RE at St Mary's
St Mary's aims to serve its community by providing education of the highest quality
within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding
of the meaning and significance of Faith and promotes Christian values through
the experiences it offers all its pupils. We recognise that it is extremely important
to provide varied opportunities for our children in order that they can develop fully
on a spiritual, moral, social & cultural level. The school fully recognises the
important role which Religious Education plays in this development & is fully
committed to providing the very highest quality in RE provision!
The Legal Position of Religious Education:
Section 78 (1) of the 2002 Education Act states that all pupils should follow a balanced and broadly based curriculum which ‘promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and of society, and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life’. Our school curriculum for religious education also meets the requirements of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA). The ERA stipulates that religious education is compulsory for all children, including those in the reception class who are less than five years old. The ERA allows parents to withdraw their child from religious education classes if they so wish, although only after they have given written notice to the school governors. The ERA states that the RE syllabus should reflect the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, and that it should, at the same time, take account of the teachings and practices of other major religions. As a church school, Religious Education is inspected under Section 48 of the Education Act (Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools (SIAMs).
Right of withdrawal from Religious Education:
At St Mary's, we firmly believe that RE is an important subject in the children’s learning. It is a major contributor to the ethos of our school. However, we fully recognise the legal right of parents to withdraw their children from all or any part of RE on the grounds of conscience. We encourage parents to contact the Head or School or Executive Headteacher if they have any concerns about RE provision and practice at the school.
The Contribution of RE to Children’s Personal Development and Well-Being:
At St Mary's, we believe that R.E. plays an important role in preparing pupils
for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It helps children and young
people become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible
citizens. It gives them the knowledge, skills and understanding to discern
and value truth and goodness, strengthens their capacity for making moral
judgements and for evaluating different types of commitment to make
positive and healthy choices.
The Aims of RE:
At St Mary's, our aim is that Religious Education will:
Provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. It develops students’ knowledge of Christianity, other principal religions, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development;
Encourage students to explore their own beliefs (whether they are religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and Faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses. This also builds resilience to anti-democratic or extremist narratives;
Enable students to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society;
Teach students to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice;
Prompt students to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion;
Develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
Below is our RE curriculum for St Mary's. It explains what is taught in each year group. As you an see, we do place a greater focus on Christianity as we are a Church of England school, we do however also learn about other world faiths in the hope of building understanding, tolerance and respect for all. We follow the 'Understanding Christianity' Scheme of Work' as well as 'Discovery RE'.