Religious Education (RE)
“RE is like an iceberg. As you unpack ideas, you come to understand deeper meaning.”
- Mary Myatt
Religious Education in Church of England Schools
A high quality religious education (RE) curriculum is essential to meet the statutory requirement for all maintained schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. At the heart of RE in church schools is the teaching of Christianity, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ: www.churchofengland.org
Why RE Matters
The ability to understand the faith or belief of individuals and communities, and how these may shape their culture and behaviour, is an invaluable asset for children in modern day Britain. Explaining religious and non-religious worldviews in an academic way allows young people to engage with the complexities of belief, avoid stereotyping and contribute to an informed debate: www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk.
At St Michael’s CE School we use Understanding Christianity to deliver Religious Education lessons. Understanding Christianity offers a coherent approach to teaching and learning about Christianity, in the wider RE curriculum. We also use the ‘Emmanuel Project’ scheme which supports our planning of Judaism (KS1) and Hinduism and Islam (KS2)
Understanding Christianity has identified core concepts at the heart of mainstream Christian belief. It sets out some knowledge ‘building blocks’, to clarify what pupils should know and understand about these concepts at each school phase. It provides a teaching and learning approach to unpack these concepts and their impact in the lives of Christians in the UK and the world today, making connections with the world of the pupils and their wider understanding. Understanding Christianity’s approach to teaching about Christianity builds up pupils’ encounters with these core concepts through biblical texts, placing the texts and concepts within the wider Bible story. Each unit addresses a concept, through some key questions, exploring core Bible texts, their impact for Christians, and possible implications for pupils.
At St Michaels, it is our vision that children acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions from around the world. We want them to appreciate the way that religious beliefs shape lives and enhance our spiritual, moral, social and cultural behaviour. It is our hope to develop their ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues to ensure the children become tolerant, emphatic and understanding people.
The school uses the diocese agreed R.E syllabus, Understanding Christianity for directing the teaching of Christianity specifically. We supplement this with the Discovery RE scheme of work, which has been written to deliver the National Curriculum objectives, providing a robust and well-rounded curriculum.
In addition, the scheme supports the school in its statutory responsibility to promote community cohesion and British Values (Education Act, 2006). Each year groups does three Christianity units and three other world religion units in a year. These are carefully planned out to ensure the children receive a rich and rounded RE curriculum.
The schemes incorporate the following religions:
By creating meaningful moments, we aim to transform thoughts, actions and heighten awareness. Through providing an exciting, engaging and thought provoking curriculum we encourage children to explore, ask questions, reflect and grow as unique individuals. Prayer and Reflection days, immersion days and Collective Worship encourage children to experience the spiritual side to learning. We want our pupils to go out from St Michael’s and shine brightly in their communities.
There are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds, beliefs and values of the children and staff at St Michael’s School. We value the religious backgrounds of all members of the school and community and encourage children, staff and visitors to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions are treated with respect and sensitivity.
We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses engagement with a question relating to the religion, investigation of the subject matter and evaluation of the findings.
Classes collate their learning into Floorbooks that provide an accurate and collaborative picture of the learning happening in our school.
The impact of RE is measured through Floorbooks. Floorbooks are clear and visible in each classroom and each page gives an overview of a lesson. Children’s names are marked on their comments or work and therefore their journeys can be followed throughout the curriculum. Learning is centred around a ‘big’ question that children are presented with before and after a unit. Their responses enable teachers to see progress within their thinking and articulation around religions.
Pupil voice audits to give us an accurate representation of the children’s perceptions of the subject. This is then used to inform future plans. Worship council is represented by members from each class and allows the children an opportunity to have their own impact on our school.
The children at St Michaels School enjoy learning about other religions and the reasons why people choose, or not, to follow a religion. Through their RE investigations the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in local, national and global communities. RE acts to bring together others aspects of learning such as social, science and geography.
RE allows the children an insight into how other people choose to live their lives and to understand why they live that way. As such, RE is invaluable in our ever-changing world.