Subject Leader - Mr Gray
The Gateshead agreed syllabus for Religious Education (2018) sees RE as a means of preparing children for life in contemporary Britain, by giving them an understanding of the diverse and wide range of beliefs among the population. It is the right of all people to make these very personal choices and we must educate children to respect this and understand the different practices of faith among our community locally, nationally and globally.
RE at Caedmon
Based in such a diverse and multicultural area, it is essential for our children at Caedmon Primary School to be aware and informed of the different religions that surround them within the community and elsewhere.
The intent of the RE strategy adopted at Caedmon is to support children in developing their understanding and knowledge of what shapes their lives and beliefs and also the lives and beliefs of their peers celebrating and promoting our differences as a school community.
Religious Education is taught throughout the school supporting the children to enquire for answers and acquire knowledge. As well as this, we try to embed philosophical discussions and encourage children to question the why behind values and beliefs in such a way, that develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Our children have described RE as being ‘important because it teaches you about different cultures.’ We celebrate our multicultural cohort at Caedmon Primary School and children enjoy talking about their different beliefs in school ‘I like telling my class about my culture and religion and helping the teacher!’.
The RE curriculum at Caedmon is guided by Gateshead Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education developed to prepare and equip all pupils for life in contemporary Britain by enabling them to acquire a good level of religious literacy. The RE curriculum at Caedmon provides pupils with the opportunity to explore the teachings, beliefs and practices of Christians and other principal religions represented in Britain: Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. Many of our children at Caedmon follow Christianity, Islamic and Hindi faiths so it is important for children to express, respect, acknowledge and understand these faiths within school. It also encourages our communities of different faiths to learn and respect other families within the area. There is also a large Jewish population within Bensham and it is important for children to respect, acknowledge and understand the importance of Judaism especially within our community. Some consideration is also given to non-faith based belief systems, such as Humanism and Atheism.
Alongside an understanding of the key features of these principal religions, RE at Caedmon provides opportunities for children to develop their insight and reasoning from the questions that arise from their exploration of religious faiths and world views, through engaging lessons that include discussion, debate, drama and role-play. Teachers also incorporate a cross-curricular approach to RE, with lessons linked to art, music, English and PSHE, for example. RE lessons are enhanced with artefact boxes and visits to local places of worship. Pupils from different religious backgrounds are also encouraged to discuss their beliefs and practices. RE lessons also provide the opportunity for children to discuss discrimination and the values of tolerance and respect.
The Religious Education curriculum at Caedmon Primary achieves the aims of the Gateshead Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, providing pupils with opportunities: to explore the teachings, beliefs and practices of the principal faiths in British society; engage with some of the big questions about our life in the world; to reflect on the challenges presented by living in a diverse world. Pupils at Caedmon are able to discuss the key features of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, take part in meaningful debates about identity and responsibility and understand difference and how difference should be accommodated and respected. Pupil voice has shown that pupils enjoy RE, which they find engaging and informative. They particularly enjoy group debates and role-play.
Furthermore, the skills employed by pupils in RE lessons, e.g. reading, research, debate, contribute to the development of their learning skills in other subjects. Importantly, through the understanding and evaluation of others’ beliefs, and reflection on their own, pupils at Caedmon develop self-awareness, understanding and empathy. The knowledge, skills and personal attributes gained through studying Religious Education at Caedmon play an important part of a holistic education offered by a broad and balanced curriculum. They also help pupils to understand their place in society and to support them in becoming responsible citizens of the world.