The Purpose of Religious Education at St John’s CE Primary School
Religious Education creates challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops children's knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief including Christianity, principal religions, other religious traditions and world views, in the context of a diverse society.
RE offers chances for reflection and spiritual development. It enables children to flourish individually, within our community and as citizens in a diverse society and global community. RE has an important role in preparing children for adult life, employment and learning through their life. It enables them to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, and enables children to challenge prejudice. In these ways it contributes to the wellbeing of children and promotes ways in which they help contribute to communities so they can live and work together.
The RE Curriculum and Collective Worship
At St. John’s Primary School we teach to a curriculum that involves a range of topics that revolve around the Christian calendar and areas of meaning to do with the church and the Bible. For example, a lesson might involve talking about the symbolism of light and how this is linked to prayer. The curriculum also covers other religions as we believe children should develop an understanding of all of these as well as a deep understanding of Christianity.
Collective worship happens on a daily basis in Key Stage 1 and 2. This might happen as an assembly or as a short period of worship in class. Children think about religious stories or spiritual symbolism and relate it to the way we behave as a family within school. This worship is led by teachers or by our vicar, Father Mark. In Key Stage 2, children take part in a more formal mass led by Father Mark. This is sometimes done as a Key Stage or as a class. This enables children to develop a greater understanding of what it means to pray and reflect. The Foundation Stage also has a period of worship where they think about what it means to pray. This is more informal and acts as an introduction to worship.
A number of important events in the religious calendar are celebrated every year by the school. This includes looking at different religions as well as Christianity. Some of these are celebrated in class or in assembly and are led by teachers or visitors. The children also visit St. John’s Church to celebrate different events such as Harvest Festival and Ash Wednesday. Children read prayers they have created for the service or perform readings. They also prepare small presentations to help other children understand the importance of the events and give visitors an idea about what has been learnt in school.