Religious Education - Understanding Each Other

What We Intend To Do

“"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."
- Mother Teresa, nun

We want all our pupils to develop a love of Religious Education through exposure to a wide range of religious doctrines and ideas which will challenge and interest children to be thoughtful and considerate. This means that we both teach and encourage learning about world religions, and also differing cultures; we teach children to be curious about religious ideas and to consider them alongside their own current beliefs and alongside humanist and atheist views of the world. We teach children to explore and to delve deeply into how religion has both shaped the past and how it is used to shape the present, both on an individual and on a wider scale.

Religious Education in Sherborne C of E Primary School explores how individuals and communities make meaning and sense of their lives through the major religions of the world. It enables pupils to know about, understand and respond to the important and ultimate questions of life. RE is taught in such a way that it inspires pupils to explore, develop and affirm their own faith and values and have respect for the faith, beliefs and values of others. It is not the practice of this school to preach to or seek to convert children. Values Education permeates the RE curriculum at Sherborne and therefore directs the approach to learning in this and many other areas of the curriculum. Our desire is to allow children the time to think for themselves, to contemplate their existence, actions and beliefs and to decide how best they see themselves as citizens of a shared world.

At Sherborne CofE Primary School, RE supports and strengthens the vision, ethos and values which are at the heart of what we aim to do in every aspect of school life. The importance placed on the development of the whole child spiritually, morally, socially, culturally, and intellectually is reflected in the RE curriculum, and results in the children being free-thinking, critically aware and compassionate.

Specifically, RE aims to enable pupils of all abilities and stages of development to:

• develop knowledge and understanding of Christian beliefs and practices so that they recognise the importance of the Bible and the role of the church for Christians, and how their faith provides a way of interpreting life and its meaning
• develop knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of some of the other principal religions in Britain
• understand how belief may impact on culture, relationships, values and lifestyle
• understand how belief can be expressed in a variety of ways including art, dance, music, ritual celebration and in different cultural settings
• develop spiritually, morally, culturally and socially by helping them to reflect upon personal feelings, responses and relationships
• explore ways in which religious values and teaching have an impact on actions and decisions for people of faith
• be supported in their own search for meaning and purpose in life
• develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery
• explore the concepts of love, forgiveness and sacrifice
• develop skills of reflection, empathy, communication, analysis, investigation, interpretation, evaluation and synthesis
• develop attitudes of respect, sensitivity, open-mindedness and self-esteem.

How We Teach Religious Education

Teaching and learning takes place through high quality weekly RE lessons, delivered by a class teacher and supported by a classroom assistant. The school has many resources for the teaching of RE but enhances these will trips to religious buildings and through inviting visitors into school to discuss their religion from a first-hand point of view. The school also makes use of high-quality resources researced and provided by the subject leader for RE.

Teaching and Learning:

• The scheme of work for RE (The Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus) maintains a balance between the two attainment targets: Learning about Religions and Learning from Religions
• There are clear learning outcomes for all units of work, based on the appropriate expectations/levels as set out in the RE syllabus
• The scheme of work ensures that there is continuity and progression for pupils and opportunities for assessment in both attainment targets
• A range of teaching and learning activities ensure that pupils learn effectively and with interest. These might include hot seating, use of role play, groups activities, discussions / debates as well as written activities
• Pupil progress and attainment in RE is tracked and recorded twice a year and the school keeps an up to date portfolio of evidence to support assessment data
• Attainment in RE forms part of pupils’ annual report to parents
• RE is taught as a discrete subject
• A range of visitors are invited to support the teaching of RE, and there are planned visits to places of worship
• At Sherborne C of E Primary School, the faiths taught in RE at KS1 are Christianity and Judaism and at KS2 Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism
• RE is given at least 5% of curriculum time.

Legal Framework:

Our school curriculum for Religious Education meets the requirements of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA). The ERA stipulates that religious education is compulsory for all children, including those in the reception class who are less than five years old. RE is part of the basic curriculum and the content of the curriculum comes directly from the ‘Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for RE 2017–2022’.

The school’s RE policy and this syllabus meet the requirements set out in ‘A Statement of Entitlement’ (published by The Church of England Education Office). RE must not be taught to propagate religion in general or a particular religion; it is not to nurture or convert. It is an academic discipline with levels of achievements.

Parents who wish to withdraw their children, because of personal choice or religious affiliations are permitted to do so, once they have made a formal written request to the school, and this has been agreed by the Headteacher and governors.

How We Know Children Are Learning Well

The impact of teaching and learning in Religious Education is shown through confident pupils who enjoy all aspects of their learning and who demonstrate excellence in their attitudes to religious discussion.
We recognise and assess how successfully the school's aims are met through monitoring carried out by class teachers and teaching assistants. This is done through observation, marking and feedback, and discussions with the child.

• The RE subject leader will ensure that their subject knowledge and expertise are kept up to date by means of regular training eg. attend Core Question 3 Training, annual SACRE Courses, share in good practice with fellow RE Subject Leaders)
• The RE subject leader will ensure that staff receive adequate training in the teaching and assessment of RE
• The RE subject leader will regularly monitor the quality of RE teaching across the school
• The RE subject leader will liaise with the governor who holds responsibility for RE and they will report regularly to the governing body on progress and attainment in RE
• The RE subject leader and Headteacher will ensure that the principles set out in the National Society’s Statement of Entitlement for RE are implemented

The RE subject leader will monitor standards through lesson observations, pupil conferences, and planning audits.
Three times a year (Autumn Term, Spring Term, Summer Term), teachers make formal judgements of the children's attainment and progress in RE. This is submitted to the subject leader and headteacher for review.