Religious Education Policy Statement

Introduction

Religious Education (RE) is an important subject at St George’s Church of England Primary School. It is part of the basic curriculum and is taught in accordance with the Kent Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (REact 2007), as we are required to do by law.

Also by law, RE must focus mainly on Christianity, whilst taking account of the other principal religions in Great Britain. At St George’s we use the Canterbury Diocesan Scheme of Work to deliver this Agreed Syllabus and include aspects of Christianity appropriate to Primary Schools, as found in the Church of England’s report on RE: ‘Excellence and Distinctiveness’ (2005).

Time Allocation

We follow the recommendation of the Kent Agreed Syllabus which requires a minimum 5% curriculum time for RE, which amounts to one hour a week at Key Stage One and 1.25 hours at Key Stage Two. (This is in addition to time for worship). As a Church school, we make sure that this is fulfilled.

Aims

At St George’s staff, Governors and pupils work together to create a caring Christian ethos in the school. RE has a particular contribution to make towards the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of each child. The school echo’s the vision of Kent Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE), that the skills, attitudes and knowledge learnt through RE are necessary for “pupil’s self fulfilment and development as active and responsible citizens” (Kent Advisory Syllabus, 2006).

RE at St George’s Primary School involves Learning About Religion i.e. understanding what religious people believe and do, and how they express their faith(Attainment Target 1); and also Learning From Religion i.e. making sense of who we are, of life, and of right and wrong (Attainment Target 2). We encourage respect for religious commitment and for those holding different beliefs.

Programmes of Study

As a Church of England School the principal faith that is explored through RE is Christianity. However, we promote tolerance, respect and understanding for those who adhere to Religions other than Christianity. At St George’s careful planning ensures that over the course Key Stage 1 and 2 the children will investigate some of the practices and festivals of 4 World faiths.

The Agreed Syllabus is taught from Reception and is linked to the Foundation Stage curriculum through the Early Learning Goals. Christianity is the main religion taught at this early stage, with other religions drawn on as appropriate. They are taught through ‘special’ themes e.g. Special People, Special Places, and Special Objects.

At Key Stage One, RE is predominantly about Christianity, with 2 of the 12 units on Judaism and 3 on Hinduism.

At Lower Key Stage Two, RE is also predominantly about Christianity, with 2 of the 12 units on Judaism and 2 on Islam.

At Upper Key Stage Two, half of the syllabus covers Christianity, with 2 of the 12 units on Judaism, 2 on Islam and 2 on Sikhism. Sikhism is taught in Year 6 as a transition to Secondary school, where it is taught again in Year 7.

All units in this scheme focus on one religion at a time, to avoid confusion and to do justice to the distinctiveness of each religion.

Approaches

Through interactive, interesting and progressive teaching across the school the children learn about the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith. The Kent Agreed Syllabus emphasises the importance of distinctive RE skills, such as enquiring, questioning, analysing and interpreting, as well as empathising and reflecting. Lessons are planned to develop each skill at a time.

Each child has his/her own book specifically for RE work, but RE also includes creative and practical activities and discussion. We benefit from our close ties with the parish church for RE visits and visitors to the lessons.

Assessment

RE at St George’s is planned and assessed using the 2 Attainment Targets adopted by the Canterbury Diocese Agreed Syllabus: Attainment Target 1 encompasses children learning about religions and Attainment Target 2 children learn from religions.

Teachers at St George’s mark children’s work in RE on a ‘traffic light scale’ to illustrate a child’s understanding of a concept or skill. Feedback is given to children on an individual basis and to parents through progress reports at the end of the year.

Class teachers are responsible for assessment records that plot children against level descriptors and ‘I can statements’ for RE knowledge and skills. Clear and concise assessment records ensure progressive teaching across the school.

Differentiation and Special Needs

At St George’s all children are made to feel that their contributions are valued. Re lessons are planned to enable all children to access the RE curriculum and achieve their highest potential.

Withdrawal

Parents have a right to withdraw their child from all or part of the RE curriculum. Such requests will be discussed with the head teacher before coming to a final decision.

Review

This policy is to be reviewed by staff and governors bi-annually.

RE Subject Co-ordinator: Annette Holmes

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