This page is all about Religious Education and aims to provide information about:
The Importance of Religious Education
Religious education (RE) makes a distinctive contribution to a balanced and broadly-based school curriculum which:
Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief including Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, and of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
RE encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. RE contributes to pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. It encourages them to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community. RE has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice. RE can also make important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as citizenship, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, the humanities and the arts, education for sustainable development and others.
It is important to note that Religious Education is about developing understanding of self and others; it is not about promoting the beliefs of one religion or tradition over another.
Aims as a Community (non-church) school
Northenden Community School is community school. It does not have a religious status (it is not a church school), nor does it promote or rely upon the teachings of one particularly religion as the foundation of the school’s ethos or teaching. However, the school does teach and promote, through its curriculum and other activities, principles which are evident in aspects of religious faiths:
The Local Syllabus for Religious Education
There is a legal requirement for all schools to deliver a curriculum for Religious Education (R.E.). However, there are is no National Curriculum for R.E. Instead, schools follow the syllabus agreed by their Local Authority, often agreed by neighbouring authorities. The body that designs and agrees the syllabus is called the SACRE, the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The SACRE advises the Local Authority on matters relating to collective worship in community schools and on religious education given in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus. The SACRE monitors the effectiveness and appropriateness of the agreed syllabus, which is formally reviewed every five years.
Manchester Syllabus for Religious Education
Our teaching of this subject and the expectations we have of children are underpinned by the syllabus agreed by Manchester City Council and the SACRE. A new syllabus was launched in 2016 for implementation in 2016 – 2021.
In each year group, children will be taught:
Key Questions / Units of Work
The R.E. syllabus is taught through a number of units of work, each of which aims to explore a key question.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, understanding about different faiths and cultures is developed through the Understanding the World (People and Communities) area of learning.
By the end of reception, children should be able to …
talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)
Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)
Christianity and any other religion(s) relevant to children in the school. The choice of religion should reflect the composition of the school. RE does not have to be provided for children in nursery education but it is able to make a valuable contribution to most of the early learning goals. It is a statutory requirement for reception children aged 5 years.
At this time, all schools are required to hold a daily act of collective worship. This majority of this collective worship has to be of a predominantly Christian nature. Christian values, and those of other faiths, feature in our assemblies and our lessons and we provide opportunities for children to think about and reflect upon:
We also promote these values:
Such is the scope available to the person leading collective worship. Through themes such as these the spiritual awareness of every individual may be developed. We offer children opportunities to explore and share beliefs, to consider the relevance of ideas, beliefs and values to their own lives and to think about the needs of others and what it means to be part of a community.
Visits to Places of Worship
As part of our Religious Education curriculum, pupils will have the opportunity to visit a number of places of Worship of different religious groups. These include:
We also invite people to visit our school to share their beliefs and customs. These include the Buddhist Society.
Parents’ Right to Withdraw children from Religious Education
Parents have the right to request the withdrawal of their child from part or all of the Religious Education curriculum. If you wish to withdraw your child from any part of all of our R.E. curriculum, please make an appointment to discuss this with the Headteacher. A discussion may give you an opportunity to learn a little more about the curriculum to help you make a more informed decision or share your concerns or thoughts. To confirm your request to withdraw your child, please do so in writing stating the part of the R.E. curriculum from which your child is to be withdrawn. During this part of the curriculum, your child may be placed in another class to undertake alternative R.E. work or work in another subject. The schools aims for all children, irrespective of their religious beliefs, to be involved in Religious Education lessons as the school’s curriculum promotes understanding of and respect for different faiths without promoting any particular faith or practice.
There is a link between the teaching of Religious Education and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development. Spiritual development is achieved in so many different ways, not just through the teaching of Religious Education or collective worship. Click here to find out more about SMSC development at our school.