Religious Education Policy

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1 Nacton CEVC Primary School Nacton Village Ipswich IP10 0EU (01473) Version 6 Chair of Governors: Signed: Mrs Melanie Munday Chair of Curriculum Group: Signed: Mrs Helen Butler Date authorised: Approval minuted: 3 March 2016 Date of next review: Spring Term 2017

2 Version 6 1 Purpose and Rationale Religious Education is concerned with developing an understanding of religious and ethical beliefs and practices, and their importance and influence throughout communities and cultures. Religious Education is concerned with teaching children about religion, not instructing them in a particular faith. Nacton CEVC Primary School has a strong Christian commitment through its own ethos, regular assemblies and daily Acts of Worship. The policy will Provide a corporate statement of purpose. Ensure that each child has an entitlement to Religious Education. Provide, in conjunction with the school s Long Term Plans, the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Suffolk Schools and the Early Learning Goals for Foundation Stage. 2 Aims and Objectives The aims in teaching Religious Education are: To develop the children s knowledge and understanding of a selection of major world faiths, and address the fundamental questions in life. To enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions. Provoke challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. Develop pupils knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions and world-views, which offer answers to such questions. To develop an understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, practices, forms of expression and the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures. To learn from the diversity of different religions, beliefs, values and traditions whilst affirming their own faith or search for meaning. Encourage pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. Encourage pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging and enable them to flourish individually within their communities, as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community. Page 2 of 11

3 Version 6 Enable pupils to develop respect and sensitivity to others, in particular those with different faiths and beliefs, and to combat prejudice and negative discrimination. 3 Attitudes in Religious Education While knowledge, skills and understanding are central to religious education, it is also vital that pupils are encouraged to develop positive attitudes to their learning and to the beliefs and values of others. The following four attitudes are essential for good learning in religious education and need to be consistently developed at each key stage: Self-awareness in religious education. To feel confident about their own beliefs and identity, sharing ideas and opinions without fear of embarrassment or ridicule. To develop a realistic, positive sense of their own religious, moral and spiritual ideas. To recognise their own uniqueness as human beings and affirming their selfworth. To become increasingly sensitive to the impact of their ideas and behaviour on other people. Respect for all in religious education. To listen and develop a willingness to learn from others, even where the views of others are different from their own. To value difference and diversity for the common good. To appreciate that some views are not inclusive and considering the issues that this raises for individuals and for society. To recognise and acknowledge their own bias. To be sensitive to the feelings and ideas of others. Open-mindedness in religious education. To be willing to learn and gain new understanding. To engage in argument about religious, moral or spiritual questions, while being able to disagree reasonably and respectfully and without belittling or abusing others. To be willing to go beyond surface impressions. Page 3 of 11

4 Version 6 To distinguish between opinions, viewpoints and beliefs in connection with issues of conviction and faith. Appreciation and wonder in religious education. To develop the capacity to respond to questions of meaning and purpose. To appreciate the sense of wonder at the world in which they live. To recognise that some knowledge is bounded by mystery. To develop their imagination and curiosity. 4 The Legal Position of Religious Education Primary legislation passed with regard to religious education between 1944 and 1993, including the 1988 Education Reform Act, was consolidated by the Education Act 1996, the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and the Education Act The DCSF (now DFE) publication Religious education in English schools: Nonstatutory guidance 2010, offers an interpretation of the legislation. The legal requirements are that religious education must be provided for all registered pupils in full time education except those withdrawn at their parents request [section 80(1)(a) of the Education Act 2002]. The law relating to religious education for pupils who are not yet in Key Stage 1 is different from that relating to subjects of the national curriculum. As religious education must be taught to all registered pupils at the school, it includes pupils in reception classes, but not those in nursery classes or play groups [80(2)(a)]. In voluntary controlled schools with a religious character RE is to be provided in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus, or, if any parent so requests, in accordance with the school s trust deed, or in accordance with the beliefs or denomination specified in the designation of the school [section 3 of Schedule 19 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998]. The headteacher, along with the governing body and the local authority, is responsible for the provision of religious education in voluntary controlled schools. 5 Teaching Methods We base our teaching and learning style in RE on the key principle that good teaching in RE allows children both to learn about religious traditions and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. 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. Page 4 of 11

5 Version 6 We 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, Passover etc. to develop their religious thinking. We organize visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and talk to the children. Children carry out research into religious topics. They study particular religious faiths and also compare the religious views of different faith groups on topics such as rites of passage or festivals. Children discuss religious and moral issues in whole class and working individually or in groups. They also use computers to aid research. We recognise the fact that all classes in our school have children of widely differing abilities, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example, by: setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses; setting tasks of increasing difficulty, (we do not expect all children to complete all tasks); providing resources of different complexity, adapted to the ability of the child; using teaching assistants to support the work of individuals or groups of children. 6 Curriculum Time Both Key Stages will receive between 30 and 39 hours of Religious Education per year. 7 Curriculum Planning in Religious Education We plan our religious education curriculum in accordance with the Suffolk LA s Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Suffolk (2012): We ensure that the topics studied in religious education build upon prior learning. We offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and we ensure that the planned progression built into the scheme of work offers the children an increasing challenge as they move through the school. We carry out the curriculum planning in religious education in three phases (long-, medium- and short-term). The long-term plan maps the religious education topics studied in each term during each key stage. The Suffolk Scheme for RE documents offers question topics for each unit, which have to be developed into clear medium- Page 5 of 11

6 Version 6 term planning linked as far as possible to the topic for each year group. The class teacher then uses the same scheme to plan specific short term lessons. In Key Stage 2 we place an increasing emphasis on independent study of religious themes and topics. Our medium-term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. The RE subject leader keeps and reviews these plans on a regular basis. The class teacher writes the plans for each lesson and lists the specific learning skills and objectives for that lesson. S/he keeps these individual plans and is able to discuss them on an informal basis with the RE subject leader if required. Early Years Foundation Stage: will study a range of beliefs and religions, in particular focussing on celebrations in different religions as they occur in real time. Years 1-2: will study Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Years 3 4: will study Christianity/ Humanism/ Topic work on world religions, including Sikhism/ Celebrations in faiths/islam/judaism/hinduism. Years 5 6: will study Christianity including inspirational people/ Islam/Buddhism/ Humanism/ Inspirational people from different faiths/ Hinduism/ Sikhism/ Judaism/ Pictures that inspire from various religions/ Christianity the meaning of faith. Early Years Foundation Stage The Early Years Foundation Stage describes the phase of a child s education from birth to the end of the reception year at five. It is statutory for all registered pupils on the school roll to receive religious education in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus, including those pupils in reception classes. The statutory requirement does not extend to nursery classes in maintained schools. However, the programme of study includes much to commend it in terms of preparing younger children to meet the early learning goals employed in curriculum guidance for the foundation stage (QCA, 2000). It would thus form a valuable part of the educational experience of children throughout the foundation stage. The contribution of religious education to the early learning goals The early learning goals set out what most children should achieve by the end of the foundation stage. The six areas of learning identified in these are: personal, social and emotional development; communication, language and literacy; mathematical development; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development; creative development. Page 6 of 11

7 Version 6 Religious education can enrich children s experience and understanding by making an active contribution to the planning and teaching of most of these areas. Some knowledge of religions, beliefs and cultures is vital to achieve some of the early learning goals. Religious education has a particularly important contribution to make to: personal, social and emotional development; communication and literacy; knowledge and understanding of the world. In order to support continuity and progression the programme of study for the foundation stage has been organised into the two attainment targets, learning about and learning from religion. It is recognised that foundation stage practitioners organise learning experiences around the early learning goals, and the programme of study is set out in line with the early learning goals in the guidance papers. Contribution of religious education to the teaching of other subjects Literacy Religious education contributes significantly to the teaching of Literacy in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our teaching approach is an ideal vehicle for some strands of RE, and is integrated into other topics in a philosophical format in order to promote thinking skills and improve speaking and listening. We also encourage the children to write their responses and ideas and record information. Information and communication technology (ICT) We use ICT where appropriate in religious education. The children find, select and analyse information, using the internet and CD ROMs. They also use ICT to review, modify and evaluate their work and to improve its presentation. Personal, social and health education (PSHE and SEAL) and citizenship We teach the children about the values and moral beliefs that underpin individual choices of behaviour. In general, by promoting tolerance and understanding of other people, we enable children to appreciate what it means to be positive members of our pluralistic society. Our links with schools in other countries provide a real opportunity for the Nacton pupils to connect with people of different culture and faith, e.g. Link with the Katha School in India. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development Children consider and respond to questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life. We help them to recognise the difference between right and wrong through the study of moral and ethical questions. We enhance their social development by helping them to build a sense of identity in a multicultural society. Children explore issues of religious faith and values and are able to understand their own place in society. Teaching religious education to children with special needs Page 7 of 11

8 Version 6 In our school we teach RE to all children, whatever their ability. The teaching of RE is a vital part of our school curriculum policy, which states that we provide a broad and balanced education for all our children. We take into account the targets set for individual children in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs). 8 Assessment and Recording Attainment Targets in Religious Education The key aims for religious education are reflected in the two attainment targets. 9 Attainment Targets Attainment Target 1 Learning about religion is concerned with: enquiry into, and investigation of, the nature of religion, its beliefs, teachings and sources, practices and ways of life, and forms of expression; the skills of interpretation, analysis and explanation; developing an understanding of ultimate questions and ethical issues; knowledge and understanding of individual religions and how they relate to each other; the study of the nature and characteristics of religion; communication of knowledge and understanding using specialist vocabulary. Attainment Target 2 Learning from religion is concerned with: developing pupils ability to reflect on and respond to their own and others experiences; pupils skills of application, interpretation and evaluation of what they learn; pupils developing and communicating their own ideas, in relation to questions of identity and belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, and values and commitments. In the foundation stage, children are expected to meet the early learning goals in Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage (QCA, 2000) but the descriptions for level 1 will give guidance on their progress in religious education. 10 Assessing Attainment at the End of a Key Stage The two attainment targets, learning about religion and learning from religion are closely related and neither should be taught in isolation. Therefore, assessment needs to take place in relation to both attainment targets. Page 8 of 11

9 Version 6 It is important to note that not all aspects of religious education can be assessed. For example, pupils may express personal views and ideas that, although integral to teaching and learning, would not be appropriate for formal assessment. Level Descriptions for Religious Education Level 1 Attainment Target 1 Pupils use some religious words and phrases to recognise and name features of religious life and practice. They can recall religious stories and recognise symbols, and other verbal and visual forms of religious expression. Attainment Target 2 Pupils talk about their own experiences and feelings, what they find interesting or puzzling and what is of value and concern to themselves and to others. Level 2 Attainment Target 1 Pupils use religious words and phrases to identify some features of religion and its importance for some people. They begin to show awareness of similarities in religions. Pupils retell religious stories and suggest meanings for religious actions and symbols. They identify how religion is expressed in different ways. Attainment Target 2 Pupils ask, and respond sensitively to, questions about their own and others experiences and feelings. They recognise that some questions cause people to wonder and are difficult to answer. In relation to matters of right and wrong, they recognise their own values and those of others. Level 3 Attainment Target 1 Pupils use a developing religious vocabulary to describe some key features of religions, recognising similarities and differences. They make links between beliefs and sources, including religious stories and sacred texts. They begin to identify the impact religion has on believers lives. They describe some forms of religious expression. Attainment Target 2 Pupils identify what influences them, making links between aspects of their own and others experiences. They ask important questions about religion and beliefs, making links between their own and others responses. They make links between values and commitments, and their own attitudes and behaviour. Page 9 of 11

10 Version 6 Level 4 Attainment Target 1 Pupils use a developing religious vocabulary to describe and show understanding of sources, practices, beliefs, ideas, feelings and experiences. They make links between them, and describe some similarities and differences both within and between religions. They describe the impact of religion on people s lives. They suggest meanings for a range of forms of religious expression. Attainment Target 2 Pupils raise, and suggest answers to, questions of identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments. They apply their ideas to their own and other people s lives. They describe what inspires and influences themselves and others. We assess children s work in religious education by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. We mark a piece of work once it has been completed and we comment as necessary. The New Suffolk Scheme encourages Subject Co-ordinators to level the work against a grid covering Learning About and Learning From areas of study. 11 Continuity A two year cycle focusing on a range of topics specified in the Agreed Syllabus ensures a full coverage of the curriculum. See section Resources We have resources in our school to be able to teach all our religious education teaching units after a recent investment. We keep resources (DVDs, book, artefacts, lesson plans) in a central location for each religion. This encourages teachers to widen their use of the resources through better contact with them. The school library has a supply of RE topic books to support children s individual research. 13 Monitoring and Review The RE subject leader is responsible for monitoring the standards of the children s work and the quality of teaching in religious education. She/he is also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of religious education, for being informed about current developments in the subject, and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. Page 10 of 11

11 Version 6 14 Development Plan The Religious Education Co-ordinator will need to: Build resources in all faiths appropriate to Key Stage, including pictorial representations. Establish the use of attainment targets as part of reporting to parents. 15 Document History Version Date Comments Issue 1 March 98 DW/TD Draft 1A 31/03/03 Converted to new format with minor editorial changes. No substantive changes. Issue 2 30/06/04 Updated with minor changes. J. Williamson. Issue 3 06/06/08 Updated to include Humanism as in rewritten SACRE syllabus. Issue 4 07/03/12 Rewritten in line with the revised SACRE and Early Years Foundation Stage. Issue 5 05/03/15 References to SACRE updated. Minor changes pending more thorough review. Issue 6 03/03/16 No changes. SACRE agreed syllabus unchanged. Page 11 of 11

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