Religious education (RE) is not part of the National Curriculum but must be taught in schools by law. We are a Church of England Controlled School and hold a strong commitment to teaching the principles of Christianity.
The Purpose of RE at Claypole Church of England School
We teach RE as a core part of our school curriculum to help our pupils develop their religious literacy. We understand religious literacy to be: “Our pupils’ ability to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief”.
The Aims of RE at Claypole Church of England School
Claypole School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School for children aged 4 to 11 years. It is a small village primary school catering for all pupils in Claypole and surrounding villages. Voluntary Aided status means that we have very close links with our local church, clergy and the Diocese of Lincoln. Whilst attending Claypole School, children will learn about the different world faiths in Religious Education.
RE at Claypole Church of England School will be provided within legal requirements. These are as follows:
The Basic Curriculum must include provision for RE for all pupils registered on the school roll, including those in Reception class who are less than five years old.
The content of RE must reflect the fact that the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian; it must also reflect the teaching and practices of the other principal religious traditions represented in Great Britain
The RE curriculum provided will be in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus for Lincolnshire. Within this framework our aims in RE are to meet the expectations of the Church of England Education Office’s Statement of Entitlement for RE, which sets the expectations for RE in church schools. This is not a legal requirement. We also aim for pupils to:
Acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and a range of world faiths and worldviews;
Develop an understanding of the ways in which religious and non-religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions influence individuals, communities, societies and cultures, from the local to the global contexts;
Develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the beliefs, teachings, practices, sources of authority and ways of living associated with the principle religions represented in the UK;
Develop positive attitudes of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
Enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
Considering the ‘big questions’ raised by human experience and reflecting on how religious and other traditions respond to them;
Responding to such questions with reference to religious beliefs, teachings, practices, values and traditions, relating them to their own understanding and experience;
Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in light of their study of religious and other traditions.
Claypole Church of England School is a small rural school for children in the age range 4 to 11. We work to the 2018-2023 Lincolnshire Locally Agreed Syllabus for RE.
As a Church of England school, we recognise the core place that RE occupies in relation to our curriculum. The Diocese of Lincoln recognises the opportunities that RE offers for pupils to encounter a range of religions and world views.
We recognise the variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds that make up our school community and we respect this variety of backgrounds in the spirit of Christian welcome. We are glad to have good relationships with faith practitioners from a range of world faiths and we value their contribution to our provision of engaging RE.
We actively seek to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain. As such, we promote key British values, including respect for and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We challenge racism and all forms of prejudice and we see RE as one curriculum area in which our pupils can encounter and critically reflect on a range of worldviews.
It is the expectation of the Church of England Education Office that RE should constitute a minimum of 5% curriculum time. This is in line with the recommendations made by the Dearing Report (1994). We meet this expectation by providing the minimum time of 36 hours per year for KS1 and 45 hours per year for KS2.
At Claypole Church of England Primary School this time is arranged as discrete hour-long lessons per week for each class.
RE forms part of the planning at EYFS; although there is no expected time allocation at this level, we expect that there will be connections made between RE and the Early Learning Goals.
RE curriculum time does not include values lessons, collective worship or assembly.
Scheme of Work and Planning
Our RE Scheme of Work is based on the 2018-2023 Lincolnshire locally agreed syllabus (copies of which are retained on J drive and the hardcopy can be found in the RE Subject Leader folder). RE will be based around termly themes. At KS1, the principal religions studied will be Christianity and Islam; at KS2, the principal religions studied will be Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. It is not expected that pupils will study all six major world religions in depth during their time at Claypole Church of England school, although they will have learning opportunities that allow them to encounter all these faiths. It is expected that pupils will also encounter non-religious worldviews, such as Humanism, as part of their RE curriculum.
We carry out curriculum planning for RE in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the RE topics studied throughout the school; the medium-term plan gives details of each unit of study delivered to each Key Stage. Our planning is based on a two-year rolling programme. The class teacher writes the plans for each lesson. These are discussed on an informal basis with the RE Subject Leader and form part of the annual monitoring process for RE teaching and learning.
Teaching and Learning
OfSTED guidance encourages a range of teaching and learning styles in RE; our policy is to aim to ensure enquiry, art, drama, thinking skills, speaking and listening activities, multisensory activities, visits/visitors, ICT and other teaching strategies are used in order to enable each child to progress in RE according to their individual needs. Cross-curricular work is encouraged, in line with whole school policy on teaching and learning. We identify RE as one of the core subjects through which our pupils can develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, but we do not limit the delivery of SMSC to this subject alone.
Claypole Church of England school has invested in a wide range of appropriate books, artefacts, DVD resources, posters, persona dolls, etc., and the RE Subject Leader audits these resources annually. We take advice from the Diocesan RE Adviser and other RE professionals on the best resources to support the delivery of high-quality RE.
Visits and Visitors
We consider that an essential element of the delivery of good quality RE is encounter with world faiths. We encourage our pupils to participate in visits to places of worship when the opportunity arises; these visits are arranged in line with the programme of study for RE and provide pupils with the chance to encounter world religions as living faiths in modern Britain. We also encourage faith leaders and other members of faith communities to visit Claypole Church of England school. These visits are arranged in accordance with the school’s trips policy.
We reflect the latest advice and guidance on assessment in RE in our planning outcomes, ensuring that work is both matched to pupil need and enables progression. We provide an annual report on each child’s progress in RE. This report will be based on regular monitoring of work in RE using a variety of methods, including verbal feedback, evidence folders and written comments on individual pieces of work.
Monitoring and Review
We intend that this policy should operate for the next two years, and then be fully reviewed by staff and governors. The RE Subject Leader will monitor the delivery of RE during each academic year to ensure that this policy is being appropriately implemented. Their role is to support and hold accountable all members of staff involved in the delivery of RE. To this end, they will ask each member of staff involved in the delivery of RE to provide a copy of their medium-term planning for RE, along with a folder of evidence of pupil progress in RE during each academic year.
The RE Subject Leader will evaluate their own leadership of the subject during each academic year. Using a self-evaluation tool, the RE Subject Leader will work with their line manager to ensure that leadership of RE remains a high priority and is of a high quality.
What is a Reserved Teacher?
1. Section 58 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires the appointment in
Voluntary controlled (VC) schools of teachers who are able to provide religious education in accordance with the requirements of the Trust Deed of the school or in accordance with the tenets of the relevant religion or denomination.
2. Where the number of teachers at a foundation or voluntary-controlled school with a religious character is more than two, the teachers must include persons who are selected for their fitness and competence to teach religious education in accordance with the school’s trust deed or with the tenets of the school’s religion and are specifically appointed to do so.
3. These teachers are called Reserved Teachers.
What is denominational religious education?
4. There is no definition in the Act of denominational religious education but in practice it means any religious education provided in accordance with the requirements of the Trust Deed of the school and that is not the Locally Agreed Syllabus. Reserved Teachers may of course teach the Agreed Syllabus but that is not the purpose of their status.
Why is the provision of denominational religious education required?
5. Because parents have the right to request it. The norm in VC Church of England schools is that RE is provided according to the Locally Agreed Syllabus. Reserved Teachers are not needed for this. However, parents may request denominational religious education and the governing body must make it available. Reserved Teachers are appointed in order that suitable persons are available should parents request this provision.
Our Reserved Teachers are Martyn Wells (Headteacher) and Lynn Kurvink (RE Leader).