Religious education at St Martin and St Mary CE Primary School develops the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths and encourages pupils to enquire and evaluate what religions have to say about fundamental questions in life – how can we be happy? why are we born? why do we die? why is there suffering? what is the nature of reality? and does it all really matter?
We enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions.
Pupils are enabled to evaluate their own and others’ views in a reasoned and informed manner.
The aims of religious education are to help children:
The legal position of religious education
Our school RE curriculum is based on the Cumbria LA’s Agreed Syllabus, as required by law, and it meets all the requirements set out in that document. Every locally RE syllabus must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian and that it should, at the same time, take account of the teachings and practices of principal religions represented in Great Britain.
Religious education is statutory for all children of compulsory school age. Parents have the right to request that their child be excused from all or part of the RE provided.
Teaching and learning style
We base our teaching and learning style in RE on the key principle that good teaching in RE allows children both to learn about religious traditions and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development. We encourage children to think about their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics studied in the RE curriculum.
Our teaching and learning styles in RE enable children to build on their own experiences and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious traditions. We use their experiences at religious festivals such as Easter, Diwali, etc. to develop their religious thinking. We organise visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and talk to the children.
Children carry out research into religious topics. They study particular religious faiths and also compare the religious views of different faith groups on topics such as rites of passage or festivals. Children discuss religious and moral issues using computers and working individually or in groups.
We plan our religious education curriculum in accordance with the Cumbria LA’s Agreed Syllabus focusing on Christianity & Islam at KS1 and Christianity, Islam & Buddhism at KS2. We ensure that the topics studied in religious education build upon prior learning. We offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and we ensure that the planned progression built into the scheme of work offers the children an increasing challenge as they move through the school. At St Martin and St Mary CE Primary School Religious Education is part of the whole school curriculum and may be taught as a specific aspect within a cross-curricular theme or as a separate lesson following a specific R.E. theme.
We teach religious education to all children in the school, including those in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
In the EYFS, religious education is an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. We relate the RE aspects of the children’s work to the relevant areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five.