Religious Education has a unique place as a central subject in the curriculum of Middleton St Mary's. It is neither a core nor a foundation subject; the 1988 Education Act states that ‘Religious Education has equal standing in relation to core subjects of the National Curriculum in that it is compulsory for all registered pupils’.
Through our Religious Education curriculum we aim:
- to engage pupils in enquiring into and exploring questions arising from the study of religion and belief, so as to promote their personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- to provide learners with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions and beliefs represented in Great Britain.
- to develop their understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence people in their behaviour, practices and outlook.
- to enable learners to apply the insights of the principal religious traditions to their own search for identity and significance.
- to enable learners to become aware of their own beliefs and values and to have a positive attitude to the search for meaning and purpose in life.
- to encourage learners to develop a positive attitude towards other people who hold religious beliefs different from their own.
Religious Education is a statutory subject of the curriculum for all pupils in each year group and ‘should be provided for all registered pupils except those withdrawn at the request of their parents.’ (s 71 SSFA 1998)
Religious Education is taught on a weekly basis, but is sometimes delivered through a class topic or as a whole-school RE day. Teachers may develop their own key questions linked to the themes in the syllabus, allowing links with other subject areas where appropriate.
Lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways ensuring that all children can access and participate in lessons. Interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions.
Religious Education has a high profile within our school curriculum and is comparable with other core curriculum areas. Quality teaching in RE helps generate respect for different views and interpretations where real dialogue takes place. Learners develop and use a wide range of higher-level skills such as enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection to deepen their understanding of the impact of religion and world views as lived by believers.
Key cross-curricular skills such as reading, writing, observation, enquiry and discussion are practised. Children experience opportunities to learn and express themselves through an enquiry-based style of learning by:
- Listening to the teacher and each other
- Ask and discuss ‘big’ questions
- Reading of texts
- Seeking information for themselves in libraries and on computers.
- Discussion and debate with the teacher and other pupils
- Pair and group work
- Using a range of media such as artefacts, pictures, photographs, video, music and drama.
- Visits and visitors
- Time for reflection
Parents have the right to request that their son or daughter be excused from all or part of the RE provided at school by writing a letter to the Headteacher explaining the reasons why, a meeting will then be arranged to discuss this further.
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