At Fairways, Religious Education has a significant role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection. The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and appreciation for the expression of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community.
The key aims for Religious Education are reflected in the three attainment targets below:
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
• identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
• appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities
• express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively
• enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all
• articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
Religious Education also plays an important role, along with all other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE, in promoting social awareness and understanding in our children. We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world and to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences. We include and promote British values, ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as UK citizens. Our curriculum is designed to encourage creativity, imagination, enquiry, debate, discussion and independence.
We use the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education developed by the Southend Borough Council (see below). This syllabus enables teachers to introduce their students to the richness and diversity of faiths; not only as represented within the Borough of Southend, but within the United Kingdom and across the world.
This agreed syllabus requires that all pupils learn from Christianity in each key stage. In addition, pupils will learn from the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law.
These are Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism. Furthermore, children from families where non-religious worldviews are held are represented in almost all of our classrooms. These worldviews, including for example Humanism, will also be the focus for study.
The Religions to be taught are:
In the Early Years Foundation Stage - Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.
Key Stage 1 - Christians and Muslims or Jewish people.
Key Stage 2 - Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish people.
There are three main strands that teachers need to follow and then they need to select one key questions from each strand to teach to their year band.
Believing (Religious beliefs, teaching, sources, questions about meaning, purpose and truth)
Expressing (Religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity)
Living (Religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments)
Experiences and enrichment opportunities at Fairways include:
• Handling artefacts
• Exploring sacred texts
• Using imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas
• Responding to images, games, stories, art, music and dance
• Meeting visitors from local religious communities
• Making visits to religious places of worship where possible, and where not, making use of videos and the internet
• Taking part in whole school events- (multi-faith days, Harvest Festival, school performances)
• Participating in moments of quiet reflection
• Participating in Open the Book assemblies
• Using ICT to further explore religion and belief globally
• Comparing religions and worldviews through discussion
• Debating and communicating religious belief, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking ultimate questions posed by these
We value the religious background of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which are, and can be made between home, school, and a faith community. We acknowledge that each religion studied can contribute to the education of all our pupils.
The children at Fairways Primary enjoy learning about other religions and why people choose, or choose not to follow a religion. Through their RE learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. It will also promote diversity and equality, and stretches their understanding of the world they are growing up in and are citizens of. As such, RE is invaluable in an ever changing and diverse society.