The Church of England Education Office has produced a Statement of Entitlement which has supported us in our discussions about the ways in which RE within our Church school is distinctive and how RE contributes to the mission of the Church. This statement can be found here.
The aims and objectives of Religious Education in Church schools are:
• To know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text.
• To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
• To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
• To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
• To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways living, believing and thinking.
(The Church of England Education Office Statement of Entitlement 2019)
Our Religious Education Curriculum
Here at Abbots Ripton Church of England Primary School we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. This is a curriculum which is set locally by the Local Authority Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE).
The aims of this syllabus are for pupils:
• to develop religious literacy;
• to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions and world views represented in the United Kingdom;
• to develop an understanding of the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures;
• to develop attitudes of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own;
• to develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious issues, with reference to the principal religions and world views represented locally and in the United Kingdom.
Religions deal with some of the most profound and difficult questions in human life, questions such as:
• What is the purpose of life?
• How should people treat each other?
• How do we explain and cope with death and suffering?
Religions approach these issues in complex ways, in ways of life, culture and action, as well as ritual, tradition, story, symbol and belief. Religious Education must take account of this depth and complexity, helping pupils to develop an understanding appropriate to their age and aptitude.
To do this our Religious Education aims to:
- develop pupils' skills;
- enable them to ask questions;
- discover information, to approach new material with empathy;
- encourage pupils’ to reflect on their learning;
- promote religious understanding and respect, and to challenge prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping;
- enable pupils to appreciate their own and others’ beliefs and cultures, helping them to develop a clear understanding of the significance of religion in their own lives as well as in the world today;
- promote each pupil’s self-worth, enabling them to reflect on their uniqueness as human beings, to share their feelings and emotions with others and to appreciate the importance of forming and maintaining positive relationships.
We strongly believe that pupils should not only acquire knowledge but also be able to use their knowledge to understand their world, build community, and develop their personal position.
As an Aided School with a firm Christian foundation, in each year there is a focus on Christianity plus the opportunity for pupils to explore, learn and evaluate their own views on other world religions by engaging with their knowledge, and reflecting on their learning and their lives.
We strongly believe that the purpose of RE is about religious literacy. This means we aim for children to be able to hold a balanced and well-informed conversation about religion and belief. Someone who is religiously literate is able to talk with fluency and understanding about religion and belief; a core aim of our school RE curriculum.
The content of our RE curriculum
There are two attainment targets in RE; good and outstanding RE will achieve a close relationship and a balance between these targets over a unit of work.
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.