Aims and Objectives
Within the curriculum RE provides a reminder that education concerns the whole person – body, mind and spirit, and enables pupils to explore meaning and purpose in their lives. RE aims to help pupils develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about the religions and moral issues which arise from reflection on human experience and a study of religious belief and practice.
Our specific aims are to:
- Provide a broad and balanced RE curriculum within the framework of statutory requirements and those of the locally agreed syllabus.
- Promote opportunities for the cultivation of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- Develop pupils’ knowledge and appreciation of Christianity and other principal religions in Great Britain.
- Support pupils in reflecting and thinking about fundamental human beliefs and values so that they can develop a personal framework by which to live.
Teaching and Learning
The Education Reform Act 1988 requires that RE in county maintained schools should be taught in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus. The National Curriculum arising from the Act requires a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual and moral development of children.
Sandgate School bases its RE teaching on the Kent Agreed Syllabus in accordance with the law.
RE is a foundation subject with the status of a core subject in the National Curriculum.
The fundamental skills, knowledge and concepts of the subject are set out in ‘RE in the National Curriculum’ where they are categorised into two attainment targets:
- AT1 To enable pupils to acquire knowledge and develop conceptual understanding of and insight into religious belief, values traditions and practices.
- AT2 To encourage a reflective approach to the study of religious faith and experience so that pupils might use their learning to make sense and meaning of their own beliefs, values and life experience.
There is no specialist teaching in RE. It is taught by all class teachers, using a variety of teaching and learning strategies. Any teacher has a right not to teach RE if they so choose.
Funds will be available for in-service training and teachers are encouraged to attend courses.
Schemes of work are planned in the light of the teaching context, specialist resources available, the demands of the National Curriculum subjects and the age and ability of the pupils.
The policy and practice in RE reflects the whole school policy and encompasses the full range of ability, including the most able. The initial focus of attention for less able pupils is on religious practice and artefacts employed in imaginative ways. Teaching assistants are used to assist in the RE lessons by working with pupils with special needs and also accompanying classes on visits related to topics.
Provision in RE is through termly themes in Foundation and KS1. Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism are studied. At KS2 pupils learn about Christianity throughout the key stage and also study Judaism and Islam in depth. In the last term of Year 6 pupils are introduced to Sikhism.
All parents have the right to withdraw pupils from RE lessons.
Assessment and Recording
RE. learning is recorded in Learning Links books in most classes, (and in specific R.E. books in other classes) and should typically evidence all four stages (Enquire, Contextualise, Evaluate, Communicate).
Teachers assess children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in Religious Education by making observations of the children working during lessons as well as assessing their written work.
As part of our assessment for learning process (and in line with our school’s assessment policy), children will receive both verbal and written feedback in order to aid progress in the subject. Children are also encouraged to be critical of their own work, highlighting their own next steps. Twice a year, Foundation subject assessment grids are completed by class teachers, showing children’s attainment in the following four areas: Enquire, Contextualise, Evaluate, Communicate. The school’s banding system is used to do this. The Curriculum Leader then analyses this data and provides feedback to the R.E. Leader in order to inform and improve future practice.
We recognise the variety of religious and non-religious families from which our pupils come. We welcome and celebrate this diversity and are sensitive to the home background of each child, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions about religious people, their lifestyles and traditions. Provision for every child depends on their individual needs.
It is important that all children have access to the RE curriculum and that these children’s needs are taken into account when preparing task related material. Where appropriate a teaching assistant may help to facilitate learning. It is important to ensure all children are challenged in their thinking and not allowed to stagnate because of their reading or writing skills.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values
- The teaching of RE develops mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. They learn to appreciate the value of similarities and differences and learn to show tolerance. A variety of experiences teaches them to appreciate that all people – and their views – are equally important.
- In addition, children develop a respect for the environment, the rule of law, democracy and others individual liberty.
Spiritual development concerns the growth and nurturing of the human spirit; an increasing awareness of an ‘inner life’ which includes emotion, intuition, creativity, imagination and curiosity as well as intellect. It enables us to evaluate our human relationships and our relationship to the wider world. RE makes a contribution to the spiritual development of children in many ways:
- Exploring beliefs and values- developing own beliefs and values.
- Experiencing wonder and joy through religious stories, celebrations, rituals and symbols.
- Considering questions about God and human existence.
- Evaluating truth claims.
- Understanding and respecting the insights and beliefs of others.
- Considering the impact of spiritual/religious practices on believers and any relevance to one’s own life.