Religous Education Policy


Introduction

At St. Mark’s CE (A) Primary school, Religious Education (RE) plays an important role in defining the school’s distinctive Christian character. The subject is central to the school’s understanding of education. As a school we recognise that spiritual development lies at the heart of the curriculum.

RE teaching at this school will be in line with the recommendations of the Statement of Entitlement for Church Schools, published by the National Society and adopted by the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education (2012). Christianity will, therefore, be the majority study in RE as understanding Christianity as a living religion is the foundation of Religious Education in church schools. It is important that this draws on the richness and diversity of Christian experience in the breadth of its Anglican and other denominational forms, and in the variety of worldwide forms. The encounter must be an open one which stems from and instils respect for different views and interpretations and in which real dialogue and education takes place.

Church schools have a duty to foster an accurate and increasing understanding of world religions and world views. As a result, pupils will gain greater insight into the world in which they are growing up. They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices. These outcomes must contribute to harmonious relationships within and between communities, promoting social inclusion and combating prejudice.

RE teaching also follows the legal requirements of the Education Reform Act (1988), which places RE as part of the basic curriculum; a statutory subject which is an entitlement of all pupils.

Aims and Objectives

The intention of RE is not to convert pupils or to urge a particular religion or religious belief on them.

The aims of Religious Education in our school are:

  • To offer a full and positive presentation of living Christianity in an opportunity for encountering the Christian life in Anglican and other contexts, and to enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today
  • To enable pupils to learn about other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents
  • To develop an understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth, and so to consider important human questions, values and concerns.
  • To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual / philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs

The outcomes for pupils at the end of their time in our school are that they are able to:

  • Compare and contrast the key beliefs and practices of the religions studied and show how they are connected to believers’ lives
  • Describe different aspects of belonging to a religion – symbol, story, festival, belief, faith in action, ritual, worship
  • Express religious beliefs and ideas with the appropriate language, vocabulary and terminology and describe what they mean
  • Ask questions sensitively about the lives of believers and suggest appropriate answers
  • Reflect on the decisions people make – including believers – and suggest possible outcomes
  • Compare their own experience and identity with others – including believers
  • Reflect and empathise with the big questions of life, suggesting some answers / insights
  • Be confident to explore their own spirituality and search for truth
  • Value the religious journey of faith
  • Develop pupils’ ability to interpret and appreciate religious imagery and expression

In addition the subject contributes to other areas of education and human experience and plays an important part of the wider programme of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

  • Spiritual – widening pupils vision of themselves and their own experience, within the context of a growing awareness and understanding of God.
  • Moral – helping each pupil develop their own informed values.
  • Social – helping pupils understand some major forces shaping he values in our society.
  • Cultural – aiding pupils in exploring aspects of their own cultural heritage, and in developing positive attitudes towards diversity.

Additional links will be found across the curriculum especially with Citizenship and PSHE. RE can also make a positive contribution to enhancing creativity and enjoyment and ensure the well-being of all pupils.

Right to Withdraw

At St. Mark’s CE (A) Primary school we wish to be an inclusive community but recognise that parents have the legal right to withdraw their children from religious education or collective worship on the grounds of conscience, without giving a reason. Parents wishing to exercise this right are asked to write to the Executive Head Teacher who will then invite the parents into school to discuss their concerns, clarify the nature of the RE and worship provided by the school and set out the options open to the parents as set out in education law. However, the right of withdrawal does not extend to other areas of the curriculum when, as may happen on occasion, spontaneous questions on religious matters are raised by pupils or there are issues related to religion that arise in other subjects. Where a pupil is withdrawn from RE and do not take part in alternative religious education they will be supervised by an appropriate member of staff.

Management

  • RE is given equal status with other core subjects in staffing, responsibility and resourcing. Pupil achievement in RE should equal or be better than comparable subjects.
  • As a church school we recognise that it should be a priority to build up staff expertise in RE.

The RE Subject Leader is responsible for:

  • Producing a scheme of work for the school
  • Supporting colleagues in the detailed planning and delivery of RE provision
  • Ensuring Religious Education has status within the school
  • Keeping in touch with subject developments and disseminating information as appropriate
  • Auditing and recording current resources, supplementing resource provision when money is available and disseminating this information to staff
  • Undertaking personal development and subject training and ensuring provision for staff INSET
  • Monitoring RE provision, practice and outcomes
  • Ensuring assessment strategies are in place in line with the Agreed Syllabus
  • Creating the RE Development Plan and ensuring its regular review
  • Accountability for RE standards in the school
  • Meet with member of the Diocesan RE advisory team when possible

Assessment and Reporting

  • Formative -Ongoing assessments during and at the end of each lesson
  • Assessment will be against end of year expectations based on Diocesan guidelines.
  • Assessment of RE within the school will be monitored by the RE leader
  • Parents are provided with information on the progress of their children at Parents’ Evening and annual School Report at the end of each academic year where assessments for all subjects are shared with parents.

Curriculum Content and Organisation

The school bases its RE provision on the Stoke on Trent Agreed Syllabus. In addition, the school uses the Lichfield Diocesan RE Resource Handbook, materials from the National Society, and other appropriate units to enhance teaching and offer the extra dimension of its Church foundation.
At least 5% of curriculum time will be dedicated to meeting explicitly RE objectives, although the subject may be taught across the curriculum when appropriate. Within this teaching allocation at least two thirds of subject content will be allocated to an exploration of the Christian faith, and the concepts, beliefs, teachings and practices that lie at its heart.

Class teachers will teach R.E. On occasions RE may be taught by HLTAs covering classes.

  • They will ensure that sensitivity is paramount in the teaching of this subject.
  • Teachers may share personal convictions but this will not take precedence over their professional role.
  • Teachers and children will explore new ground together.
  • Use will be made of local resources.
  • Members of different faiths will be invited to school.
  • Local places of worship will be visited.
  • A wide variety of methods will be employed.
  • An atmosphere which stimulates enquiry will be provided.
  • Children will be allowed to question things and to express themselves with confidence.
  • Children will be presented with challenging tasks.
  • Children will have the opportunity to investigate the religious belief and practice of the Christian faith and aspects of other world religions, particularly Islam and Judaism.
  • Teachers will make use of visits, drama, film and video, discussion, story-tell-ing, display, posters, artefacts and visiting speakers from various faith communities whenever appropriate.

The teaching organisation includes:

  • Whole class
  • Group work – ability and social
  • Individual work
  • Paired work
  • Differentiation Teachers will use a range of teaching and learning approaches and a variety of activities to engage and motivate pupils of all abilities. This process includes differentiation by:
  • Adjusting tasks
  • Providing different tasks
  • Use of a wide range of resources/materials which are selected to meet pupils’ needs
  • Support offered to pupils
  • The response to work and learning given by the teacher
  • Appropriate grouping of children

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

RE. is a statutory subject within the Curriculum, and each child at St Mark’s CE (A) Primary School regardless of age, race or gender has an entitlement to be taught at an appropriate level to fulfil their potential in this area.

Children are taught RE from the Foundation Stage onwards. Children with SEND. are identified as early as possible and their needs addressed in accordance with the school’s SEND Policy and with reference to the SEND Code of Practice.

EAL Entitlement

Children with EAL are entitled to access to the whole curriculum. In the teaching of RE children will be taught at an appropriate level for their language development. Teaching strategies will give consideration to cognitive demands as well as language demands. Teachers will use the school’s individual EAL profiles to assess children and inform planning for pupils with EAL in accordance with the school’s EAL policy.

We will review this policy on a yearly basis.


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