Religious Education at St John's
As a Church of England Primary School we dedicate ourselves to providing a Christian environment that offers all children the highest quality of teaching and learning opportunities.
Religious Education has a high profile in school life with lessons providing fully for the needs of all learners. We have adopted the SDBE RE Syllabus across the school, enhancing the units to fit the needs of our learners and nature of our school community. RE is taught by enthusiastic and motivated teachers who inspire the learners. Learners develop a clear understanding of Christianity and a broad range of religious beliefs. The learners use their skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation, reflection and evaluation to understand the impact of religion on believers.
Our Intent for religious Education
Religious education has a unique place as a central subject in the curriculum of St John's. It is neither a core nor a foundation subject; the 1988 Education Act states that ‘Religious Education has equal standing in relation to core subjects of the National Curriculum in that it is compulsory for all registered pupils’.
Through our Religious Education curriculum we aim:
- to engage pupils in enquiring into and exploring questions arising from the study of religion and belief, so as to promote their personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- to provide learners with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions and beliefs represented in Great Britain.
- to develop their understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence people in their behaviour, practices and outlook.
- to enable learners to apply the insights of the principal religious traditions to their own search for identity and significance.
- to enable learners to become aware of their own beliefs and values and to have a positive attitude to the search for meaning and purpose in life.
- to encourage learners to develop a positive attitude towards other people who hold religious beliefs different from their own.
How we Implement our Religious Education Curriculum
Legal requirements for Religious Education:
Religious Education is a statutory subject of the curriculum for all pupils in each year group and ‘should be provided for all registered pupils except those withdrawn at the request of their parents.’ (s 71 SSFA 1998)
Parents have the right to request that their son or daughter be excused from all or part of the RE provided at school.
The syllabus should ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.’ (s375 (3) Education Act 1996)
We ensure that we comply with the legal requirements by following the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education
Religious Education is generally taught on a weekly basis, but is sometimes delivered through a class topic or as a whole-school RE day. Teachers may develop their own key questions linked to the themes in the syllabus, allowing links with other subject areas where appropriate.
Lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways ensuring that all children can access and participate in lessons. Interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions.
Pupils’ progress in RE is based on the expected outcomes outlined in the Agreed Syllabus and in Understanding Christianity, which in turn have been developed in line with guidance produced nationally. These outcomes have been developed into 10 Key Performance Indicators for each year group and students are assessed regularly against these KPIs.
We track individual pupil’s progress in this way, whilst also bearing in mind that the statements do not cover all aspects of teaching and learning in RE. For example, pupil’s personal views and ideas are not subject to formal assessment, and yet are central to good RE.
Progress in RE is reported annually to parents and has a prominent position in the end of year report.
Our Planned Impact
Religious Education at St John's develops pupils’:
- knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions, other religious traditions and world views;
- understanding and respect for different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances), through exploring issues within and between faiths;
- understanding of the influence of faith and belief on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
- skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy;
- skills of reflection, expression, application, analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.
Religious Education at St John's encourages pupils to:
- consider challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life; beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human;
- understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures;
- learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
- learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed responses to religious, moral and social issues;
- develop their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for life as citizens in a plural, global society;
- develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.
Religious Education at St John's enhances pupils:
- awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression;
- ability to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.
Religious Education at St John's offers:
- opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.
knowledge and sound understanding of the Christian faith at St John's
Learners have a thorough knowledge and sound understanding of the Christian faith through a wide range of learning opportunities, such as weekly Religious Education lessons, daily acts of collective worship, church services and educational visits to all different places of worship. We include a local area Faith Walks to support our learners’ understanding of the multi faith nature of our local community. Learners are able to make real links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu faith.