Subject Leader: Mr Laithwaite
Religious Education (RE) is important in helping young people grow up in today’s diverse, multi-faith and connected world. We aim to give pupils opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of different religions and beliefs and to contribute to the development of their own beliefs and values. We believe that everyone has their own unique view of the world and RE is about exploring these views.
As we are a Church of England school, we follow the principles of the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus. Christianity is studied in depth through both Key Stages. We also focus on Islam at Key Stage 1, then focus on both Islam and Buddhism at Key Stage 2, as well as touching upon elements of other faiths where appropriate. The whole school RE plan seeks to ensure breadth, balance, continuity and progression.
We promote links with our local church and other organisations, including Carlisle Diocese and NISCU (Northern Inter-Schools Christian Union) to develop and enhance our provision of RE, through CPD, visits and activity days, such as ‘Experience Easter’. We also have a number of Christian Values, which were chosen by children and staff and which are central to our school. These values are reinforced through collective worship, reflection areas within the school and through whole school value days, where children collaborate to explore what the values mean to them.
We aim for our Religious Education teaching to engage with children’s everyday experience. In each lesson, we present opportunities for children to both learn about and to learn from religion. The curriculum supports learning in a variety of ways; we teach using a variety of styles and strategies incorporating elements of reflection, art, drama, music, stories, videos, discussion and interviews. RE is planned so children are prompted to think, question, explore, experience, reflect, wonder and value. We also make explicit links between RE learning and the school values and to other aspects of the curriculum, such as through English or art.
Throughout the school, there are many opportunities for children to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally through Collective Worship. We attend our local church each month and provide opportunities for children to explore worship in different settings and through different faiths. Recent examples include visiting York Minster as part of our residential trips, visiting the Samye Ling Temple to learn about Buddhist worship and welcoming the Muslim Learning Centre into our school for an Islam workshop.
By the end of Key Stage 1, children will be able to recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worship, rituals and ways of life. They will be able to retell religious stories, understanding which religions they come from and the values or morals that they explore. Children will be able to recognise different religious symbols; understand some of the things that different religious communities do and the views different religions might have, and learn to respond sensitively to these. They will ask and answer questions and begin to understand what a difference being part of a community might make. Children will explore questions about belonging, meaning and truth and express their own ideas and opinions in response using words, music, art or poetry. They will find out about and respond, with ideas, to examples of co-operation between people who are different and questions of wrong and right.
By the end of Key Stage 2, children will be able to describe and make connections between different features of the religions and worldviews they study and discover more about celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark important points in life. They will describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of religious communities and respond thoughtfully to a range of sources of wisdom and to beliefs and teachings that arise from them. Children will explore and describe a range of beliefs, symbols and actions so that they can understand different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning. They will observe and understand varied examples of religions and worldviews and understand the challenges and the value of commitment to a community of faith or belief. Children will consider the similarities and differences between different religions and worldviews and discuss and present their own and others’ views on challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, applying ideas of their own thoughtfully through different forms. They will find out about and respond thoughtfully, with ideas, to examples of co-operation between different communities and ethical questions of what is wrong and right and what is just and fair.
Religious Education Policy 2020