Religion and Worldviews (subject lead R Holland)
“The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.” Devon and Torbay Agreed Syllabus for RE.
At Okehampton Primary School it is our intent for the religion and worldviews element of our school curriculum to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage pupils. We aim to study the way that beliefs shape our lives and our behaviours. Through the exploration of different religious beliefs, values and traditions that are followed in our multi-cultural society, we aim to prepare our pupils for adult life, employment and life-long learning. We aim to develop pupils’ aptitude for dialogue so they can contribute positively to a diverse society, respectfully agreeing or disagreeing with others and enabling them to combat prejudice.
Pupils will encounter core concepts in religions and beliefs, improving their understanding and their ability to explore and evaluate these key concepts. Our approach sets the context for open investigation of diverse religious traditions as well as non-religious world views. Our curriculum is designed to encourage inquiry, debate, respectful discussion and independent thinking.
At Okehampton we use the Devon and Torbay agreed syllabus 2019 – 2024. This syllabus reflects a broad and inclusive curriculum, exploring religion and world views. This is achieved through studying one religion at a time (systematic units), and then including thematic units which build on the learning by comparing the religions, beliefs and practices discussed. This teaching and learning approach of the agreed syllabus has 3 core elements which are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning about religions and beliefs. These elements are:
- Making sense of religious and non-religious beliefs – identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts, explaining how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways
- Making connections – evaluate and reflect on key concepts, responding thoughtfully and creatively, challenging the ideas studied, and challenging their own thinking, expressing their own responses and reflections
- Understanding the impact – In this element, pupils examine how and why people put their beliefs into action within their everyday lives, their communities and in their wider world
Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.
Christianity and two other principal religions are studied, as well as considering non- religious views and studying thematic units.
Christianity and three other principal religions are studied in depth as well as considering non-religious views and studying thematic units.
At Okehampton Primary School, we value the religious background of all members of the school community and are also fortunate that members of our local churches visit us regularly to engage and encourage us by enriching our school values. Our curriculum is enhanced further with trips to places of worship in our local area.
At Okehampton Primary School, religion and worldviews is taught as an engaging, inclusive and enquiry-led subject, open to all and at the centre of the curriculum, and we would hope that all parents would understand the value of this for all children. However, parents do have a right by law to withdraw their children from religion lessons. In this event, we will undertake responsibility for their supervision with regard to health and safety.
We always encourage parents to discuss any concerns they may have about the religions and worldviews curriculum with the Principal before making a final decision. Requests for full or partial withdrawal need to be made to the Principal in writing.
The children at Okehampton Primary School extend their knowledge and understanding of religion and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They become encouraged to be curious and ask increasingly challenging questions regarding religion, faith, values and human life. Pupils learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with and are able to give their own coherent reasons to support their ideas and views. Through their learning, pupils are given the opportunity to wonder about the world, explore connections between beliefs and practices studied and can reflect about life in the world today.
Managing the right to withdraw from RE
At Okehampton Primary School, RE is taught as an engaging, inclusive and enquiry-led subject, open to all and at the centre of the curriculum, and we would hope that all parents would understand the value of this for all children. However, parents do have a right by law to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons. In this event, we will undertake responsibility for their supervision with regard to health and safety. The school follows the guidance offered by the Diocese of Exeter and we always encourage parents to discuss any concerns they may have about the RE curriculum with the Principal before making a final decision. Requests for full or partial withdrawal need to be made to the Principal in writing.
Collective Worship and the Law
In accordance with legal requirements (School Standards and Framework Act 1998) an act of collective worship, taking into account of the age, aptitude and background of the pupils, is provided daily for all pupils except those withdrawn by parents. The school expects that withdrawal will be only made following discussions with the Principal, followed by written confirmation of withdrawal. Special arrangements will be made to supervise children withdrawn from acts of worship. In addition, staff have the right to withdraw from the act of collective worship.
“The arrangements for the required collective worship may, in respect of each school day, provide for a single act of worship for all pupils or for separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or in different school groups.”
The School Standards and Framework Act 1998