Why do we teach what we teach? (Our intent)
At St Mary’s, a Christian Church of England ‘voluntary controlled’ school, we teach RE weekly or in a block of time, throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6. We teach and learn about the Christian foundation of our values, upon which we build in order to shine our lights and flourish and the person, life and work of Jesus. We live in a world where religion can be a joy or an obstacle and it is more and more important that our children develop a knowledge of beliefs, their own faith, or none, and faiths other than their own so that they can understand the complexities of living in a multi-religious world. Through teaching RE, children have opportunity to reflect on their own convictions, begin to develop a worldview and consider the part they play in the life of the school and more widely.
How do we teach it? (Our implementation)
At St. Mary’s we teach RE using the ‘Discovery RE’ scheme of work which is an enquiry based approach; a ‘big question’ is asked at the beginning of each unit and over the course of the term, children learn to come to some opinion about the answer to that question. As we are a Church of England school, we teach Christianity for over half of the RE curriculum. Children also learn about different faiths from around the world, including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Included are many religious stories from these five faiths and all have an opportunity to learn from each other as they discover these. Children’s visits to places of worship are key to understanding communities and visitors share the experience of faith with us. The teaching of RE often crosses over into other subjects such as art, music, and we seek to enrich children’s learning in creative ways.
What is the difference that this makes? (Our impact)
As children progress through the school, they begin to understand that everyone is entitled to their own ideas about religion, whether they are believers or not. They begin to understand that tolerance towards others and respect is a very important value. Through the teaching of Christianity and learning about other beliefs, children start to think about universal values that are held and find out that Christianity is a world religion, which has a major impact on the laws and culture of Britain and many other countries.