At Freeman’s, we believe that Religious Education plays a significant role in the promotion of spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development, preparing learners for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life and helping them to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
The principal aim for RE is “To enable pupils to hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief”.
This principal aim incorporates the following aims of RE in Church Schools as taken from the “Statement of Entitlement 2019” and includes for pupils to:
- know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs, using an approach that critically engages with biblical text;
- gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied;
- engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience;
- recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places;
- explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking.
Appropriate to their age at the end of their education in Church Schools, the expectation is that all pupils are religiously literate and as a minimum, pupils are able to:
- give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith;
- show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and non-religious worldviews in their search for God and meaning;
- engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none;
- reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.
The Diocese of Peterborough RE Syllabus is designed to support schools and academies in developing and delivering excellence in RE. It sets out an approach to teaching and learning, supporting teachers to help pupils encounter core concepts in religions and beliefs in a coherent way, developing their understanding and their ability to hold balanced and informed conversations about religions and beliefs.
The Syllabus is underpinned by three core elements (Text / Beliefs, Impact and Connections) which are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning about religions and beliefs, thus supporting the aims of RE.
Religious Education is taught weekly as a discrete subject. As a Church of England school, we prioritise the teaching of Christianity. Further units of study provide in-depth, systematic coverage of three other major religions; Islam, Hinduism and Judaism as well as the opportunity to examine other religious beliefs and non-religious worldviews such as Humanism. Thematic units of work encourage children to look at a theme such as Festivals or Commitments from the perspective of a range of religions and worldviews, comparing and contrasting them.
The RE units of study are all question-based and lessons are planned which allow children to be active, thoughtful, reflective and expressive in their handling of questions about beliefs, religion, spirituality and values. We aim to include elements of enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection within our lessons.
We use a varied range of teaching and learning strategies in order to make Religious Education dynamic and challenging for all pupils. These include whole class lessons, pair and group discussions, drama, role-play, ICT, visits, outside speakers, audio-visual stimuli, artwork and the use of religious artefacts.
Religious Education must be provided for all registered pupils in full time education. Parents do, however, retain the right to withdraw their children from RE. If you have any concerns, in the first instance we would encourage you to talk to your child’s class teacher who can direct you to the RE Subject Leader if you need further information.
At Freeman’s Endowed CE Junior Academy, we use Knowledge Organisers in RE to help children to learn the essential knowledge they need for each topic they study. It also acts as a tool to support children in retaining and retrieving knowledge for long term learning.