The National Curriculum states the legal requirement that: Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based. All state schools must teach religious education. (‘The National Curriculum in England: Framework document’, September 2013, p.4).
The syllabus followed in Town Lane Infant School is the Wirral Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. This was updated in 2013.
The National Curriculum begins with the condition that the school curriculum should:
"promote the spiritual, moral cultural, mental and physical development of pupils in school and prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life".
It states that schools must provide religious education for all registered pupils, although parents can choose to withdraw their children. Schools must teach religious education according to the locally agreed syllabus. Each agreed syllabus should reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
Religious Education has an important role in contributing to these requirements. ‘ It makes a distinctive contribution to the whole school curriculum by developing pupils knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures. It enables pupils to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life. ‘
The National Curriculum
Religious Education helps pupils to recognise, respect and value similarities and differences in the search for truth and meaning and to recognise the value of religious belief to believers. Religious education does not seek to urge religious beliefs on pupils nor to compromise the integrity of their own faith by promoting one religion over another. Wirral Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, 2013.
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
A. 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 wisdom8 found in religions and worldviews;
• appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
B. 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 or a worldview.
C. 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.
2.2 Religious Education in the Basic Curriculum
RE is a statutory subject of the school curriculum. Alongside the subject’s contribution to pupils’ mental, cognitive and linguistic development, RE offers distinctive opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. RE lessons at Town Lane Infant school offer a structured and safe space during curriculum time for reflection, discussion, dialogue and debate.
Progress and Achievement in R.E.
The Progression Chart for RE, which demonstrates progress through descriptors, provides help and guidance for teachers of RE at Town Lane Infant school. This can be found on pages 70-71 of the Wirral Agreed Syllabus 2013.
In order to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 1 programme of study for Religious Education Town Lane Infant School has developed the following long term plan.
Long-term plan adapted from the Wirral Scheme of Work for Religious Education. (2013)