The Education Act of 1988 requires that Religious Education be taught to all pupils. It must be “in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principle religions represented in Great Britain.”
As a controlled Church of England school we follow the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus but we have developed this further to create an inquiry-based approach that allows for a deeper reflection and questioning. We have a strong Christian tradition within the school which we will continue to develop through our core Christian values of courage, love, respect, forgiveness and honesty.
We have special RE days to create a memorable, more holistic and hopefully less disjointed learning experience for our pupils.
During the Foundation Stage, RE is taught within three Areas of Learning: Personal, Social, and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Understanding the World. The aim is to provide for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through focusing on what is special to young children, as a stepping stone to understanding what is special to a faith community. Throughout Key Stage One pupils study Christianity and some aspects of Islam and Judaism; a more in-depth study of these three religions takes place in Key Stage Two as well as an introduction to Hinduism.
Religious Education is generally taught as a separate subject although, if appropriate, it will be included in a topic.
We have very strong links with St. James’ Church so, as well as visiting the church for acts of worship and for our Easter Trail, we use the church as a teaching resource whenever possible. The Vicar is a regular visitor in school, both to lead acts of worship and to talk about her role in the church as part of the R.E. curriculum.
Although parents are entitled to withdraw their children from Religious Education, we encourage all children to participate in this very important area of the curriculum.
We want to ensure that R.E is an exciting, meaningful subject. We base each topic with RE around a series of questions and we always begin by thinking about what the children know already. The questions posed are explored in great depth to provoke deep thinking. To do this we spend much time reflecting, discussing and debating first hand experiences as well as creating using the arts – especially drama. To capture our rich learning we use giant ‘Floor’ books for this subject and at the start of each new topic we use the book to reflect upon what we have learned and explored so far.