Religious Education

Religious Education at Cam Woodfield Junior School

Legal Position of Religious Education in school

Religious Education is unique in the curriculum as it is neither a core or foundation subject. In the 1988 Education Act it states, ‘Religious Education has equal standing in relation to core subjects of the National Curriculum in that it is compulsory for all pupils’.

At Cam Woodfield Junior School we follow the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2017 – 2022.

 

Intent - Aims and School Approach to Religious Education

Our teaching is underpinned by the aims of the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus:

to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.

Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2017 – 2022

The school has a duty to provide accurate knowledge and understanding of religions and world views. A wide range of imaginative teaching methods ensure effective RE sessions, including drama, art and storytelling. We appreciate the positive impact that local faith communities can have on pupils’ experience in RE. Therefore this school encourages visits to places of worship and welcomes visitors from different faith communities. We recognise it is vitally important that teachers demonstrate respectful attitudes towards all faiths, modelling the attitudes and responses we would expect from our pupils.

Through the provision of RE at Cam Woodfield Junior School we aim to:

  •         Provoke challenging questions about the purpose of life, beliefs, the self and issues of right and wrong. Develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, and other principal religions represented in Great Britain, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development.
  •         Encourage pupils to explore and develop their own beliefs, whether they are religious or non-religious in light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief, faith, values and traditions and understand the influence of these on individuals, societies, communities and cultures. Recognise and value the  things shared in common across these  whilst respecting and accepting  differences and diversity.
  •         Enable pupils to reflect and build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them confidently grow within their communities and as tolerant citizens in a diverse society, considering how boundaries provided by faith may influence behaviours and actions and the consequences of these.
  •         Develop respect for each other, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and to consider their responsibilities to themselves and others, and to explore how they might contribute to the communities and to the wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
  •         Develop a sense of awe and wonder in the world in which our children live.

It is not our intention of RE to promote the beliefs and practices of one religion or denomination.

RE is not the same as assemblies which have their own place within school life.

Implementation (Organisation & Time Allocation)

In accordance with the structure of the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus we have agreed that pupils study Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism and also consider non-religious worldviews. This is organised into a sequence of units (APPENDIX 1). Each unit includes three core elements: making sense of beliefs; making connections and understanding the impact. RE will be taught for at least for 45 hours over the year. This will usually take place in discrete weekly lessons, but may be blocked as RE days, visits to places of worship or enrichment opportunities within school. Similarly there may be tangible links between thematic learning and the unit of study being covered, or with those  covered in PHSE. Where so,  these will be identified and explored within learning allowing for a seamless and connected learning experience. We recognise and celebrate significance of SMSC development for each child through this medium. These are highlighted throughout teaching, enabling children to value the contribution of RE to their personal development. 

Assemblies are not included in RE teaching and learning time even though there may be, on occasions, a strong connection between that and themes dealt with in religious education.

Impact - Assessment/Recording & Reporting

The Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2017-2020 sets out a structure for recognising pupil achievements and each pupil can work progressively towards achieving the expected end of key stage learning outcomes as outlined in the syllabus. At the end of each termly unit, teachers are expected to record their assessments on the Insight tracking system. The RE coordinator will analyse this data, along with other evidence of impact, such as pupil books and pupil comments. This will be recorded on the subject leader review sheet (Appendix 2).

The Right of Withdrawal from Religious Education

At Cam Woodfield Junior School we wish to be an inclusive community but recognise that parents have the legal right to withdraw their children form religious education on the grounds of conscience. However, the right of withdrawal does not extend to other areas of the curriculum when, as may happen on occasions, spontaneous questions on religious matters are raised by pupils or there are issues related to religion that arise in other subjects such as history and citizenship.

We would ask any parent considering this to contact the head teacher to discuss any concerns and anxieties about the policy, provision and practice of religious education at our school.

Managing the Right of Withdrawal

The school will ensure that parents who want to withdraw their children from RE are aware of the RE syllabus and that it is relevant to all pupils and respects their own personal beliefs.

  •         Parents should be made aware of its learning objectives and what is covered in the RE curriculum and should be given the opportunity to discuss this, if they wish.
  •         The use of the right to withdraw should be at the instigation of parents and it should be made clear whether it is from the whole of the subject or specific parts of it. No reasons need be given.
  •         Parents have the right to choose whether or not to withdraw their child from RE without influence from the school, although a school should ensure that parents or carers are informed of this right and are aware of the educational objectives and content of the RE syllabus. In this way, parents can make an informed decision.
  •         Where parents have requested that their child is withdrawn, their right must be respected, and where RE is integrated in the curriculum, the school will need to discuss the arrangements with the parents or carers to explore how the child’s withdrawal can be best accommodated.
  •         If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost. Pupils will usually remain on school premises.