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The main aim of Religious Education is to encourage respect for all beliefs and cultures as well as helping to promote the pupils’ spiritual, moral, physical and cultural development. The syllabus and work in school is based on aspects of The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (Pan-Berkshire 2012-2017), which is adapted to meet the needs of the students within the school. The teaching of RE should also help pupils to learn about religion as well as learning from religion.
The teaching of RE is a legal requirement under the Education Act (1996) which requires that:
RE should be taught to all pupils in full-time education in school except for those pupils withdrawn at the request of their parents (details to be found in DCSF publication).
The guidelines as outlined in the Agreed Syllabus for the teaching of Religious Education states that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions (Education Act, 1996).
The Importance of RE:
- RE should develop the pupil’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of Christianity, the other principal religions and their traditions.
- RE should enhance pupil’s awareness and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, and practices, forms of expression, family life, communities and cultures.
- RE should offer opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.
- RE should encourage pupils to learn from different religious beliefs, values and traditions.
- RE encourages pupils to develop a sense of belonging and identity.
- RE enables pupils to flourish within their communities as well as individually as citizens in a multicultural, pluralistic and global society.
- RE is important in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning
- RE helps students to show respect, kindness, tolerance towards others, including animals and wildlife.
- RE enables pupils to become more aware of ethical and moral issues within the community and society as a whole.
- RE is also important in helping our students to express their feelings, thoughts and in helping them to make choices and decisions. The pupils in Early Years and in Key stage 1 and 2, the curriculum is presented throughout the day, through play and daily routines with opportunities for 1:1 and group work which takes full account of personal, social and emotional development.
Pupils within Key Stage 3 now follow a Cross Curricula Syllabus, in which all foundation and core subjects are based on particular themes which change each term. Religious Education is incorporated within those themes, under the heading, ‘Knowledge & Understanding’ along with Science.
Most pupils within both Key Stages 3 and 4 are timetabled for 1 lesson a week, with the exception of pupils from the PMLD/Complex needs classes for whom the curriculum is presented through daily routines, with opportunities for 1:1 and group work, taking account of the pupils’ personal, emotional and social development. For all pupils there are opportunities through themed days and for students to participate in activities celebrating the major religious festivals throughout the year.
For the students in 6th Form the subject is covered through planned themes relating to the major religious festivals and is linked to accredited courses e.g., personal progress and Bronze Award under ‘Beliefs & Values’