As a school we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education which has been created by the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus Conference and approved by the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. It is the legal basis for Religious Education (RE) in Cambridgeshire from September 2013.
Using enquiry-based learning, the syllabus provides a coherent framework to allow for deeper levels of knowledge and understanding of religious and non-religious life stances, and to develop respect and sensitivity, so that, as future citizens, the children will value and celebrate cultural and religious diversity, in peaceful co-existence. It also provides opportunities for pupils to explore their own beliefs, values and traditions.
Essential Agreed Syllabus Requirements for Religious Education
• All pupils on the school roll are entitled to receive Religious Education.
• The Agreed Syllabus specifies the statutory core units (CU) of study for each key stage and the minimum number of school-designed units. There are support and guidance materials to help construct Schemes of Work.
• The school can devise its own school-designed units (SDUs) to add breadth and depth of study or use the additional Programmes of Study recommended in the Syllabus.
• The core and additional units of work are based upon the ‘Community of Enquiry’ approach to teaching and learning. A key question is explored through a number of smaller questions over a series of lessons.
The Agreed Syllabus aims to:
• secure for all pupils, irrespective of social background, culture, race, religion, gender, differences in ability and disabilities, an entitlement to learning in Religious Education. This contributes to their developing knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes, which are necessary for their self-fulfillment and development as active and responsible citizens.
• make expectations for learning and attainment explicit to pupils, parents, teachers, governors, employers and the public, and establishes standards for the performance of all pupils in Religious Education. These standards may be used to set targets for improvement and measure progress towards those targets.
• contribute to a coherent curriculum for Religious Education and promotes continuity. It facilitates the transition of pupils between schools and phases of education and can provide foundations for further study and lifelong learning.
• increase public understanding of, and confidence in, the work of schools in RE. Through the SACRE, the religious communities of Cambridgeshire and beyond have been involved in its development.
The teaching of RE aims to:
• acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in the UK.
• develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs (both religious and secular) values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.
• develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own; living in a society of diverse religions.
• develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in Cambridgeshire and the UK.
• encourage openness to ask questions and search for answers of meaning and purpose for themselves.
• enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
- developing awareness of the fundamental questions raised by human experiences, and of how religious teachings can relate to them
- responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience
- reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study.
The are Two Attainment Targets which support the aims of the subject Religious Education must be relevant to pupils’ own personal development and awareness.
AT1 - LEARNING ABOUT RELIGION AND BELIEF
Enquiring into, investigating and understanding religions and beliefs
This includes thinking about and interpreting religious beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and ways of expressing meaning with reference to the specific beliefs and religions studied.
AT2 - LEARNING FROM RELIGION AND BELIEF
Questioning, exploring, reflecting upon and interpreting human experience in the light of religions
and beliefs studied. This includes communicating reflections, responses and evaluations about questions of identity, belonging, diversity, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments, making increasingly insightful links to the specific religions studied.
Key Stage 1
Pupils are taught to:
• explore a range of religious stories and sacred writings and talk about their meanings
• name and explore a range of celebrations, worship and rituals in religion, noting similarities where appropriate
• identify the importance, for some people, of belonging to a religion and recognise the difference this makes to their lives
• explore how religious beliefs and ideas can be expressed through the arts and communicate
• identify and suggest meanings for religious symbols and begin to use a range of religious terms and ideas.
• reflect on and consider religious and spiritual feelings, experiences and concepts such as worship, wonder, praise, thanks, concern, joy and sadness
• ask and respond imaginatively to puzzling questions, communicating their ideas
• identify what matters to them and others, including those with religious commitments, and communicate their responses
• reflect on how spiritual and moral values relate to their own behaviour
• recognise that religious teachings and ideas make a difference to individuals, families and the local community.
During the key stage, pupils should be taught knowledge, skills and understanding through the following areas of study:
• what people believe about God, humanity and the natural world
• how and why some stories are sacred and important in religion
• how and why celebrations are important in religion
• how and why symbols express religious meaning
• leaders and teachers who have an influence on others locally, nationally and globally in religion
• where and how people belong and why belonging is important
• who I am and my uniqueness as a person in a family and community.
Areas of study include Harvest, Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, Stories and Symbols, Places in Christianity, Sikhism.
Key Stage 2
Pupils are taught to:
• describe the key aspects of religions, especially people, stories and traditions that influence beliefs and values
• describe the variety of practices and ways of life in religions and understand how these stem from, and are closely connected to, beliefs and teachings
• identify and begin to describe the similarities and the differences between religions
• investigate the significance of religion in the local, national and global communities
• consider the meaning of a range of forms of religious expression, understand why they are important in religion and note links between them
• describe and understand religious and other responses to ultimate and ethical questions
• use specialist vocabulary in communicating their knowledge and understanding
• use and interpret information about religions from a range of sources.
• reflect on what it means to belong to a faith community, communicating their own and others’ responses
• respond to the challenges of commitment both in their own lives and within religious traditions, recognising how commitment to a religion is shown in a variety of ways
• discuss their own and other’s views of religious truth and belief, expressing their own ideas
• reflect on right and wrong and their own and others’ responses to them
• reflect on sources of inspiration in their own and others’ lives.
Areas of study include Harvest, Advent and Christmas, Islam, Judaism, the Bible, Buddhism, Christians around the world, Hindu belief.