The place of Religious Education at St Paul’s CE Primary School
Religious Education lies at the heart of our school. It provides the context in which the school operates and is lived out in all activities and interactions. We believe that Religious Education is about extending knowledge and understanding of faith beliefs and traditions in order that a deepening relationship with God may grow. The beliefs and values studied in Christian religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of our school. St Paul’s CE Primary School is a Christian community embracing a positive partnership between the school, home and parish.
At St Paul’s CE Primary School, we aim to help all children understand that they are uniquely created and loved by God and are part of a community where each member is valued and respected. Children will be helped to appreciate the richness and diversity of God’s wider world and understand what Christians believe and do.
Our aims in RE for all pupils are:
- To help children appreciate and act on the two greatest commandments – ‘Love the Lord your God’ and ‘Love they neighbour as thyself’.
- 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 gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
- 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 on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
- To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking by:
Considering the ‘big questions’ raised by human experience and reflecting on how different religions respond to them.
Responding to these questions with reference to religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions, relating them to their own understanding and experience.
Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in light of their study of religious and other traditions.
- To promote interest and enjoyment in Religious Education.
- To deepen children’s knowledge and understanding of the Christian Faith, its relevance to the personal search for meaning, purpose, values and its impact on our local community, and on our society today.
- Develop a sense of awe and wonder and mystery.
- To help each child to develop a sense of their own identity and worth.
- To develop understanding of the nature of moral behaviours, beliefs and attitudes this will enable them to become responsible members of society.
- To empower the whole school family to be all that they were created to be.
All children will be:
- Helped to recognize and appreciate the religious and spiritual dimension of life.
- Enabled to know and enter into the beliefs, feelings, attitudes, values, practices and worship of the catholic tradition of the Church of England.
- Led to a deeper personal faith where they can deepen their relationship with God.
- Developing a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs.
- Enhancing their spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development.
- Developing the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues.
- Developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and to their own understanding and experience.
- Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of the beliefs of others, both religious and non-religious.
- Developing positive attitudes including open-mindedness, fairness, commitment, appreciation and wonder, self-awareness and respect for all.
Our Religious Education Curriculum
St. Paul’s is an Aided school therefore we deliver RE in line with the Locally Agreed Syllabus and the Understanding Christianity framework as recommended by The School Liaison Officers of Chichester Diocese. The Ethos and Worship of Saint Paul’s School reflects its foundation by St. Paul’s Church and that of Saint Nicholas and Saint Michael’s also.
St Paul’s is a Church of England Voluntary Aided School therefore the provision of RE must be in accordance with the Trust Deed of the School. The Governors in consultation with the Head teacher, following advice from the diocese, use the Understanding Christianity framework, and the Emmanuel Project for other religions and world views.
RE is an academic subject that has a high profile in our school curriculum. Senior leaders ensure that the teaching, learning and resourcing of RE is a priority for the school.
This means that the RE curriculum:
- Is intrinsic to the outworking of our distinctive Christian vision in enabling all pupils to flourish. In addition, it contributes to British values and to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- Is delivered in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner to engage and challenge all pupils through an exploration of core concepts and questions. Lessons provide meaningful and informed dialogue with a range of religions and worldviews.
- Reflects a good balance between the disciplines of theology, philosophy and human science, to enable our pupils to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief (religious literacy).
- Enables pupils to acquire a rich, deep knowledge and understanding of Christian belief and practice, including the ways in which it is unique and diverse, whilst engaging with biblical texts and theological ideas.
- Provides opportunities for pupils to understand the role of foundational texts, beliefs, rituals, and practices and how they help to form identity in a range of religions and worldviews.
- Supports the development of other curriculum areas and other general educational abilities such as literacy, empathy, critical thinking skills and the ability to express thoughts, feelings and personal beliefs.
- Encompasses the full range of abilities to ensure that all flourish academically, using a wide range of teaching and learning strategies which consider the task, outcome, resource, support and pupil grouping as appropriate to pupils’ needs.
- Offers tasks that are age appropriate, challenging and sufficiently demanding to stimulate and engage all pupils, whilst extending the most able and providing support for those who need it
- Ensures that all pupils’ contributions are valued in RE as they draw on their own experiences and beliefs.
RE is taught through stimulating class discussion, practical activities, group work and individual projects using a multi-sensory approach. We place an emphasis on the exploration of challenging questions which develop higher order thinking skills. The enquiry-based approach has roots in the key questions taken from the syllabus ensuring breadth of study and progression across the school.
Cross-curricular links are made where appropriate. Teachers aim to make R.E. lessons special and different to other lessons by including some of the following: lighting a candle, listening to music, taking time to quietly reflect or by saying a prayer.