RE is delivered in accordance with The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Essex – 2012, the 1988 Education Reform Act and the subsequent DES Professional Paper ‘Religious Education and Collective Worship’ Circular 1/94.
RE forms part of the curriculum and is linked to topic themes where appropriate. RE teaching is concerned with learning about religion by helping pupils to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold beliefs different from their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions and beliefs. It is also about learning from religion by enhancing the children’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social development.
Children are taught to ask questions, enquire into and investigate the nature of religion, its beliefs, teachings, ways of life, sources, practices and forms of expression. They gain knowledge and understanding of individual religions and how they relate to each other as well as studying the nature and characteristics of religion. Children learn to communicate their knowledge and understanding by hearing and using specialist vocabulary linked to different religions and their practice, for example church, cross, baptism, marriage (Christian) synagogue, kippur, Shabbat (Jewish). These aspects of learning are taught using appropriate cross curricular activities and focus heavily on speaking and listening, but also include role play and drama, literacy, art, music and movement, and computing. They include lots of age appropriate visual aids and hands on experiences, including a visit to the local church in Canvey to celebrate Christingle, the celebration of Chinese New Year with dragon dancing and pancake races to remember Shrove Tuesday. These activities and experiences stimulate the children’s involvement in their learning and allow children of all abilities to access the RE curriculum. Children are encouraged to communicate their own ideas in their own ways in relation to identity and belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, and values and commitments.
RE teaching is designed to enhance the children’s spiritual, moral cultural and social development by developing their ability to reflect on and respond to their own and others’ experiences in the light of their learning about religion. RE links well to our British Values teaching, and impacts on all areas of school life where children are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and tolerance and respect for the views and practices of other people.