St. Paul’s C of E Primary School
Curriculum Policy for Religious Education
Religious Education has always played an important role in our school and will continue to do so in the future as we seek to equip children with the knowledge and spiritual understanding necessary to navigating an increasingly diverse world. RE deals with issues of diversity and acceptance helping them to gain a greater understanding of themselves and a more sympathetic awareness of the needs and beliefs of others.
Our school follows the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus (revised 2013). The school’s curriculum is made up of 50% core units for which the area of study is prescribed by the syllabus and 50% School Designed Units (SDU). Reflecting the syllabus, the children study Christianity throughout the school. In Key Stage 1 the children also study Sikhism and in Key Stage 2 the children study Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. Overall two thirds of the units studied each year have an exclusive or significant Christian focus.
Religious Education at St Paul’s has two attainment targets. Attainment Target 1; Learning about Religion and Belief and Attainment Target 2; Learning from Religion and Belief. The Agreed Syllabus is based upon a ‘Community of Enquiry’ approach to teaching and learning. A key question is explored through a number of smaller questions over a series of lessons. Pupils are encouraged to explore and examine questions raised by the teacher and themselves about religious beliefs and through gathering information and increasing knowledge and understanding of religions (Assessment Target 1). As children learn about religions, they are encouraged to reflect, respond and to relate their learning to their own ideas and experiences (Assessment Target 2).
We aim to make work in RE relevant, interesting and of educational value to all pupils, whatever their religious or philosophical backgrounds. Diversity and acceptance are integral to the approach taken in teaching RE. The children’s, parents’ and staff’s faith background is respected at all times. Lessons may provide opportunities for pupils and their parents to contribute from a particular faith standpoint where appropriate.
Right of Withdrawal
As the school serving our local community we are aware of the importance of recognising and respecting the alternative beliefs of people and, in so doing, acknowledge that parents have the legal right to withdraw their child(ren) from RE classes if they so wish by submitting written notice to our Governing Body. In this event appropriate arrangements are made for withdrawn children to be adequately supervised during RE lessons. This right is rarely exercised and requests are sometimes due to parental misunderstanding about the nature of RE. The school’s procedure for such requests, therefore, is that parents discuss the issue with the headteacher. Teachers, (including the headteacher) similarly have the right to withdraw from teaching RE. If a colleague feels unable to teach this subject because of religious beliefs they should discuss this with the headteacher.
RE is assessed against the expectations for each year with pupils assessed at achieving the expected standard or above or below at the end of each unit. This forms as essential part of the planning for each unit of work. The majority of assessment in RE are formative.
School and Community Links
We aim to encourage links with community members and organisations who can contribute to the success of the RE programme. This may include parents and visitors representing different faiths, St. Paul’s Church, different Christian traditions and people involved in aid and community agencies. We encourage visits to the different places of worship within Cambridge.