All schools are required to teach Religious Education to all pupils on the school roll (except when parents exercise their right to withdraw their children from the subject). RE is a core subject of the Basic Curriculum, and at Harston and Newton school we follow the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus for RE. According to the 1996 Education Act, Religious Education must reflect the fact “that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.”
In Reception children look at how major festivals (including Christmas, Easter and Diwali) are celebrated. From Year 1 to Year 6, they will learn about a different religious faith each year, alongside their study of Christianity. The units of work are based on the “Community of enquiry” approach to teaching and learning. A key question, such as “Why is Christmas important for Christians?” or “Is religion what you say or what you do?”, is explored though a number of smaller questions over a series of lessons.
There are two attainment targets for Religious Education.
AT 1 – Learning about religion and belief. This included thinking about and interpreting religious beliefs, teachings, sources, practices and ways of life, with reference to the specific beliefs and religions studied.
AT 2 – Learning from religion and belief This includes communicating reflections, responses and evaluations about questions of identity, belonging, diversity, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments, making increasingly insightful links to the specific religions studied.
Religious education makes a significant contribution to children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; children are encouraged to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their studies. We enrich lessons by visiting places of worship and welcoming visitors, including parents, to talk about their experience as members of a faith community.
Parents have a legal right to request “that a pupil may be wholly or partly excused from receiving Religious Education given in accordance with the school’s basic curriculum.” We encourage any parent who is considering making such a request to arrange a meeting to discuss their concerns with the headteacher.
This is the link to the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus for further information.