Religious Education

THE AIMS OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AT EATON PARK

In order to teach RE, each county will have their own Agreed Syllabus for RE. For Stoke-on-Trent, it states that: Religious education should help pupils to:

  • Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism) represented in Great Britain and Stoke-on-Trent;
  • Develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures;
  • Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in Great Britain;
  • Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
    • Developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life raised by human experiences, and of how religious teaching can relate to them;
    • Responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions, and to their own understanding and experience;
    • Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study;
  • Develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions.

Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life

RE at Eaton Park takes place in the form of formal lessons, where the children explore different religions using different activities, collective worship through whole school and class assemblies and sometimes through cross-curricular links in other subjects, particularly in PSHE lessons. Fortnightly, we have the pleasure of having Reverend Nigel in to take our assembly – where he focuses on using creative ways to retell Christian stories and explore religious themes. Collective prayer is encouraged to those children who choose to participate and respect is encouraged from those children who wish to sit quietly instead to link in with the ‘tolerance of different beliefs’ aspect of British Values.

As a school, we use a specific scheme of work to ensure that there is a good coverage across religions and themes. We encourage each class to look at Christianity as well as other faiths: Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism. Teachers differentiate the work according to their classes’ specific needs and make appropriate resources to use alongside their lessons. As a school, we make sure that the children experience both AF1 (Learning about Religion) and AF2 (Learning from Religion) where they link what they have learnt to their own lives. They get the opportunity to learn about the festivals, beliefs and symbols of a religion as well as looking at morals, opinions and values of them and link them to each other and their own lives.

As RE is not a statutory subject within the National Curriculum, children are not legally obliged to participate in lessons where there is a genuine reason. Parents who have any queries about this should get in contact with the school to discuss any concerns.

We are lucky enough that RE as a subject links in very heavily with PSHE as previously mentioned, and some of the pupil passport targets encourage learning within RE. As a school, we seem to have children that are eager to expand their knowledge of different religions and beliefs while staying true to their own.