Religious Education (RE)
Religious Education is a core subject in the school curriculum.
As a Church of England, Voluntary Controlled school, the Religious Education of our children at Merrow Infant Schools is a strong part of our distinctive Christian vision. Our school’s vision and values permeate all areas of school life and are firmly rooted in Christian principles with Biblical foundations; they feed into our teaching and approaches for all curriculum subjects, but are especially evident in our reflective approach to Religious Education.
At Merrow Junior School, we aim to encourage an understanding of the importance of caring and good relationships with others. The Religious Education taught is based on Christian morals and principles and children also learn about a range of world faiths. At the same time pupils are helped to understand the history and culture of other nations and to have an understanding of other religions.
At both schools, we use the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2023-28 and ensure that all compulsory RE topics are covered through our creative curriculum approach..
On leaving our schools, a successful learner of this subject will:
- Know the main teaching and beliefs of world religions
- To have respect and show respect for other people’s beliefs
- Show awareness of key non- religious organisations
- Identify key artefacts from different religions, treating them sensitively
- Ask challenging questions and reflect on answers given
- Visit places of worship and interact with members of different faiths
- Be a tolerant and respectful member of the local community/ society
At Merrow CE Infant School we promote an environment where all children feel accepted and valued as individuals; we enable the children to make their own informed decisions and have the confidence to voice their views. Religious Education develops children’s spiritual, social and cultural awareness. Children are encouraged to discuss their own personal beliefs and opinions whilst showing respect for the beliefs of others.
We work with the children to enable them to ask questions, reflect on their own beliefs and respond to what they discover. As a school, we teach RE through inquiry-based learning where children are encouraged to answer a range of key questions through class discussions, exploring artefacts and creative activities. Following this multidisciplinary approach, the children explore one key question each half term. In the Primary sections of the syllabus, three Golden Threads are identified: God, relating to theological approaches, Identity, relating to more philosophical approaches & Community, relating to sociological approaches. These Golden Threads are woven throughout the units of work as part of the syllabus progression model in the way that they develop children’s knowledge, understanding and skills from EYFS to KS2, always in age-appropriate ways.
Using the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Surrey Schools 2023-28, the lessons for each year are planned by a teacher within the year group and lessons are mainly taught by class teachers but in some cases HLTAs teach this subject, using the lesson plan provided by the teacher.
At Merrow Infant School we study the following religions
Religious Education is taught in weekly blocks over six half terms. At the beginning of each RE week, teachers pose a ‘big question’, which follows an enquiry approach. Interactive, practical activities encourage children to discuss their ideas and build on their previous learning.
Through their RE learning children will:
- Make links between their own lives and the lives of others, acknowledging the diversity, religions and beliefs of their local community;
- Explore how they might contribute to their community and to the wider society, encouraging empathy, generosity and compassion;
- Extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs whilst developing respect for others including people of different faiths and beliefs;
- Discuss challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, developing their knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions and religious traditions;
- Develop their religious vocabulary and use it confidently in discussions;
- Develop confidence in sharing their own thoughts, views and beliefs, and know that they are valued;
- Build their sense of identity and belonging, helping them flourish within their community.
The implementation of our RE curriculum, prepares pupils for further education, adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It helps children and young people become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. Children will leave our schools with the knowledge, skills and understanding to discern and value truth and goodness, strengthening their capacity for making moral judgements and for evaluating different types of commitment to make positive and healthy choices.
In line with the requirements of the law, parents or carers have a right to withdraw their child(ren) from both RE and / or the daily act of collective worship. Whilst legally, parents don’t have to give a reason for the withdrawal, we hope that it would be the beginning of a discussion with the Head Teacher as to how this issue can be resolved.