In Religious Education, we study the diversity of the world and different religious beliefs and practices. We follow the Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight agreed syllabus, ‘Living Difference IV’ which encapsulates the key religions represented in the UK. To support us in our teaching of Christianity, we use the Church of England's, 'Understanding Christianity' resource which ensures helps children to understand the Bigger Picture of the story of the bible and how Christians live their lives today.
What is this syllabus for?
The Education Act 2002 states that:
- RE is a statutory subject to be taught in all schools except nursery schools
- RE in all community, foundation and voluntary controlled schools should be taught in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus
- parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons -see section below for further information*
- each county/council must have a Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE)
- the agreed syllabus for RE must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the other principal religions represented in the country
- SACRE should review its agreed syllabus every five years.
*Withdrawal from RE
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from parts or all of the RE curriculum. We hope however that in the first instance School would be able to discuss with parents their particular concerns.
Religious Education at St. Mary's
At St. Mary's, we look at key concepts and ideas surrounding Christianity and other world religions; Year 3 and 4 also study Judaism and Years 5 and 6, Islam.
The Living Difference IV syllabus is a concept based approach, looking at concepts that are common to all people, concepts that are shared by many religions and concepts that are distinctive to particular religions. As children move through primary school, they will have the opportunities over time to engage with all three groups of concepts.
In addition to this, the syllabus allows RE units to build on previous learning through 'Golden Threads'. These concepts are ones that can be developed across Years 3 and 4 and then into years 5 and 6, as well as building on these threads from key stage 1 and into key stage 3. The Golden threads include love, belonging, special and community.
We also use the 'Understanding Christianity' resource to support pupils in developing their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it. This again is a concept based approach which help build a narrative and progressive understanding of Christianity (link for more details: http://www.understandingchristianity.org.uk ).
Much of our RE teaching is carried out through exploring the children’s ideas and emphasis is given to discussion and positive, quality talk. Our religious education learning provides a rich and wide range of experiences inside and outside the classroom, which give children opportunities to develop concepts and skills that will help them to make sense of their own experiences and beliefs, and to understand the beliefs and practices of members of faith communities through open, fair minded enquiry. Our teaching is based around an enquiry methodology which works through the ' communicate, apply, inquire, contextualise and evaluate' process. Indoctrination and conversion are not part of the educational process and therefore have no place in religious education. Religious education is an educational subject in its own right, taught within an educational framework.