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.
At St. Paul’s C of E Primary School we aim to make Religious Education teaching stimulating, interesting and challenging. We teach using the Cambridge Agreed Syllabus along with Understanding Christianity which is then adapted to meet the learning needs of our children. As a Church of England Primary School, the teaching of Christianity is given the highest priority and accounts for two thirds of the curriculum in our school. In addition to Christianity children learn about and explore other faiths including Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Understanding Christianity as a living religion is the foundation of children’s Religious Education at St. Paul’s. We believe it is important that we draw on the richness and diversity of Christian experience in the breadth of its Anglican and other denominational forms, and in the variety of its worldwide forms. We ensure that teaching is open, which stems from and instils respect for different views and interpretations and in which real dialogue and learning to take place. St. Paul’s C of E Primary School’s teaching of Religious Education is planned:
To enable children to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today
To enable children to learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents
To develop understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth
To contribute to the development of children’s own spiritual and philosophical convictions, and to further explore and enrich their own faith and beliefs
By the end of their education at St. Paul’s C of E Primary school, children will have learned to:
Think theologically and explore ultimate questions
Reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief
Develop the skills to analyse, interpret and apply the Bible text
Recognise that faith is a particular way of understanding and responding to God and the world
Analyse and explain the varied nature and traditions of the Christian community
Make a well informed response to Christianity
Respect those of all faiths in their search for God
Reflect critically on areas of shared belief and practice between different faiths
Enrich and expand their understanding of truth
Reflect critically and express their views on the human quest and destiny
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 religious education at St. Paul's. 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.