Statement of Intent:
We want our children to understand their role in the world and how they can ‘learn to change the world’ Through learning about religions and worldviews they will become well informed and be able to empathise and appreciate the diverse landscape of modern Britain: welcoming those of all faiths as well as those who do not.
Our vision for RE comes from our school vision:
'Learning to change the World'
'Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God' - Micah 6:8
Each term, one of our core values linked to our intent: justice, mercy and humility, is explored and celebrated. Each year group visits our local church of St Stephen’s where they are able to explore their own feelings in response to key events in the church’s liturgical year as well as the rites of baptism, communion, marriage and death. Significant local, national and international events are marked, and children participate in a weekly session called Quotes and Questions where they have an opportunity to reflect on their own feelings and ideas linked to the key message of the week. The school, although grounded in its Christian heritage, is a solace for those of all faiths and those who have none. Children from all faiths are welcomed and encouraged to share their belief and knowledge of their own faith.
Why do we teach RE?
As a Church of England school, we seek to follow the Church of England’s Statement of entitlement for Religious Education. It says:
The aims of Religious Education in Church schools are:
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.
In addition, we want to prepare them for the diverse landscape of modern Britain; welcoming those of all faiths or none. As they progress through the school the children receive a rich diet of teaching, visitor experiences, music and worship to inspire and uplift them.
What do we teach in RE?
In RE, we aim to give children a grounded understanding of Christianity and the major world faiths. As the children progress through the school they will encounter different religions and worldviews. Each year group will focus on Christianity as well as specific world faith. In Year 3, they visit a Hindu Temple, Year 4 visit the Bristol Progressive Synagogue to support and deepen their understanding of Judaism, Year 5 visit a Sikh Temple and in Year 6 they go to a Mosque to support their understanding of Islam.
An important aim of RE is that children are encouraged to reflect on their learning and make their own decisions about what they believe. The aim of RE is not to make children into religious believers, but to understand that religion still influences and sustains many people in the world today, and to consider the wisdom of faith traditions, and reflect on what they might take from it. Our teaching is grounded in Christian values, but we provide a space for all children to express their home religion, or for those of no faith.
Our curriculum follows the South Gloucestershire agreed syllabus for our teaching of world faiths and we use the Understanding Christianity resource for our teaching of Christianity.
How do we teach RE?
Children aim to answer a ‘big question’ through following an enquiry over a term. This will involve learning about what a faith might say, investigating it further and analysing. Across a term, each session will support the children and deepen their understanding which enables them to reflect and be in a position to confidently explain their response to the ‘big question’.
Above all, we believe that the Christian values underpinning our education will enable the children to become confident, reflective, spiritual and morally aware people who can play a role in shaping modern Britain and play a part in ‘learning to change the world’.