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Religious Education

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Religious Education gives children the opportunity to explore religious ideas and practices and encourages them to question and analyse, to think about their own response to what they have learnt. It does not promote but gives children an environment in which they may learn to respectfully challenge ideas and explore their own spirituality. Religious Education is a subject that parents have the right of withdrawal, meaning that should they choose that they do not want their child to receive these lessons, the school will make alternative arrangements for them.

As a Church of England School, Religious Education is based on the Wiltshire Agreed Syllabus which is produced by the Salisbury Diocese and the local Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education (SACRE).  Teaching about Christianity is delivered using Understanding Christianity. This resource was developed to help pupils leave school with a coherent understanding of Christian belief and practice, as part of a wider religious, theological and cultural literacy. When learning about other religions, Discovery RE is used to support the delivery of the Wiltshire Agreed Syllabus.  This employs an enquiry-based model to develop children’s critical thinking skills. Children’s knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced.

The teaching of RE also contributes to the requirement of the school to actively promote British Values.  Through teaching with the Discovery RE scheme we achieve this in the following ways:

Individual liberty:  we promote the idea that individuals have freedom to choose what they believe – we teach the children that everyone is different.  Children are given opportunities to explore, gain knowledge and to reach an understanding that people are at liberty to choose how they express their faith and what they believe in.

Rule of law: there are many example of ‘rule of law’ within RE teaching.  Children are encouraged to think about the laws, commandments, expectations within a faith and how those rules would impact on their own lives as well as on the lives of the people within those religions.  The children are encouraged to understand the origins of the various codes of conduct and laws put forward by different religions and belief positions, and to consider their own position in relation to these.

Mutual respect, democracy and tolerance of these of different faiths and beliefs:  through learning about different faith practices and investigating what they mean for individuals, the children are encouraged to develop mutual respect and tolerance - as well as developing critical thinking skills enabling them to question and discuss beliefs and the ways they might be manifested.  They are also enabled to challenge ideas about religion and spot intolerance when they see it in their community and in the media.

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