RE is taught in accordance with the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Oxfordshire.
RE is statutory and justifies its place in the curriculum on educational grounds. It is the opportunity to explore major and distinctive dimensions of human experience, including:
- a sense of things having a transcendence or divine aspect that calls for reverence or worship;
- spiritual and religious experience and the different ways of interpreting this;
- a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself;
- the tendency to search for meaning, purpose and value in life;
- a sense of a shared humanity and the diverse cultural experiences and expressions of this.
It offers pupils:
- the chance to raise and reflect on perennial questions about life;
- insights into the development of different human cultures.
In doing this, RE draws on the rich history of the major religious traditions in Britain, giving due prominence to Christianity to reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the principal world faiths, local communities and non‐ religious beliefs that may form the family background of many children in our schools.
Thus there are two main educational purposes to RE:
- For pupils to learn about religions and beliefs which have influenced the lives of millions of people and heavily influenced the development of different human cultures. Pupils apply academic skills such as analysis and critical and creative thinking, approaching the study of religion with different disciplines as they mature.
- For pupils to learn more about themselves and their place in the world from their increasingly academic and creative exploration of religions and beliefs.
The Agreed Syllabus aims to enable pupils to:
- understand the nature, role and influence of different religions, traditions, beliefs and lifestyles in the world;
- pursue personal quest for meaning, purpose and value;
- formulate reasoned opinions/arguments in relation to controversial issues and truth claims;
- develop understanding of and respect for different beliefs and lifestyles.
The aims of Religious Education in church schools are:
- To enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage
- To enable pupils to learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents
- To develop understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth
- To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual / philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs
Through enquiry based, challenging and engaging RE pupils are enabled to recognise the impact that faith has in society and encouraged to explore the Big Questions of life.
Through Key Stages 1 and 2, we will focus on Christianity whilst also drawing from Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, as well as non‐ religious worldviews, to provide appropriate depth and breadth to the exploration of the core questions and to meet the needs of the pupils. Reference to other religions, traditions, beliefs and lifestyles can be used to illustrate specific points, to reflect world events, or to include those represented in the class.