our children’s 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.
Links with the Christian values of the school and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are intrinsic to the RE curriculum and should have a significant impact on learners.
The teaching and implementation of the Religious curriculum at St. Andrew’s C.E. Primary School is based on the Lincolnshire Agreed Syallabus.
We organise our pupils’ learning around the following structure:
Pupils should develop key skills in RE in order to enhance learning and this should be evident across key stages:
1. Investigation and enquiry: asking relevant and increasingly deep questions; using a range of sources and evidence, including sacred texts; identifying andtalking about key concepts.
2. Critical thinking and reflection: analysing information to form a judgement; reflecting on beliefs and practices, ultimate questions and experiences.
3. Empathy: considering the thoughts, feelings, experiences, attitudes, beliefs and values of others; seeing the world through the eyes of others.
4. Interpretation: interpreting religious language and the meaning of sacred texts; drawing meaning from, for example, artefacts and symbols.
5. Analysis: distinguishing between opinion, belief and fact; distinguishing between the features of different religions.
6. Evaluation: enquiring into religious issues and drawing conclusions with reference to experience, reason, evidence and dialogue.
Religious Education is delivered by teaching specific concepts, knowledge, skills attitudes and when appropriate, through opportunities for purposeful cross curricular links.
Church schools have a duty to provide accurate knowledge and understanding of religions and world views. We will provide:
- A challenging and robust curriculum based on an accurate theological framework.
- An assessment process which has rigour and demonstrates progression based on knowledge and understanding of core religious concepts.
- A curriculum that draws on the richness and diversity of religious experience worldwide.
- A pedagogy that instils respect for different views and interpretations and where real dialogue and theological enquiry takes place.
- The opportunity for pupils to deepen their understanding of the religion and world views as lived by believers.
- RE that makes a positive contribution to SMSC development.
Implementation through Themes
At St. Andrew’s, we are dedicated to the teaching and delivery of a high-quality Religious education curriculum through well planned and resourced projects and experiences. We have determined that RE will taught in bespoke units across the school year. By following the Lincolnshire Agreed Syllabus, we have identified 4 key areas of enquiry that run through all our compulsory units:
- God: What do people believe about God?
- Being human: How does faith and belief affect the way people live their lives?
- Community, worship and celebration: How do people express their religion and beliefs?
- Life journey: rites of passage: How do people mark important events in life?
To support the teaching of Christianity , the school also uses the Understanding Christianity Resource which encourages children to explore core Bible texts and consider possible implications. Our teaching and learning approach enables pupils to move from an understanding of the biblical text and how to handle it, to an understanding of what this means for Christians within the Church and in Christian living, including opportunities for pupils to examine and evaluate connections between these ideas and the wider world. Each unit takes a core concept and gives a key question through which to explore the concept. The unit identifies the knowledge ‘building blocks’ and focused outcomes that are expected of pupils by the end of teaching.
By addressing key questions, Understanding Christianity encourages pupils to explore core Bible texts, examine the impact for Christians and consider possible implications. Each unit incorporates three elements:
- Making sense of the text – Developing skills of reading and interpretation; understanding how Christians interpret, handle and use biblical texts; making sense of the meanings of texts for Christians
- Understanding the impact – Examining ways in which Christians respond to biblical texts and teachings, and how they put their beliefs into action in diverse ways within the Christian community and in the world
- Making connections – Evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the texts and concepts studied, and discerning possible connections between these and pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the world.
Through the explicit teaching of the Religious Education concepts, knowledge skills and attitudes teachers and the children assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. At the end of each unit, teachers complete unit evaluations, assessing attainment to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress children have made over time.
Appropriate to age at the end of their education in Church schools the expectation is that all pupils are religiously literate and as a minimum are able to:
- Give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith.
- Show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and world views in their search for God and meaning.
- Engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none.
- Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.
Key Stage Benchmarks
The religious education curriculum is taken from Lincolnshire’s 'Agreed Syllabus'. Although Christian based, it also ensures that our pupils gain respect, awareness and understanding of other world religions. There are varied arrangements for daily worship, including class and whole-school assemblies.
All parents/carers have a right to withdraw their child from the school's daily act of worship, and/or religious education. If you want to withdraw your child from these parts of school life please arrange a meeting with the headteacher.