Policy for Religious Education
Religious Education is a Curriculum subject, which is taught according to the Agreed Syllabus for Oxfordshire (2014) and the 1996 Education Act. The school welcomes all children and their families regardless of their faith stance. It does not seek to indoctrinate but to help pupils to think for themselves as they learn about and from religion, and to enhance their understanding and respect.
1. The Nature and Aims of Religious Education
We believe religious education is about people, ideas, values, ways of looking at life, and developing as a person.
Religious Education should help pupils to:
a) Develop a positive attitude to all people, respecting each other’s beliefs and customs and celebrations in a diverse society.
b) Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity, Judaism, Islam (KS1 & KS2), and Hinduism (KS2).
c) Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals and societies, and how religion has shaped and inspired human history and culture, influencing developments in art, music, architecture and literature.
d) Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
e) Enhance their moral, spiritual, social and cultural development, helping to develop tolerance, consideration and a concern for justice, fairness and truth, through the study of religious teachings and practices.
f) To develop the skills of:
upon which progress in religious education is dependent, and spirituality can be developed.
g) To develop and strengthen attitudes such as commitment, fairness, respect, self-understanding and enquiry that are fundamental to religious education, as well as our school values.
2. Planning and Delivery
This policy document will form the basis of R.E. teaching in school, under the guidance of the R.E. co-ordinator.
It will be taught in the context of the classroom by the class teacher or the R.E. specialist, or possibly the teacher covering the PPA time, following the Units of Study set out in the schemes of work.
On the whole, R.E. will be delivered as a discrete subject, but with due regard being paid to current themes or topics, as links can often be made with other curricular areas.
We shall endeavour to ensure that all children will spend 36 hours of curriculum time on R.E. per academic year, as required by law. This will be supplemented with trips and visiting speakers.
3. Cross-Curricular Aspects
Through discussion with other subject co-ordinators, relevant links will be made with other subjects, including ICT. R.E. lessons can make a valuable contribution to other aspects of children’s education, by helping to develop skills and attitudes such as self-awareness, application, reflection and empathy.
4. Assessment and Record-Keeping
Pupils' development in the relevant skills will generally be evaluated and assessed by discussion, observation by the teacher and marking any written work. Assessment will occur over a unit of work and be used to help progress the children’s learning about religion and from religion, plan future work, and to contribute to the annual report to parents.
Records might include:
1. Information on experiences pupils have had
2. National Curriculum levels for both attainment targets
5. Class Organisation & Teaching Methods
R.E. will generally be taught as a class subject including PPA provision with opportunities for individual, pair or group activity.
Most activities will be enquiry-base. Some will be teacher or child-lead, others will have an investigational approach including visits to places of worship and talks from visiting speakers.
Lessons might include research, instruction, discussion and listening, and provide opportunities for reflection, analysis and evaluation.
6. Equal Opportunities
All pupils regardless of race, age, ability, gender, class or religious persuasion, will have equality of access to R.E. Alternative provision will be made for children whose parents have exercised the right to withdraw their child from R.E. lessons under the Education Reform Act (1988). It is currently part of our school policy that every subject be taught in such a way that nobody need be withdrawn from any lesson.
7. Management and Support
The role of the R.E. Co-ordinator is to keep up to date with current developments, to provide activities and resources and to give support and encouragements to other members of staff, to liaise with schools, the dioceses and religious bodies and organisations, and to generally provide some expertise in the field of R.E.
The allocation, acquisition and maintenance of R.E. resources will be the responsibility of the R.E. Co-ordinator. Resources should include books, video & DVDs, CDs, pictures and artefacts.
The Headteacher will ensure that a reasonable allocation of funds is available for the R.E. budget (currently £100 annually). We have support with the purchase of resources from the two churches linked with the school.
9. Health and Safety
Health and Safety regulations will be adhered to, with special reference to the Educational Visits policy, when accompanying children on visits outside school.
10. Monitoring and Reviewing the Policy
This R.E. policy will be reviewed bi-annually by the R.E. Co-ordinator, in consultation with the Headteacher and by any other interested members of staff, preferably from both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The foundation governors will be responsible for monitoring the policy’s implementation and reporting to the full governing body.
11. Right to Withdrawal
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from R.E. lessons under the Education Reform Act (1988).