In accordance with the Education Reform Act (1988) Every maintained school in England must provide a basic curriculum (RE, sex education and the National Curriculum). This includes provision for RE for all registered pupils at the school, except for those withdrawn by their parents in accordance with Schedule 19 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. (Religious Education in English Schools: Non-statutory guidance 2010). As in the 1944 Education Act, teachers’ rights are safeguarded, should they wish to withdraw from the teaching of RE.
We understand that the role of Religious Education gives children an opportunity to reflect on and learn from faiths and beliefs of those around them. We aim to provide opportunities for children in our school to study the beliefs and practices people base their lives on, so that we can encourage respect for those around us. We believe that the teaching of R.E. should develop positive attitudes towards others and enhance pupils’ own spiritual and moral development in an environment where children can grow without prejudice. It should incorporate community cohesion and global interaction, preparing children to enter an ever-changing world.
At Wheatfield Primary School, the role of Religious Education gives children an opportunity to reflect on and learn from the faiths and beliefs of those around them. Our belief is that using an enquiry-based model will develop children’s critical thinking skills, their motivation to learn increased, and their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced. This approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place.”
At Wheatfield Primary, we use Discovery RE, which has a four step enquiry based approach to learning. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. Discovery RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development.
The four steps are ENGAGEMENT, INVESTIGATION, EVALUATION and EXPRESSION
What is my starting point (human experience) in my own world?
What do I need to KNOW about the world of religion to support my enquiry?
What is my answer to the enquiry?
How does this enquiry affect my position/starting point?
Children learn about Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
We understand that religious education contributes dynamically to a pupil's education by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
In the EYFS Stage, children will have the opportunity to find out and learn about the world they live in. Reference to attainment and assessment should relate to the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ assessment.
During Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, and incorporating, where appropriate, consideration of non-religious worldviews. By the end of the Key Stage 2, most pupils should be able to;
Identify similarities in features of religion and beliefs
Retell religious, spiritual and moral stories
Identify possible meanings for stories, symbols and other forms of religious expression
Respond sensitivity and imaginatively to questions about their own and others’ ideas, experiences and feelings
Ask questions about their own and others’ ideas, feelings and experiences
Give a reason why something may be valued by themselves and others
Recognise that some questions about life are difficult to answer
RE Lead - Mrs Liddiard