Religious Education Policy

Goodnestone Church of England Primary School 

An Inclusive Learning Community, rooted in God.

 

Goodnestone is a place of learning where all are nurtured and supported. Goodnestone has high expectations of all, so they fulfil their God given aspirations within and outside our small school community. Following the example of Jesus, we include all by showing friendship to each other, valuing their unique contribution.

 

Introduction

 

At Goodnestone Church of England Primary school, pupils and their families can expect a high-quality religious education (RE) curriculum that is challenging, rich and varied, enabling learners to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of a range of faiths and world views. As a church school, the teaching of Christianity is at the heart of our RE curriculum. Through the Understanding Christianity resource, the use of an enquiry approach engages with significant theological concepts and the pupil’s own understanding of the world as part of their wider religious literacy. Using the Kent Agreed Syllabus we learn about other religions and world views, fostering respect for them. Links with our Christian values and vision, and support for pupil’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development are intrinsic to our RE curriculum and have a significant impact on learners. We provide a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the range of faiths and world views studied.

Aims

As stated in the Church of England Religious Education Statement of Entitlement, religious education in this school aims

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.
  • To enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.
  • To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.

 

 

Objectives

 

As stated in the Church of England Religious Education Statement of Entitlement, the following objectives are age appropriate at the end of our pupils’ education in school. The expectation is that all pupils are religiously literate and as a minimum pupils are able to:

  • Give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith.
  • Show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and world views in their search for God and meaning.
  • Engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none.
  • Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.

 

Teaching and learning

 

RE has a high profile within our school curriculum and is comparable with other core curriculum areas. Quality teaching in RE helps generate respect for different views and interpretations where real dialogue takes place. Learners develop and use a wide range of higher level skills such as enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection to deepen their understanding of the impact of religion and world views as lived by believers. Key cross-curricular skills such as reading, writing, observation, and discussion are practised. Rigorous assessment based on knowledge and understanding of core religious concepts shows that attainment is high and progress significant in developing an understanding of Christianity and a range of other world religions and on other world views as appropriate.

 

RE offers a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences, understanding that pupils learn best in different ways. Pupils will experience opportunities to learn and express themselves through an enquiry based style of learning by:

 

  • Listening to the teacher and each other.
  • Ask and discuss ‘big’ questions
  • Reading of texts.
  • Seeking information for themselves in libraries and on computers.
  • Discussion with the teacher and other pupils.
  • Pair and group work.
  • Using a range of media such as artefacts, pictures, photographs, music and drama.
  • Visits and visitors.
  • Outdoor learning.
  • Time for reflection.

 

Differentiation and Special Educational Needs

 

Policy and practice in religious education reflects whole school policy and encompasses the full range and ability of all pupils. All pupils’ contributions are valued in RE as they draw on their own experiences and beliefs. A range of teaching and learning strategies to achieve differentiated learning are used including task, outcome, resource, support and pupil grouping. There is particular concern to ensure that all tasks are challenging and sufficiently demanding to stimulate and engage all pupils whilst extending the most able.

 

Breadth and balance

 

Although work on Christianity will predominate, there will be in-depth work on the major world religions and on other world views as appropriate. Teaching will seek to bring about a deeper knowledge and understanding of religious traditions but also to develop a range of skills such as the ability to empathise and evaluate attitudes, and develop respect for diversity.

 

Equal Opportunities

 

Religious education will challenge stereotypes, misinformation and misconceptions about race, gender and religion. It seeks to present religions and world views in all their richness and diversity in terms of beliefs, traditions, customs and lifestyle in a sensitive and accurate way in order to encourage a positive attitude towards diversity. All questions, views, and opinions will be treated with sensitivity and respect.

 

Relevance

 

Teachers will establish clear links between elements of religious belief and practice and aspects of the children’s own lives. Teaching will enable pupils to gain something of personal value from their study of religious belief and practice, for example, the way that they might apply insights gained from religious stories to their own lives. This will be done through engaging pupils in an enquiry based style of learning and by posing challenging questions to and by pupils.

 

Cross-curricular links

 

Religious education supports the development of general educational abilities such as literacy, empathy and the ability to express thoughts, feelings and personal beliefs. RE also makes a major contribution to pupils’ SMSC development. It addresses issues which arise in a range of subjects, such as English, drama and history, geography, computing, music as well as personal, social and emotional education and citizenship.

 

Health and Safety

 

Health and safety issues may arise in religious education on a number of occasions for example, when pupils:

 

  • Handle artefacts.
  • Consume food.
  • Visit places of worship.

 

Teachers will conform to guidelines in the school’s health and safety policy in these circumstances.

 

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

Assessment in religious education will:

  • Involve identifying suitable opportunities in schemes of work such as Understanding Christianity.
  • Be directly related to the expectations of the Kent Agreed Syllabus.
  • Seek to identify development in the different areas of learning in the subject and not only in the acquisition of factual knowledge.
  • Recognise the range of skills and attitudes which the subject seeks to develop.
  • Employ well defined criteria for marking and assessment which identify progress and achievement as well as effort, following the school’s marking policy.
  • Enable effective tracking of pupil progress to identify areas for development in pupil’s knowledge and understanding, as well as whole school areas for development.
  • Enable effective reporting to parents.

 

Role of the RE subject leader

The subject leader will:

  • Ensure that all pupils receive their legal entitlement of religious education.
  • Produce and regularly review a subject policy to ensure that it remains up to date
  • Ensure all teachers are aware of what should be taught in religious education, what resources are available, and what standards of attainment are expected at the end of each Key Stage.
  • Support colleagues and help develop their subject expertise.
  • Monitor and review the implementation of policy, schemes of work, the quality and effectiveness of the delivery of RE, pupils’ progress and standards.
  • Liaise periodically with the Executive Head, and Governors.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development for themselves and other staff.
  • Order resources.
  • Monitor end of term assessments.
  • Observe the teaching of RE in school, providing support and guidance for teachers.
  • Ensure there is a school protocol, that covers safeguarding procedures and a suitability process, for when visitors are invited into RE lessons.

 

Resources

Religious education will be funded to enable a range of resources on different religions to be purchased, such as books for teachers, pupils and the library; posters, CDs, DVDs and artefacts. The school makes use of guidance material produced by the Diocese. Funding will also allow, where possible, visits to different places of worship and provide INSET for staff. All resources will be listed, stored, be easily accessible and kept in good condition. Resource banks will be available for both staff and pupils on all major religions and world views as appropriate.

 

Legal Requirements

From the time of the 1944 Education Act, parents have had the right to withdraw their children from religious education. The school must comply with any request from a parent to withdraw their child and parents are not required to give their reasons for wanting to do so. However, in view of the Christian ethos and distinctive Christian character of our school, we would hope that all children admitted will participate fully in RE, and that anyone wishing to withdraw their child would discuss this with the headteacher before making this decision.

 

*

We recognise that all pupils are equal regardless of cultural or ethnic background, religion, social circumstances, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability. The curriculum and whole ethos of the school demonstrates that diversity is understood, is welcomed and appreciated within the school. Equal opportunities means that all children have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum with which all pupils can engage and achieve.