Woodlands Primary School is a large nursery and primary school that welcomes all children from the local community celebrating their rich variety, cultural and racial backgrounds, as well as their different educational abilities. Each child is valued as a unique individual, as is their contribution to the life of the school community. Furthermore, through the teaching of R.E, we want to promote and build upon community cohesion.
Our Vision of Religious Education
Religious Education is Education about the world’s religions, what people believe and how that belief affects their lives and others.
At Woodlands we aim to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to find out about the world and their place in it. Children develop their understanding of their own beliefs as well as the six main religions. They are also given the opportunity to explore, consider and debate wider issues and questions.
At Woodlands, our intention for the teaching of RE is to provide an opportunity for children to:
- Encourage a sense of awe, wonder, delight, joy and mystery through links with the expressive and creative curriculum.
- Develop respect for the right of others to hold beliefs different from their own.
- Contribute to the pupil’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social development.
- Promote and support Community Cohesion.
RE is taught as a discrete subject using the Herts agreed syllabus. Eight different aspects of religion are studied:
- Beliefs and practice; sources of wisdom;
- symbols and actions; prayer,
- worship and reflection;
- identity and belonging;
- ultimate questions;
- human responsibilities and values and justice and fairness.
Our RE curriculum builds from exploring the children’s own experiences and comparing those to other children. The children are taught of similarities and differences between religions as well as within religions. The curriculum allows the children to make links between religions and use religious ideas to answer philosophical questions. Throughout we teach key religious vocabulary and provide opportunities for children to visit a variety of different places of worship.
The aims of teaching R.E. at Woodlands Primary School are consistent with our School Ethos Statement, Values and take into account the requirements set by the current National Curriculum. All children are entitled to access to the programmes of study at a level appropriate to the needs of the individual child, and we aim to develop the whole person by giving our children opportunities to reach their full potential in Religious Education.
The above intent can be achieved if we:
- Extend children’s natural curiosity and help them to use their imagination in order to extend their spiritual development.
- Encourage children to recognise their own value and importance as individuals; promote their social development.
- Help children to understand the religious beliefs, attitudes and activities of other people and reflect, develop and express their own beliefs and values.
- Help children to consider their personal response to moral issues, assist them in their early exploration of the meaning of life, and help them face and learn from painful experiences which they encounter such as fear, suffering and death.
- Evaluate a range of moral and religious issues with reference to the teachings of religions.
- Consider some basic religious concepts and ways in which they have been expressed in sacred books, story-telling, language and writings, symbols and the arts, daily living and rituals.
- Introduce children to the lives of key figures in various religions and to people who have responded to their teaching and example.
- Provide opportunities for children to share in memorable and festive experiences from various cultures and traditions, thus stimulating questions about the meaning of such occasions.
- Learn about beliefs, values and the concepts of spirituality.
- Understand the inter-relationships between religion, culture and society.
Assemblies are used to identify, promote and celebrate the school’s values. Opportunities include: celebrating individual and group achievement; raising and considering topical, political, spiritual, moral, social, and cultural issues; reflecting on personal and religious ideals, values, experiences and feelings, and those of others.
Woodlands respects the right of parents to withdraw their children from RE lessons. We hope that the scheme of work offered will mean that parents do not need to do so. In such cases, other arrangements can be made via the class teacher if parents wish their children not to attend these sessions.
A Woodlands RE student will develop their ability to think critically and empathically; identify similarities and differences between and within religions, research and answer questions. They will know the key beliefs and practices of the six main religions and how they influence the world around them. A Woodlands RE student will develop the ability to communicate this understanding in discussions, presentations, writing and role plays. They will be open minded and tolerant of other people’s beliefs.
A dual curriculum approach following the school closure in March 2020 and January 2021 ensured that Religious Education continued to be delivered in a way that reflected the subject’s vision and approach to learning.