Religious Education

At St George’s School, our RE curriculum focuses on a small number of core concepts in order to enable pupils to develop a deep understanding of Christianity and of other faith and non-faith positions. Pupils learn about and revisit core concepts in different contexts as they move through the school. These varied encounters deepen pupils’ understanding of the meaning of these concepts.  The curriculum explores ways in which belief in the core concepts has an impact on the diverse communities involved and on the lives of individuals.  We aim to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own. The curriculum weaves in opportunities for pupils to reflect upon these ideas in relation to their understanding of religion and faith or non-faith positions and includes their own responses.  The syllabus is crafted around three main resources: Understanding Christianity (UC), Discovery RE, and Festival Matters. These resources are available to view on request at the school. Our skilled teachers use these resources and adapt them to ensure that children are engaged, interested and learning effectively, and that the material is relevant to them.

Religious Education provides rich opportunities for children and young people to learn about things that matter in the lives of local people and the wider world. Our syllabus enables pupils to study beliefs, teachings and ways of living, and is structured so that they can explore a range of responses to questions of identity, meaning, purpose, values and commitments. In the process they can examine and reflect upon their own ideas and values. At a time when religious beliefs guide the lives of billions of people worldwide, understanding people’s views can be a first step to recognising and appreciating diversity. This is particularly important at a time of global tensions. Our agreed syllabus inspires creative, challenging and thoughtful Religious Education to promote personal development.  It encourages a thoughtful and questioning approach to life and seeks to lay the foundation for schools, so that their pupils grow in understanding of themselves and the world in which they live, preparing them for life in Britain today.

We develop understanding of Christianity as a world faith and make comparisons with other faiths whilst aiming to encourage a sense of respect for religious traditions, beliefs and practice. It is important to us to support children as they develop skills and attitudes which will support their personal, moral, social and cultural development.

Principal aim

The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.

The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 well being 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.

When planning, teachers at St George’s consider how their teaching contributes towards the principal aim of RE in the local area, and how they help pupils to achieve the threefold aim.

Our 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.

Educational visits and visitors

At St George’s, we place great importance on educational visits and visitors to enhance the R.E. curriculum. These visits provide rich opportunities for children and young people to learn about things that matter in the lives of local people and the wider world.

As a church school we have strong links with our local Parish Church St George’s and visit to hold regular services.  At Easter, Harvest and Christmas time, each class contributes to the services with poems or songs or readings.  The children will write and read their prayers.   Once a term we hold our Achievement Assembly in the church sharing our weekly achievements and work with the congregation.  We also start each term with our first worship of the term in the Church.

Each week the Priest in Charge and or the Open the Book team visit school to lead whole school worship. Our Year 6 children regularly participate in the Salisbury Diocese Leavers service in the Cathedral.

The right of Withdrawal from RE

We aim to be an inclusive community but recognise that parents, of course, have the legal right to withdraw their children from Religious Education. We would ask any parent considering this to contact the Head teacher to discuss any concerns or anxieties about the policy, provision and practice of Religious Education at St George’s School.