RE Policy


 

Religious Education (RE) Policy

 

Purpose of Policy

RE is a foundation subject required by the National Curriculum and planned for by the Local Authority. This policy will outline the purpose, nature and management of how RE is taught and learned in our school and will inform new teachers of expectations.

Staff have access to the policy via the school’s server in the shared staff area. Parents requesting to see a copy of the policy can do so by making their request to the Head Teacher.

Aims and outcomes

Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by both adults and children. At Parklands Primary School, the core purpose of RE is to engage pupils in exploring and responding to challenging questions raised by religion and worldviews, so that they can develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, including their own.

The aims of RE:

RE offers distinctive opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. RE lessons offer a structured and safe space during curriculum time for reflection. Teaching in RE engages pupils in discussion, dialogue and debate which enables them to make their reasoning clear and which supports their cognitive and linguistic development.

RE makes a key contribution supporting schools to promote ‘British values’ and to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy – values of:

·     tolerance

·     mutual respect between those of different faiths and beliefs

·     democracy

·     the rule of law

·     individual liberty

The proposed outcomes of RE:

The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:

Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:

·     describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals;

·     identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews;

·     appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.

Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:

·     explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;

·     express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues;

·     appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion or a worldview.

Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:

·     find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively;

·     enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all;

·     articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.

The legal position of religious education

Our school curriculum for religious education meets the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. It makes contributions to the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. RE is not taught to propagate religion in general or a particular religion, it is not to nurture or convert; it is an academic discipline with levels of achievements.

Parents who wish to withdraw their children, because of personal choice or religious affiliation, are permitted to do so, once they have made a formal written request to the school, and this has been agreed by the head teacher and governors. Where the pupil has been withdrawn, the law provides for alternative arrangements to be made for RE of the kind the parents want the pupil to receive. These arrangements will be made by the parents. A record of withdrawals is kept by the teacher and RE coordinator.

The role and responsibility of the subject leader

·     To support and guide the classroom practice of teachers and support staff

·     To ensure coverage, continuity and progression in planning

·     To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of RE teaching and learning

·     To update documentation where necessary

·     To produce action plans for the School Development Plan and manage the budget allocated effectively

·     To liaise and consult with outside agencies where appropriate

·     To prepare and lead INSET

·     To attend relevant training to develop CPD

·     To regularly review the contribution made by RE to a meaningful curriculum

Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

All children will be given an equal opportunity to maximise their individual potential; this is regardless of ability, gender, race, religion/beliefs, disability or talent. Activities both within and outside the classroom are planned in a way that encourages full and active participation by all children, matched to their knowledge, understanding and previous experience.

Equal emphasis will be given to the roles of both men and women in society, at all levels of religious education. Every effort will be made to ensure that activities are equally interesting to both boys and girls. Lessons will be taught with respect and the tolerance of those with difference faiths and beliefs.

Teaching and learning style

Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development. We encourage children to think about their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics studied in the RE curriculum.

Our teaching and learning styles in RE enable children to build on their own experiences and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious traditions. We use their experiences at religious festivals such as Easter, Diwali, and Eid etc. to develop their religious thinking.

We recognise that, in all classes, children have a wide range of differing abilities, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this by:

·     Setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;

·     Setting tasks of increasing difficulty, some children not completing all tasks;

·     Grouping children by ability in the room, and setting different tasks for each ability group;

·     Providing resources of different complexity, depending on the ability of the child;

·     Using classroom assistants (where available) to support children individually or in groups

RE can be taught through:

§     Role play and drama;

§     Story telling;

§     Discussion and debate;

§     Written topic work;

§     Reflection;

§     Use of visitors;

§     Use of local community;

§     Tapes, films and videos.

Early Years and Foundation Stage

Parklands Primary School relate the Religious Education aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out under the Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Knowledge and Understanding of the World areas which are crucial to the development and progress of all pupils at this stage.

Assessment, Attainment and Progress

Children demonstrate their ability in religious education in a variety of different ways, dependent on age and ability. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and uses this information to plan for future learning. Verbal feedback is given to the child to help guide his or her progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work.

At the end of a whole unit of work, teachers assess their pupil’s skills based on evidence taken from their written work, through observation, discussion or debate. Children are assessed as working towards, working at or working above the age-related expectations in accordance with Target Tracker. The skills based approach allows us to plan for and assess progression as the children move through the school. A record children’s levels are recorded in by the teacher and monitored by the RE coordinator. We use these levels as a basis for assessing the progress of the child, and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.

An example of work is selected from each lesson and displayed in an RE book which is displayed in each class. These demonstrate what the expected level of achievement is in religious education for each age group in the school.

Resources

There are resources for all religious education teaching units in the school. We keep

resources for religious education in a cupboard, where all have access. There are religious

books and a collection of religious artefacts which we use to enrich teaching and learning.

Collective Worship

In line with the 1988 Education Reform Act and the 1996 education Act, which states that collective worship should be ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ our collective worship reflects the basic traditions of Christian beliefs without being distinctive of any denomination.  Specific content to illustrate specific aspects of Christian belief are drawn from both the Christian and secular world, and where the beliefs are common with other faiths, from those traditions also.

Definition of Collective Worship

Collective Worship is a time when the whole school, or groups within the school meet together in order to consider and reflect on common concerns, issues and interests. It offers all pupils an opportunity to worship through engaging in relevant, meaningful experiences and provides opportunities for the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Aims of Collective Worship

For the School:

Collective Worship contributes significantly to the ethos of Parklands Primary School and it is our aim that it is a time when the school community can:

·     share common aims and values

·     celebrate achievement and special times

·     explore together the world in which we live develop a community spirit

For the Pupils:

We also intend that Collective Worship contributes to the development of the pupil as a ‘whole’ person by providing opportunities to:

·     worship God

·     reflect on that which is considered worthy consider spiritual and moral issues

·     explore their own beliefs

·     develop their own spirituality

·     reinforce positive attitudes

·     participate and respond

·     reflect on what it means to be human consider the wonders and worries of the world

The Contribution of Collective Worship to aspects of the Curriculum

Collective Worship time is distinct from curriculum time. However, in Parklands Primary School Collective Worship will, at times, feature aspects of the curriculum, which will enhance the experiences of pupils by reflecting on the work done in classes. For example, when children lead assemblies based on a religion they have or are studying.

The Management of Collective Worship

The RE and SMSC lead will monitor acts of Collective Worship.

The Organisation of Collective Worship

Collective Worship is organised and will take place in the school hall or the classroom.

Monday

Whole school assembly

Tuesday

Assembly based on question of the week and related resources

Wednesday

Whole school assembly

Thursday

PSHE based assembly (see assemblies.org.uk for support)

Friday

Celebration assembly

Termly assembly rotas including a range of themes, special occasions and events will be followed, but will be flexible to allow the inclusion of current and topical issues.

Month

Assembly focus ideas

Theme for the month

September

·     Being a kind and caring school

·     Good choices

·     Making mistakes

·     Setting a good example

·     Respecting others

New school year, standards, behaviours and expectations.

October

·     Teamwork

·     Sharing

·     Prejudice

·     Role models

Black History Month, autumn, Harvest and international issues.

November

·     Anti-bullying

·     Remembering

·     Being thankful

·     Sharing worries

Anti-Bullying Month, caring for each other, treating others as we would want to be treated and Remembrance.

December

·     Celebrating

·     Gifts and talents

·     Change

·     Christmas today

·

Christmas, holidays, gifts and celebrations

January

·     New beginnings

·     Caring for others

·     Looking forward

·     Setting goals

·     Trying something new

New year, new beginning, looking for guidance.

February

·     Friends

·     Being inclusive

·     Family

·     Home

Valentine’s Day, love, families and relationships.

March

·     Appreciating our uniqueness

·     Growing and learning

·     Staying healthy

·     Importance of reading

World Book Day, reading, spring.

April

·     Being good listeners

·     Being inclusive

·     Learning from each other

·     Working together

Working together and as a team

May

·     Forgiveness

·     Being ourselves

·     Falling out and making up

·     Friendships

Friendships, what to do when things do wrong, looking after each other in the school family

June

·     Nature and outdoors

·     Looking after others

·     Tough choices

·     Celebrating our differences

Summer, sports, outdoor activities.

July

·     Saying goodbye

·     Holidays

·     Transitions

·     New and old

Holidays, transitions and leavers

The Act of Collective Worship

A variety of teaching and learning styles and active and interactive methods are appropriate in acts of Collective Worship. Any and all of the methods employed in the classroom can be used effectively in acts of Collective Worship. A variety of resources will also be used. Leaders will choose the style/method and resources which are appropriate to the content, the age, aptitude and the background of the pupils.

The content and process must be sufficiently stimulating in order to evoke a response in the individual. This may not be visual, but opportunity must be given to express this response through reflection and prayer.

Withdrawal

Our assemblies will be conducted in a manner as sensitive and inclusive as to ensure that all children feel comfortable to attend the assembly.

Review

This policy is monitored through:

·     Regular scrutiny of children’s work

·     Regular monitoring and evaluation of planning

·     Evaluation and analysis of assessment evidence

·     Lesson observations to monitor the quality of teaching and implementation of planning

·     Pupil interviews and questionnaires

·     This policy is reviewed by staff and governors every three years.