The Teaching of R.E.
‘All children need to acquire core knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of the religions and worldviews which not only shape their history and culture but which guide their own development. The modern world needs young people who are sufficiently confident in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others, and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society.’
(The Right Hon, Michael Gove, former Secretary of State for Education, 2013 RE Review and new 'non-statutory' National Curriculum Framework for RE).
The RE curriculum is locally determined by each Standing Advisory Council on RE (SACRE), which is responsible for producing its local Agreed Syllabus for RE. The RE curriculum drawn up by SACRE is required to: ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.’ (Education Act 1996 Section 365). As a Church of England school, the Governing Body of Deddington CE Primary School has adopted the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus, which is delivered through an enquiry-based approach allowing for deeper reflection and questioning; each unit begins with a ‘Big Question’ to inspire our children. During their time at Deddington Primary School children will cover units on Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, in addition to focussing on Christianity. We believe that Religious Education contributes to the general ethos and values of the school and helps to equip children for life in a multi-cultural society.
The principle aim of RE is to help children to achieve knowledge and understanding of religious experiences, insights, beliefs and practices. This will equip them to make, in time, informed choices and decisions, to develop and deepen their beliefs and to respect the freedom of other people to hold beliefs different from their own. The teaching of RE in primary schools across England is internationally admired for its concept of ‘learning from religion’ as well as ‘about religions’. Good RE always includes opportunities for the children to: engage, enquire, explore, reflect, evaluate and communicate.
At Deddington CE Primary School we make RE an enjoyable learning experience; we offer challenging and effective RE to pupils, encouraging them to use higher order thinking skills that will impact on all their learning. We recognise that effective teaching and learning starts with an enquiry based curriculum. Planned progression built into the RE curriculum means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school. As the children progress in RE they acquire a wider and more detailed knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, practices, stories and symbols. The children will become more fluent and competent in their use of religious language and terminology and will develop skills in responding to questions of identity, meaning, purpose, values and commitment.