Intent, Implementation and Impact
The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
At Clyst St mary, we believe that it is important for all our pupils to learn from and about religion, so that they can understand the world around them. The aim of Religious Education in our school is to help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain; to appreciate the way that religious beliefs shape life and behaviour, develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We also want to expose our children to non-religious views and encourage independent thinking.
Religious education plays an important role in promoting social awareness and understanding in our children. We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world and to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences. We include and promote British values, ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as UK citizens. Our curriculum is designed to encourage creativity, imagination, enquiry, debate, discussion and independence.
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of the curriculum for all pupils in each year group and should be provided for all registered pupils except those withdrawn at the request of their parents. In order to deliver the aims and expected standards of the syllabus effectively, the expectation is that there is a minimum allocation of five per cent of curriculum time for RE. This is set out in the table below, and based on the most recent national guidance.
4–5s: 36 hours of RE (e.g. 50 minutes a week or some short sessions implemented through continuous provision)
5–7s: 36 hours of tuition per year (e.g. an hour a week, or less than an hour a week plus a series of RE days)
7–11s: 45 hours of tuition per year (e.g. an hour a week, or a series of RE days or weeks amounting to 45+ hours of RE)
At Clyst St Mary we follow the Devon Agreed syllabus (2019-2024) to ensure coverage and progression between each year group. This agreed syllabus requires that all pupils develop understanding of Christianity in each key stage. In addition, across the age range, pupils will develop understanding of the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. Furthermore, children from families where non-religious worldviews are held are represented in almost all of our classrooms. These worldviews, including for example Humanism, will also be the focus for study in thematic units.
Pupils are to study in depth the religious traditions of the following groups:
4–5s Reception: Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.
5–7s Key Stage 1: Christians, Jews and Muslims.
7–11s Key Stage 2: Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews.
Religious Education is generally taught on a weekly basis. Teachers may develop their own planning linked to the ‘key questions units’ 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.
Pupils’ progress in RE is based on the expected outcomes outlined in the Devon Agreed Syllabus and which have been developed in line with guidance produced nationally. Each unit has a list of expected outcomes and the children’s progress is tracked against these. Progress in RE is reported annually to parents in the end of year report.
Our teaching promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. It exposes children to other cultures and viewpoints and allows them to gain an understanding of some of the key religions represented in Britain. Our teaching enables pupils to acquire knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, attitudes, practices and rituals. They will also develop their own beliefs and values and be able to express these confidently whilst remaining considerate and respectful of others. They will also be aware that some people have no attachment to religious beliefs and follow secular philosophies.
By following the Devon agreed syllabus and incorporating our own flexible, interactive and engaging planning we hope to provide our children with an understanding of the importance and value of religious education, with on-going benefits for an open, articulate and understanding society.
Religious education is integral in creating a broad and balanced curriculum and provides children with the opportunity to learn about the world and other people's beliefs and experiences, allowing children to become open minded, independent and confident thinkers that enjoy engaging with challenging questions and learning new things. The Devon agreed syllabus outlines the impact of a good religious education:
• Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
• In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
• Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully.
• Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
• RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
• Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.