At St. Michael’s, Religious Education (RE) plays an important role in expressing the Christian vision of the school. RE reflects the school’s ethos and values, including our seven Christian values of: love, honesty, determination, responsibility, kindness, friendship, and respect, and promotes the understanding of people of all faiths and none. RE is a key subject in contributing to the overall development of our children, who come from many different backgrounds and traditions and faiths. Our strength lies in the celebration of this diversity and the wide range of experiences our children bring to the study of RE.
The purpose of RE is to teach children about the religious and non-religious world-views that they will encounter in modern Britain and enable them to engage in meaningful and considered dialogue with those of all faiths and none. This is religious literacy.
The aims of RE in our school are:
- For children to develop their own thinking and understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it.
- To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews (including non-religious views) appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
- 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.
- To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
- To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence locally, nationally and globally in the lives of individuals, cultures and societies at different times.
- For children to explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking.
The curriculum is approved by the governors and is based upon a mix of the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus and RE Today’s Understanding Christianity resource. Two-thirds of curriculum time is devoted to Christianity and the children also study aspects of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and non-religious views. Key concepts are revisited on a spiral curriculum. Curriculum coverage is detailed here: RE overview.
All of our teaching and learning in R.E. is based on an exploration of key questions. Learning is organised to encourage the development of attitudes such as self-awareness, respect for all, open-mindedness, wonder, and an appreciation of and engagement with universal human values. All faiths are treated respectfully, and opportunities are made for age-appropriate, meaningful discussion. We encourage the children to ask questions, listen and reflect. We plan activities to make R.E. both interesting and enjoyable, using creative arts as well as linking with other areas of the curriculum. We draw on the expertise of members of the community and visit places of religious significance to make learning about, and from, religion a rich and vivid experience.
A variety of resources, styles, and techniques are used as appropriate to enable all children to make progress in RE regardless of their starting points, ability or background.
Assessment and feedback procedures meet the requirements of Oxfordshire’s Agreed Syllabus and Understanding Christianity. Children engage in a variety of activities which enable teachers to assess how well they are progressing against the aims for RE stated above.
More information is available in our Religious Education Policy.