Religious Education is a core subject at St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School and is at the centre of our ethos. We believe that R.E. plays an important role in preparing pupils for adult life and endeavour to equip children with knowledge and skills to become responsible citizens who can make reasoned, informed and positive judgements on religious and moral issues.
Religious Education is taught through regular lessons in each year group. As a school we use the resource ‘Understanding Christianity’ which has been developed by ‘The Church of England Education Project’. This resource aims “to help all teachers support pupils in developing their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it” (The Church of England Education Office, 2016). We also use resources developed by Diocese of Guildford to support our teaching of different faiths and beliefs.
Within ‘Understanding Christianity’, there are two focuses that we work on. One of these is learning about Christianity itself and ‘understanding the text’. The other is digging deeper to ‘understand the impact’ of the text and ‘make connections’ between this, a Christian’s beliefs and the way in which they live their lives.
Similarly, within the teaching of other faiths and beliefs, there are two focuses. One of these is the ‘learning about’ a religion, where children develop knowledge of the people who are important to these religions, their history, where people worship and how their beliefs affect the way they live. The other focus is ‘learning from’ a religion. This is where children are encouraged to reflect on how they can learn from other people’s beliefs.
During their time at St Margaret’s, our children’s knowledge of Christianity and other faiths is built up and contributes to their ability to personally reflect on their thoughts and beliefs, build resilience and respect other beliefs and points of view. These are vital skills for the children as we live in a diverse society. Most importantly, children learn to understand and value the Christian values of truth and diversity, in order to be able to make positive moral judgements, both now and in the future.