The 1988 Education Act requires schools to include religious education in the curriculum, and to have daily acts of worship.
RE is fundamentally concerned with an exploration of the important aspects of life and what it is like to be human. It provides opportunities for pupils to ask questions seek answers and develop ideas in a quest to discover more about their own identity and that of others. RE provides a context for the exploration of moral and ethical opinions and dilemmas by learning about lifestyles and behaviour in real, historical and fictional situations. It helps our pupils to understand the power and meaning of belief and religion for individuals and communities in the United Kingdom and across the world.
Borrowdale is a Voluntary Aided Church of England School. The religious education and collective worship are conducted according to the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus along with the resources from 'Understanding Christianity' and Carlisle Diocese RE units of work.
Within their learning in RE, pupils develop specific attitudes that are open, reflective, and critical and a skill base which allows them to be curious, play with ideas, empathise, listen, imagine, question, make links and reason. For us at Borrowdale CE Primary School, it is important that all our enquiries within RE relate to clearly defined concepts in order to develop purposeful and relevant learning.
Religious Education gives children the opportunity to develop both their knowledge and understanding about religion, their own beliefs and values; as well as allowing them to reflect on their own experiences in light of their learning about religion. In Nursery and Reception children start with familiar experiences such as birthdays, Christmas gifts and family celebrations, which provide a basis for sharing religious celebration and ceremony. Christianity is taught throughout the school as well as a knowledge and understanding of major religions practised in Britain.
The Core Values of our school (educating for Wisdom, Hope, Community and Dignity) permeate the curriculum.
In RE at our school we aim to enable pupils to:
Learn about Religion and Beliefs (attainment target 1) by:
- Developing a knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and sources;
- Developing a knowledge and understanding of religious practices and lifestyles;
- Explaining meanings within different religious forms of expression; language, story and symbolism.
Learn from Religion and Beliefs (attainment target 2) by:
- Reflecting on aspects of human nature, identity, personality an experience especially in the light of one’s own beliefs and experiences;
- Identifying and responding to questions about the nature, meaning and purpose of life;
- Giving informed and considered responses to religious and moral issues, values and commitments.
Learning from religion is concerned with developing pupils’ capacity to respond thoughtfully to and evaluate what they learn about religion. Also about developing skills and attitudes that enable pupils to be well informed about the religious and non-religious responses to the big questions of life and how these are expressed through practice.
Aims of Religious Education in our Church School
Children and the school community should:
- reflect theologically and explore the ultimate questions and challenges of life in today’s society
- reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief
- see how the truth of Christianity is relevant today
- understand the challenge faced by Christians in today’s pluralist and postmodern society
- develop the skills to handle the Bible text
- recognise that faith is based on commitment to a particular way of understanding God and the world
- begin to develop their own commitments, beliefs and values
- develop a sense of themselves as significant, unique and precious
- experience the breadth and variety of the Christian community
- engage in thoughtful dialogue with other faiths and traditions
- become active citizens, serving their neighbour
- find a reason for hope in a troubled world
- understand how religious faith can sustain believers in difficult circumstances and in the face of opposition.
It is entirely appropriate and necessary in today’s world that children should be encouraged to foster a respect for the followers of the other world faiths. It is essential that this respect is based on an accurate and sympathetic understanding of those faiths.
Therefore RE in our school aims also to help pupils to:
- learn about other faiths, their beliefs, traditions and practices and from them through encounter and dialogue
- recognise and respect those of all faiths in their search for God
- recognise areas of common belief and practice between different faiths
- enrich and expand their understanding of truth while remaining faithful to their own tradition
- enrich their own faith through examples of holy living in other traditions.
Opportunities within the Content of RE taught in Borrowdale C of E School
- opportunities to explore the experience of the Church’s year
- study of the story of the local Christian community
- visits to places of worship, especially St Andrew's Church (the local parish Church), to develop the understanding of the Church as a living community
- welcoming visitors from the local parish to share their experience of Christian belief and life
- liaison with the local parish to enable these visits and links to occur
- skills to confidently use religious language to express knowledge and opinions.
- a set of Bibles in language that can be understood by the learners and examples of Bibles and prayer books from a variety of contexts
- the facility to listen to Christian ‘psalms, hymns and spiritual songs’ from a wide variety of traditions
- access to Christian artefacts that are used with care, respect and confidence
- a sacred space that can be used as a focus for prayer and silent reflection Religious Education in our school enables:
- pupils and teachers to talk openly and freely about their own personal beliefs and practice without fear of ridicule
- pupils to make excellent and appropriate progress in their knowledge and understanding of Christianity
- pupils from Christian families to talk openly about their beliefs and values in lessons and to grow in their faith
- pupils from other faith backgrounds to understand and be encouraged in their faith
- pupils with no religious background to be given an insight into what it means to be a person of faith
- pupils of all backgrounds to have a safe place to explore the ultimate questions and challenges of life in today’s society