“Religion is the clearest telescope through which we can behold the beauty of creation.” - William Scott Downey.
RE at Redby Academy contributes positively to social cohesion. RE encourages deep thought and personal reflection on big questions; it can foster an understanding of diversity and promote respectful attitudes as they grow into adulthood.
Although RE is not part of the National Curriculum, it is compulsory for all primary schools to teach RE throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The RE curriculum that is taught in schools is decided upon by the local authority’s SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) and is known as an ‘Agreed Syllabus.’ At Redby Academy, we follow “The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Sunderland 2014” which provides an outline of the key concepts to be studied in RE across the Key Stages.
At Redby Academy, we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of all major world religions, and we address the fundamental questions in life. These topics and questions are informed by the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Sunderland (2014). Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We provide the children with opportunities to learn from religions as well as about religions.
The aims of Religious Education are to:
• Develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues in life experiences.
• Be able to reflect on and respond to their own experiences.
• Develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate cultural differences.
• Develop investigative and research skills and to enable them to make reasoned judgements about religious issues.
• Have respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate the diversity in society.
RE helps to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. RE gives opportunities for pupils to listen to others, hear and analyse conflicting viewpoints and develop empathy and respect.
RE is taught in a biweekly topic block each half term, following a school wide curriculum map (devised in conjunction with the Sunderland Agreed Syllabus 2014), It provides opportunities to celebrate festivals and religions with greater relevance and consistency. Work is recorded in RE/PHSE books or in the class journal and is evidenced in a variety of ways.
Redby Academy’s Religious Education ethos is to:
• Be open and objective, it does not seek to urge religious beliefs on young people, nor compromise the integrity of their own religious position by promoting one tradition over another.
• Endeavour to promote a positive attitude toward people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own.
• Promote the values and attitudes necessary for citizenship in a multi-faith and multiracial society through developing understanding of, respect for, and dialogue with people of different beliefs, practices, races and cultures.
• Recognise and celebrate the range of cultures and diversity of the school through workshops, assemblies and shared experiences with people from the local community.
At Redby, we seek to ensure that all pupils are educated to develop academically, emotionally and morally to enable them to better understand themselves and others and to cope with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world. Regular assemblies and celebrating World Religion Day annually help to celebrate the diversity and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history.
RE education is important at Redby, as it creates opportunities for pupils to develop their skills of discussion, interpretation and analysis of topics in a coherent way. It provides an excellent opportunity for pupils to understand British heritage and values whilst developing respectful social, cultural, philosophical and historical awareness. Therefore, Redby’s curriculum has been developed to cover all six main religions and is built upon three key elements to ensure all children receive a broad, balanced RE education.
The three elements are:
Knowledge and Understanding Religion: Considers what religion is and the impact it has for individuals and communities. It involves investigation of and enquiry into the nature of religion and belief through the concepts of: belief, authority, expressions of belief and impact of belief.
Critical Thinking: Critical thinking requires pupils to use reason to analyse and evaluate the claims that religions make. Pupils have the opportunity to give opinions, support their ideas with reason, consider alternative arguments and develop the ability to articulate their own views and form their own opinions.
Personal Reflection: This develops pupils’ ability to reflect on religion in relation to their own beliefs, values and experiences and the influence of these on their daily life, attitudes and actions.
In EYFS, children are taught RE through the ‘Understanding the World’ Early Learning Goal which is, “To know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.” These experiences can be developed through reading stories, watching Bible story videos, group discussions in the form of ‘circle time’ and assemblies. These opportunities help children foster an understanding of diversity and promote respectful attitudes as they grow into adulthood. There is a special focus on Christianity during the Autumn Term as the children focus upon the Nativity Story and create a Christmas production as a cohort.
Curriculum Plans & Policies
We aim to create a learning environment that is inclusive and accessible for all pupils. Lessons will be taught in a way that is educational, sensitive yet enjoyable and teachers will remain inclusive and meet the needs all children. This is achieved by creating a space that feels safe and will encourage all children to explore their emotions and ask questions through carefully and appropriately planned lessons.
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