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All Saints Church of England Aided Infants School

Learning with Love and Laughter

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All Saints Church of England Aided Infants School

Learning with Love and Laughter

RE

All Saints Infants - Religious Education (RE) Policy

Aims and Objectives

Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At All Saints Infants School we develop the children's knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, in accordance with the Christian ethos of our Church of England School. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of Christianity and also of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spirtual knowledge and undeerstanding. We teach the children to lear from religions and about religions following the locally agreed syllabus.

The aims of religious education are to help children:

 

  • Develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues in life experiences;
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other major world religions and value systems found in Britain;
  • Develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a religious tradition;
  • To be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life;
  • Develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate the cultural differences in Britain today;
  • Develop investigative and reseach skills and to enable them to make reasoned judgements about religious issue;
  • Have respect for other peoples' views and to celebrate the diversity in society.

 

The Legal Position of Religious Education

Our school curriculum for religious edication meets the requirements of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA). The ERA stipulates that religious education is compulsary for all children, including those in the reception class who are less than five years old. The ERA allows parents to withdraw their child from religious education classes if they so wish, although this should only be donw once the parents have given written notice to the schook governors. The religious education curriculum forms an important part of the school's spiritual, moral and social teaching and is considered to be a core subject. It also promotes education for citizenship. Our school RE curriculum is based on the Reading LA's Agreed Syllabus and it meets all the requirements set out in that document. The ERA states that the RE syllabus should refelct the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, and that it should, at the same time, take account of the teachings and practises of other major religions.

Teaching and Learning Style

We base our teaching and learnin style in RE on the key principles that good teaching in RE allows children both to learn about religious traditions and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Our teachign enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spirtual growth and development. We encourage children to think sbout their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics studied in the RE curriculum.

Our teaching and learning styles in RE enable children to build on their own experiences and extend their knowledge and understanding of religious traditions. We use their experiences at religious festivals such as Easter, Diwali, Passover etc to develop their religious thinking. We organise visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and talk to the children.

Children carry our research into religious topics. They study particular religious faiths and also compare the religious views of different faith groups on topics such as rites of passage or festivals. Children discuss religious and moral issues using computers and working individually or in groups. Sometimes they prepare presentations and share these with other members of the school in assemblies.

We recognise the fact that all classes in our school have children of widely differing abilities, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example, by:

 

  • Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
  • Setting tasks of increasing difficulty (we do not expect all children to complete all tasks);
  • Grouping the children by ability in the room and setting different tasks for each ability group;
  • Providing resources of different complexity, adapted to the ability of the child;
  • Using classroom assistants to support the work of the indivduals or groups of children.

Curriculum Planning In Religious Education

We plan our religious education curriculum in accordance with Reading LA's Agreed Syllabus. We ensure that the topics studied in religious education build upon prior learning. We offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and we ensure that the planned progression built into the scheme of work offers the children an increasing challenge as they move through the school.

We carry out the curriclulum planning in religious education in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the religious edication topics studied in each term and is part of our two year rolling programme of topics.

Our medium-term plans give details of work for each term.

Foundation Stage

We teach religious education to all children in the school, including those in the reception class.

In reception classes, religious education is an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of The National Curriculum, we relate the religious education aspects of the children's work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals which underpin the curriuclum planning for children aged three to five.

Contributions of Religious Edication To The Teaching of Other Subjects
 

English
Religious edication contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that we use in Literacy Hour have religious themes or content, which encourages discussion, and this is our way of promoting the skills of speaking and listening. We alos encourage the children to write letterd and record information in order to develop their writing ability.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
We use ICT where appropriate in religious education. The children find, select and analyse information, using the internet and CD roms.They also use ICT to review, modify and evaluate their work and to improve its presentation.
 
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship
Through our religious education lessons, we teach the children about the values and moral beliefs that underpin indivual choices of behaviour. So, for example, we contribute to the discussion of topics such as smoking, drugs and health education. We also promote the values and attitudes required for citizenship in a democracy by teaching respect for others and the need for personal responsibility. In general, by promoting tolerance and understanding of other people, we enable children to appreciate what it means to be positive members of our pluralistic society.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
Through teaching religious education in our school, we provide oppoortunities for spiritual development. Children consider and respond to questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life. We help them to recognise the difference between right and wrong through the study of moral and ethical questions. We enchance their socal development by helping them to build a sense of identity in a multicultural society. Children explore issues of religious faith and values and, in so doing, they develop their knowledge and understanding of the cultural context of their own lives.

Teaching Religious Education to Chilldren With Special Education Needs
At our school we teach religious education to all children, whatever their ability. Religious education forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our religious education teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting suitablr learning challenges and responding to each child's different needs. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child's attainment and progess against expected levels.

When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special education needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors - classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation - so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. This ensures that our teaching is matched to the childs needs.

Intervention through School Action and School Action Plus will lead to the creation of an Indivdual Education Plan (IEP) for children with special educational needs. The IEP may include, as appropriate, specific targets relating to religious education.

We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning religious education. Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom, for example, a visit to a place of worship, we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and and appropriate for all pupils.

Assessment and Recording

We assess children's work in religious education by making informal judgements as we observe them in lessons. We discuss work once it has been completed and we comment as necessary.
The RE subject leader keeps samples of children's work in a portfolio. This demonstrates what the expected level of achievement is in RE in each year of the school.
An assessment grid is used to track termly progress.

Resources

We have sufficent resources in our school to be able to teach all our religious education teaching units. We keep resources for religious education in a central store. There is a developing collection of religious artefacts which we use to enrich teaching in religious education. The school library has a good supply of RE topic books and computer software to support the children's indivdual research.

Monitoring

The RE subject leader is responsible for monitoring the standards of the children's work and the quality of the teaching in religious education. At present this person teaches RE to both classes.
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