Religious Education

Intent

Religious Education is taught in our school because it makes:

“a major contribution to the education of children and young people. At its best, it is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It helps young people develop beliefs and values, and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society. It fosters civilised debate and reasoned argument, and helps pupils to understand the place of religion and belief in the modern world”.  (RE: realising the potential, Ofsted 2013).

This fits with our school ethos of ‘Aim High, work Hard and Care deeply’.

At Lynch Hill, we feel it is vitally important for children to develop a knowledge of beliefs, their own faith or otherwise, so that they can understand the complexities of living in a multi-religious world. Through teaching RE, children have the opportunity to reflect on their own convictions and begin to develop a world view and consider the part they play in the life of the school and more widely.

We deliver RE in line with the Locally Agreed Syllabus and we use the Discovery RE programme as our scheme of work.

By following the Discovery RE programme, it is our intention that RE lessons at Lynch Hill will:

  • adopt an enquiry- based approach as recommended by Ofsted, beginning with the children’s own life experience before moving into learning about and from religion.
  • provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development.
  • encourage pupils to explore their own beliefs (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.
  • enable pupils to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.
  • teach pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice.
  • prompt pupils 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.
  • nurture children’s own spiritual development

Implementation

Here at Lynch Hill, by following the Pan Berkshire Agreed Syllabus and using Discovery RE as our scheme of work, we cover all areas of RE for the primary phase: Christianity plus one other religion is taught in each year group. Discovery RE brings together learning about and from religion, questioning and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning. Our teaching strategies are varied and we are mindful of preferred learning styles and the need for differentiation. Each enquiry starts from the children’s own life experiences using these as a bridge into the investigation of the religion being studied.

Learning is assessed and children have opportunity to express their own thoughts and beliefs and empathise with believers of that religion or belief position. Discovery RE is written as a universal core curriculum provision for all children. Inclusivity is part of its philosophy and we embrace that at Lynch Hill. Our teachers will tailor each enquiry to meet the needs of the children in their classes. To support this differentiation, many enquiries promote creative learning activities that allow children to choose the media with which they work and give them scope to work to their full potential.

We teach RE in a weekly block of time throughout the school.

Impact

As pupils 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 other religions, pupils start to think about universal values that are held and how religion has an impact on the laws and culture of Britain. This is mirrored in all other areas of the curriculum through the five British Values – democracy, mutual respect, individual liberty, rules of law and tolerance.