The context of RE
As a community school Religious Education is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum. As a school with mixed aged classes the Lancashire Curriculum just would not fit into our curriculum mapping. We have developed a curriculum that ensures we teach the children something about the main religions they may encounter in Modern Britain. We intend to visit places of worship and work with leaders from these religions to ensure the learning is real and meaningful and that children can make links and compare to their own beliefs. The curriculum is taught from Nursery to Y6 and reflects the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religious traditions represented in Great Britain.
The curriculum aims to support pupil's personal search for meaning as they explore what it means to be human. We use the Lancashire agreed learning strategies and processes in RE .
We recognise the variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds from which our pupils come. The taught syllabus is not designed to convert pupils, or to promote a particular religion or religious belief. As a school we maintain that teaching about religions and worldviews should be sufficiently fair, balanced and open. We aim to promote mutual respect and understanding, whilst not undermining or ignoring the role of families and religious or belief organisations in transmitting values to successive generations.
Purpose and Aims of Religious Education
We believe that studying religious and non-religious worldviews is essential if pupils are to be well prepared for life in our increasingly diverse society. Pupils need to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to make sense of the complex world in which they live so that they can 'respect religious and cultural differences and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society' (RE Review 2013).
Religious Education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.
Pupils are encouraged to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences so that they can hold balanced and well informed conversations about religions and worldviews whilst respecting the views of others.
Our curriculum for Religious Education aims to ensure that all pupils:
1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals;
• identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews; and
• appreciate and evaluate the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;
• express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues; and
• appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion or a worldview.
3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively;
• enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all; and
• articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
('A Curriculum Framework for Religious Education in England' Religious Education Council October 2013)