Religious Education has a unique place as a central subject at St Stephens Primary. It is our intent that high quality Religious Education (RE) delivered in our school is key to enabling every child to flourish.
Quality RE has the potential, more than any other subject, to have the most powerful and lasting effect on the child’s heart and mind. It is a subject that combines academic rigour with the development of the character and spirit of the child. RE provides opportunities for spiritual development and personal reflection. It develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief, it provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose, truth and values, identity and belonging. RE prepares children for citizenship in today’s diverse society. It enables them to develop sensitivity to, and
respect for others. Quality RE breaks down barriers and builds communities. At its best RE offers pupils authentic encounters with living faith communities equipping them with the ability to hold an informed conversation about religious beliefs and practices.
The scheme we follow is "Questful RE", the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education scheme and Understanding Christianity: Text, Impact, and Connections. A key feature of the syllabus is the large number of questions included in each unit. The purpose of these questions is to give pupils opportunity to investigate, reflect, evaluate and make meaning. In doing so they will discover more about themselves, their relationships with others, their relationship with the world around them and their relationship with God. Our school's RE long term plan sets out our curriculum coverage for each year group.
Legal requirements for Religious Education:
Religious Education is a statutory subject of the curriculum for all pupils in each year group and ‘should be provided for all registered pupils except those withdrawn at the request of their parents.’ (s 71 SSFA 1998)
Parents have the right to request that their son or daughter be excused from all or part of the RE provided.
Our curriculum is taught mainly with a Christian emphasis. As a church school we may use the term "we believe" and "we do", whilst recognising and respecting other faith backgrounds of our pupils. At St Stephens, our curriculum is 80% Christian and 20% other world faiths, as set out in our long term plan.
Religious Education is generally taught on a weekly basis, but is sometimes delivered through a class topic or as a whole-school RE day. Teachers use the units key questions to guide and develop their theme/topic. Teachers may develop their own key questions, allowing links with other subject areas where appropriate.
Lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways ensuring that all children can access and participate in lessons. Interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions. We use religious artefacts, visits and visitors to help give our pupils as many first hands experiences as possible.
Pupils’ progress in RE is based on the expected outcomes outlined in the Agreed Syllabus and in Understanding Christianity, which in turn have been developed in line with guidance produced nationally. These outcomes have been developed into 10 Key Performance Indicators for each year group and students are assessed regularly against these KPIs.
We track individual pupil’s progress in this way, whilst also bearing in mind that the statements do not cover all aspects of teaching and learning in RE. For example, pupil’s personal views and ideas are not subject to formal assessment, and yet are central to good RE. Progress in RE is reported annually to parents and has a prominent position in the end of year report.