A Year 5 pupil in a diocesan primary school once said 'In Religious Education it is great because it helps me think about my own religion, Christianity, the similarities and differences between it and other religions and God'.
Religious Education (RE) is not just an academic subject, but, lies at the very heart of the curriculum and has an important role in reflecting and conveying the distinctively Christian character of the school.
RE enables pupils to think theologically and explore the great questions of life and death, meaning and purpose; reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief; see how the truth of Christianity is relevant today and face the challenge of Jesus' teaching in a pluralist and post modern society; experience the breadth and variety of the Christian community and become active citizens, serving their neighbour. As well exploring Christianity, students in Church of England Secondary Schools are given the opportunity to study other major world religions and consider what it means to be a practising member of a faith. All Church of England Secondary Schools offer the opportunity for students to study examinations in RE both at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.
Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) recognises that in a Voluntary Aided Church of England school the governing body is responsible for the syllabus for RE. The headteacher and staff work with and under the direction of the Governing Body. It is the governing Body's responsibility to ensure that the Religious Education is provided for all registered pupils including those in the sixth form, in accordance with the Trust Deed. The governors should work within the Board's policy for Religious Education in Church of England schools and in consultation with the Headteacher and Religious Education Subject Leader.
The Board's RE Advisers provide advice and primary schemes of work for Voluntary Aided schools. The curriculum teaches pupils about religion in accordance with two attainment targets, Learning About Religion (AT1) and Learning From Religion (AT2). These set out the skills, understanding and knowledge that pupils at different stages of their learning are expected to have. Details of the primary schemes of work can be found in the Members' Area.
In Church Schools, RE should enable pupils to:
- develop a strong foundation of the Christian faith through knowledge and understanding that includes Christian Beliefs and Values, The Bible, Old Testament Characters, the Life and Teachings of Jesus, Prayer and Worship, Saints, The Local Church, The Christian Community, Living out the Faith, Rites of Passage and Christian Festivals
- apply an understanding of Christianity to make reasoned and informed responses to life issues and moral choices
- develop some knowledge and understanding of the other main world faiths represented in the United Kingdom, applying an understanding of religion to develop respect, empathy and sensitivity towards all people
- enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
- develop the ability to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences and communicate issues of faith and truth
- develop skills of critical analysis and evaluation and the promotion of understanding of people from different faith backgrounds and none.
Religious Education Policy Guidance
The Religious Education policy can be downloaded from the Policies section of the Board's website. Further guidance is available in Section 12-16 of the SIAMS Evaluation Schedule and from the Members' Area.
Support for Religious Education Subject Leaders and Heads of Department
Twice a year conferences are held for Diocesan Primary Religious Education Subject Leaders. Both of these gatherings offer a chance for our Religious Education teachers to share ideas and information and to discuss matters of interest. The gatherings are organised by Shaun Burns (Primary Religious Education Adviser). Meetings are also held for secondary Religious Education Heads of Department. The Board's advisers are also able to provide INSET.
To keep RE departments abreast of events, termly newsletters are published for schools. Latest copies of the REflectionsnewsletter are available to download from the Members' Area.
Continuous Professional Development Training for All Staff
Training is provided for teachers and RE subject leaders in church schools. Please visit the Training Page of our website.