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Religious Education (R.E.)

Intent

At Saint John’s, our intention is to see our pupils leave school with a coherent understanding of Christian belief and practice, alongside developing their wider religious, theological and cultural literacy. We ensure that pupils explore their own responses to Christian beliefs, as expressed in the Bible and lived out in the lives of Christians both today and in the past, whilst also considering responses of those who are atheist, agnostic or from a faith tradition other than Christianity.

The aims of Religious Education (RE) are:

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as a religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage
  • To enable pupils to know and understand about other 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 convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.

Our focus at school is to ensure that our RE curriculum focuses on our key aims of encouraging pupils to be caring for others and themselves; showing pupils how they can develop citizenship with a recognition and celebration of diversity and inclusion; ensuring pupils are given challenge and support in their academic learning and personal development and increasing their understanding and knowledge of their own community and those which they will join in the future. In line with the Gloucester Diocese, RE is a valued academic subject providing opportunities for pupils to explore and discover what people of all faiths and worldviews believe and what difference this makes to the way they live. RE should also ensure pupils flourish as they gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief and reflect on their own ideas and ways of living. Please see the Diocese Statement of Entitlement and further information at the following link: https://www.gloucester.anglican.org/welcome-2/schools/primary-religious-education

Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) of pupils is a whole-school responsibility. RE contributes to SMSC through both the subject matter of the curriculum and the attitudes and actions developed in the classroom.

Spiritual development:

Pupils will have the opportunity to recognise, appreciate and appraise the impact the biblical text can have on the lives of individuals, within and outside the Christian community. As they explore the challenge the text has for believers, they will have opportunities to consider their own views and reflect on how the Bible presents a way of understanding the world and human nature.

Moral development:

Alongside the moral and ethical issues that are dealt with in the texts studied, and their own responses to matters of right and wrong, this approach encourages pupils to develop their ability to interpret texts.

Social development:

There is a recognition that all readers come to texts from different perspectives and that texts can be read for a range of purposes. Learning that people interpret texts differently is important so that pupils recognise that this applies to biblical interpretation within and outside the Christian community and to other texts, religious or otherwise.

Cultural development:

As pupils explore texts and their cultural contexts, they develop understanding of the core Christian concepts and their impact within and beyond the diverse Christian community. This begins to enable pupils to recognise the contribution of Christianity to Western culture, and perhaps particularly the contribution of the Bible to the arts. This plays a part in a wider cultural development promoted in RE, such as appreciating the diversity of religious and non-religious beliefs in local, national and global contexts.

Please see below for information regarding our teaching of Religious Education, including our implementation, a curriculum overview and an explanation of Understanding Christianity, a key resource for our teaching and learning of RE.

 

Other aspects of Religious Education include:
  • Our collective worship each day focuses on our Christian value for the term and this can often be linked with the RE teaching in the class.
  • Our aim in collective worship is: to learn, to reflect and to live out our Christian understanding, knowledge and values.
  • Christian values are celebrated and referred to in our classrooms, with displays and reflective areas to encourage our children to think deeply and reflect on spiritual matters.
  • Outside, there are places where children can reflect and respond to their own needs or the needs of others - in our beautiful front garden, in our reflective space in the Reception Green Garden and on our Buddy Bench or Bradford Room in the main playground. These are places where there can be moments of stillness and reflection even when surrounded by noise and excitement!
  • We are developing our reflective journals for each year group: large A3 books which record our reflections and thoughts during special events and encourage the children to express their emotions, thoughts and ideas as a whole-class.
  • Faith leaders are invited to the school and visits to places of worship are arranged throughout our children's time at Saint John's.