Witheridge C of E Vision for Religious Education
The modern world needs young people who are sufficiently confident in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others, and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society.’
(The Right Hon, Michael Gove)
Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness. (John 10:10). It will help educate for dignity and respect, encouraging all to live well together.
RE is a powerful tool. It can open up children’s awareness of the global community as well as helping them to understand their neighbours and the diversity of belief, and opinions that exist in their locality. It enables them to explore that diversity as well as challenge preconceptions, explore spirituality and consider the impact that religion and belief have on individuals and the world.
RE is a subject that perfectly encapsulates the school’s curriculum drivers. As a rigorous academic subject, it gives children opportunities to build their learning power through learning and applying knowledge. Opportunities for reflection and spirituality allow for developing a sense of self- esteem and relationship; global links are integral to understanding how religion plays a role in people’s lives around the world and finally, it prepares children well for life in modern Britain, allowing them to see through hateful narratives about division.
RE is given at least 5% of curriculum time. Special RE days and visits enhance this provision. It is taught through a variety of pedagogies, such as “Mantle of the Expert”, drama, Godly Play style storytelling, writing, ICT, discussion, interrogating text, visit and visitors, use of artefacts, art, music, thinking skills and reflection.
Knowledge of religious traditions, beliefs and non-religious worldviews are taught alongside the implications of lived faith and what can be learnt from a personal standpoint, regardless of religion. In accordance with the structure of the locally agreed syllabus and diocesan guidance, across the Key Stage, children learn about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism. It is taught as a discrete subject although sometimes, links across the curriculum can be found without diluting its integrity. The syllabus follows a spiral curriculum model, where religions are revisited with increasing depth as the children go up through the school. The Understanding Christianity resource produced by RE Today is used across all year groups, contributing to an increasingly deeper understanding of the theology and practice of Christian belief.
The children demonstrate progression in their understanding which is evidenced through pupil conversations, lesson visits and book monitoring. It is an academic subject and is assessed accordingly. Assessment is paper-based and monitored by the coordinator. Under a list of expected outcomes for a unit, teachers indicate whether children are working towards, at expected or exceeding age-related expectations. In line with the school policy on assessment and recording it is expected that each teacher is responsible for the regular assessment of his or her pupils through marking work set. The data gathered is used by the class teacher to ensure that each pupil is set work that is appropriately challenging. Less able and vulnerable pupils are able to access RE and make progress in line with their peers.