Thompson Primary School
Policy Statement for Religious Education
Religious education provokes 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. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and other world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, and of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
This policy outlines the teaching, organisation and management of Religious Education taught at Thompson Primary School. The school’s policy for Religious Education is based on the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus. The policy has been drawn up as a result of staff discussion and in consultation with the Governors’ Curriculum Committee.
• To promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. To prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
• For pupils to gain Knowledge and Understanding of Christianity and other world religions through a study of beliefs, practices and symbols.
• To be able to reflect on one’s own experiences.
• To be able to articulate feeling and beliefs.
• To be able to engage the viewpoint of others and to be able to ask questions and express opinions.
• To be open to learning from others.
3. Time allocation
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are taught Religious Education in blocks at different points during the school year to comply with the recommended number of hours, 36 for KS1 and 45 for KS2. The blocks are taught for several days which immerse the pupils in learning about themselves and the beliefs and values of others.
Collective worship is led on a regular basis by Father Bob Nichols.
4. Teaching and Learning
The teaching of Religious Education is by the class teacher using the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus. The teaching must follow an enquiry-based approach. Lessons must also cover the Experiences and Opportunities required for Foundation Stage and each Key Stage as set out in the Agreed Syllabus. Religious Education in the Foundation Stage is delivered through the seven Areas of Learning.
4.1Programme of Study for the Foundation Stage
During the Foundation Stage children begin to explore the world of religion in terms of special people, books, times, places and objects, and by visiting places of worship. Children listen to and talk about religious stories. They are introduced to specialist words and use their senses in exploring religious beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of, and wonder at, the world in which they live.
4.2 Programme of Study for Key Stage 1
Throughout Key Stage 1 pupils investigate Christianity and Judaism. They also touch upon other religions and beliefs in our special curriculum days. They learn about different beliefs about God and the world around them. They encounter and respond to a range of stories, artefacts and other religious materials. They learn to recognise that beliefs are expressed in a variety of ways, and begin to use specialist vocabulary. They begin to understand the importance and value of religion and beliefs for some children and their families. Pupils ask relevant questions and use their imagination to develop a sense of wonder about the world. They talk about what is important to them and others, valuing themselves, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences, and developing a sense of belonging.
4.3 Programme of Study for Key Stage 2
Throughout Key Stage 2 pupils learn about Christianity and other religions and beliefs, recognising the impact of religion and belief both locally and globally. They make connections between differing aspects of religion and consider different forms of religious expression. They consider the beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life central to religion. They learn about sacred texts and other sources and consider their meanings. They begin to recognise diversity in religion, learning about similarities and differences both within and between religions, and the importance of dialogue between people of different beliefs. They extend the range and use of specialist vocabulary. They recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong, and in valuing what is good and true. They communicate their ideas clearly, recognising other people’s viewpoints. They consider their own beliefs and values and those of others, in the light of their learning in Religious Education.
5. Curriculum Planning
The school follows the 2012 Norfolk Scheme of Work for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, specifically the cluster written enquiry based schemes of work. Reception follows the Foundation Stage Profile.
Celebrations of Christian occasions will take place either at school or in the local Church, e.g Harvest, Christmas and Easter.
6. The relationship between Religious Education and Collective Worship
In law Religious Education and Collective Worship are distinct. Religious Education is part of the school curriculum; it has to be delivered appropriately for pupils of different ages and abilities. It cannot be delivered during collective worship.
However during collective worship at Thompson Primary Stories from the Bible and other traditions are told and enjoyed, festival days and celebrations are often mentioned and we enjoy assemblies led by members of religious communities. These compliment and bring depth to our Religious Education Programme. A separate policy is available for Collective Worship.
7. Special Educational Needs
Learning objectives, materials, resources and organisation enable all children to participate fully in RE taking into account their specific needs.
8. Equal Opportunities
All children will be encouraged to take an active and equal part in all aspects of Religious Education. Through effective planning, children will be provided with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of RE in contexts appropriate to their needs and experiences.
The Norfolk Agreed Syllabus requires assessment to take place in relation to two Attainment Targets: learning about religion and belief and learning from religion and belief. The syllabus gives level descriptions for attainment in both attainment targets. Assessment of progress will take place through on going teacher assessment.
Teacher assessment levels, at the end of Key Stage 2, are forwarded to County.
The school has a collection of resources and artefacts to support the teaching of Religious Education across the Key Stages. These are in labelled boxes stored opposite the library.
11. Subject Leader Roles and Responsibilities
It is the role of the subject leader to be responsible for the implementation of the RE Syllabus ensuring that there are adequate resources of equipment and artefacts.
12. Staff Development and Training Opportunities
Both the subject leader and teaching staff are encouraged to attend appropriate in-service training courses. Information and ideas gathered in this way to be subsequently shared with all staff.
13. Right to withdraw
It is a parent’s right to withdraw their child/children from all or part of the Religious Education and Collective Worship provided.
a. All parents should be notified of their statutory right to withdraw their child. This is clearly stated in the school prospectus
b. This policy and a copy of the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus and a clear out line of what is taught and when the lessons take place should be readily available for parents to view on request
c. Parents are asked to put their request in writing and send it to the Head teacher and Governing Body of Thompson Primary School.
d. Once the request is received it would be advisable for the head teacher and governing body to seek advice from The LEA and Religious Education Advisor.
e. A meeting with the parent, head teacher and religious education co-ordinator to clarify the aims, content of the scheme of work.
f. In the case of withdrawal the parent must provide suitable work for the pupil if the pupil is to remain in school.
g. If the school cannot arrange suitable safe supervision for the pupil the parent may be asked to supervise their child in school or remove their child from school for the duration of the lesson as long as they are returned for the remaining lessons during that day.
h. If a teacher exercises their right not to teach religious education they are required to place their request in writing
i. The school should attempt to facilitate this internally so that their withdrawal does not incur costs to the school.