Mission Statement for Religious Education
As a formally voluntary aided church school, we believe that Religious Education has a central role in developing the ethos of our school. We believe that Christian principles are caught as much as taught and we therefore take great care to demonstrate Christian principles at all times. Worship, tolerance, respect for others, concern for the less fortunate, thankfulness and friendship surround each child and we hope that this will prepare each child to go out into God’s world with understanding and compassion.
The aims of RE in Church schools are:
- to enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.
- to enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.
- to contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.
RE Statement of Entitlement (The Church of England Education Office 2016)
We believe that, in addition, RE should help pupils to:
- think theologically and explore the great questions of life and death, meaning and purpose
- reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief
- see how the truth of Christianity is relevant today and face the challenge of Jesus’ teaching in a pluralist and post-modern society
- develop the skills to handle the Bible text
- recognise that faith is not based on a positive balance of probabilities but on commitment to a particular way of understanding God and the world
- respond in terms of beliefs, commitments and ways of living
- develop a sense of themselves as significant, unique and precious
- experience the breadth and variety of the Christian community
- engage in thoughtful dialogue with other faiths and traditions
- become active citizens, serving their neighbour
- find a reason for hope in a troubled world
- understand how religious faith can sustain them in difficult circumstances and in the face of opposition
Being a formally voluntary aided school, the leadership of Religious Education at Rainhill St. Ann’s is a distinctive role of the school committee and Headteacher. The Headteacher has responsibility for monitoring and evaluating standards in RE and for devising action plans for future developments within RE. Religious Education is in accordance with the Trust Deed and in accordance with the rites, practices and doctrines of the Church of England. The school committee as a whole is responsible for determining the nature of Religious Education provided in our school. Although RE and Collective Worship naturally compliment and enrich one another we manage them separately at Rainhill St. Ann’s (we have a separate policy for Collective Worship).
Religious Education Curriculum
At Rainhill St. Ann’s Religious Education lies at the heart of the curriculum.
- We follow the Liverpool Diocesan Board of Education Syllabus for RE (Questful RE) which reflects the National Framework for RE. This is supplemented by “Understanding Christianity” (Church of England Education) which supports the teaching of Christianity.
- At least 5% of curriculum time is devoted to RE
- RE is taught as a discrete subject at Key Stages 1 and 2 but is integrated within the Foundation Stage Framework (1 hour a week).
- Christianity plays a central role in RE at Rainhill St. Ann’s, taking up between two thirds and three quarters of the time available
- Appropriate teaching about other faiths and world views is also included (Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism), typically this is through our World Faith Focus Days.
Our RE curriculum maintains a balanced approach of embracing the explicit teaching of Christian concepts and God’s big salvation story. It is hoped that the content of the syllabus will give pupils a deeper understanding of Christianity. Through an open investigative enquiry approach the pupils will be given the sense of being on a quest of discovery. A key feature of the syllabus is the large number of questions included in each unit. The purpose of these questions is to give pupils opportunity to investigate, reflect, evaluate and make meaning. In doing so they will discover more about themselves, their relationships with others, their relationship with the world around them and their relationship with God.
Taught within an environment where Christianity is witnessed and experienced in action, pupils will experience, explore and encounter a wide range of creative and challenging activities that will help them to discover the answers to fundamental questions such as these:
- Who am I and what does it mean to be me?
- In what ways do/can I relate to others?
- How/where can I encounter God?
- What does it mean to have faith?
- How can I make a positive contribution to the world in which I live?
- What values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour are important to me?
- Who/what influences and inspires me?
At Rainhill St. Ann’s, we believe that Religious Education should equip pupils to recognise the common search of all humanity for ultimate truth and relationship with the divine. It is entirely appropriate and necessary in today’s world, therefore, that respect for the great world faiths is fostered in RE within a Church School. This respect must be based on an accurate and sympathetic understanding of the other faiths which is consistent with the school’s loyalty to its Christian foundation.
Therefore at Rainhill St. Ann’s, we also help pupils to:
- learn about other faiths, their beliefs, traditions and practices and from them through encounter and dialogue.
- recognise and respect those of all faiths in their search for God.
- recognise areas of common belief and practice between different faiths.
- enrich and expand their understanding of truth while remaining faithful to their own tradition.
- to talk openly and freely about their own personal beliefs and practice without fear of ridicule.
- have a safe place to explore the ultimate questions and challenges of life in today’s society.
- to make excellent and appropriate progress in their knowledge and understanding of Christianity.
- enrich their own faith through examples of holy living in other traditions.
- recognise the common human quest for justice, peace and love and the common goal of the survival of life on this planet.
Being an inclusive school, we make RE lessons accessible to all pupils regardless of their ability. Work is differentiated in a variety of ways. All pupils are encouraged to participate within Religious Education whether this is through the media of story, art, music, drama, dance or ICT.
Assessment for Learning is in evidence in all Religious Education lessons. Lessons have clear learning objectives and learning outcomes and these are made very clear to the children at the start of each lesson. Throughout the lessons there are opportunities for questioning, reflection, peer and self-assessment.
Ongoing assessment of pupils’ work is carried out to gauge pupils’ knowledge and understanding. Assessments are recorded and analysed and show at which stage children are working at:
- working towards the expected standard,
- working at the expected standard or
- working within the expected standard but at greater depth
Parental Rights of Withdrawal from Religious Education Lessons
‘The Worship and Religious Education provided by the school is in accordance with the Church of England or Methodist Church Foundation. This foundation is also reflected in the curriculum and the whole life of the school community. Since the conduct of the school as a whole reflects the Church of England or Methodist Church ethos, removal of pupils from Worship and/or Religious Education (as parents are legally entitled to do) cannot insulate them from the religious life of the school.’