Religious literacy in the UK has diminished considerably in the last few years. One of the consequences of this is that people are more inclined to accept the stereotypes and misconceptions of religions and beliefs that they are presented with. Religious Education, as part of a well-balanced and broad curriculum, will give every child every chance to counteract this situation. Through the teaching of good quality RE, we aim to break cycles. Good RE should help prepare our children for adult life in modern Britain, enabling them to develop respect and sensitivity for others.We aim to create religiously literate children who can hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and beliefs. RE therefore supports our desire to develop thinking skills and create children who are more articulate. It will also provide opportunities and safe spaces for personal reflection and spiritual development which is so necessary for our children’s wellbeing. Oasis Academy Nunsthorpe has recently decided to follow the Lincolnshire Agreed Syllabus which enables children to learn about religions and beliefs as well as from religions and beliefs. Children are taught about Christianity as well as other principal religions and world views. There is a focus on concepts as well as content. It also presents beliefs as a real, lived phenomenon rather than something exotic or belonging to the past. It also takes into consideration the increasing number of people with non-religious beliefs and identities. RE is taught on a weekly basis throughout the year.
RE offers an ideal opportunity to develop key skills which will enhance learning across all areas of the curriculum:
- - Investigation and enquiry
- - Critical thinking and reflection
- - Empathy
- - Interpretation
- - Analysis
- - Evaluation
It is part of the Oasis intent that RE should have a positive impact on a child’s sense of self-worth, aspiration and willingness to make a difference.
Religious Education has three strands:
Believing - It looks at where beliefs have come from, how they have changed over time, how they are applied differently in different contexts and show how they relate to each other. (Theology)
Living – It explores the diverse ways in which people practise their beliefs. It engages with the impact of beliefs on individuals, communities and societies. (Human and Social Sciences)
Thinking – It is about finding out how and whether things make sense. It deals with questions of morality and ethics. It takes seriously questions about reality, knowledge and existence. (Philosophy)
In Key Stage 1, the focus for the compulsory units is on Christianity and Islam as two major world religions. In Key Stage 2, this focus is on Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Additional units allow for the exploration and comparison of other world beliefs.
The teaching of Religious Education is developed through the following key areas of enquiry which are taught in KS1 and then repeated in KS2 which allows for the revisiting of subjects but in greater depth and at an age appropriate level.
God – What do people believe about God?
Being human - How does faith and belief affect the way people live their lives?
Community, worship and celebration - How do people express their religion and beliefs?
Life journey, rites of passage - How do people mark important events in life?
Religious Education in Reception is not taught as a discrete subject but makes a significant contribution to the achievement of the early learning goals.