Religious education Policy
SAINT PETER’S R.C. PRIMARY SCHOOL
Religious Education Policy
The mission of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic School is:
Together, as a faithful community,
we will live, love and learn so that we are a reflection of Jesus,
inspiring others to walk with us
We will achieve this by making the most of every opportunity, knowing that we are all unique and made in the image of God, each with a special role to play within His creation.
Aims and Objectives
Religious Education at St Peter’s R.C. Primary School is based on the Gospel values and teachings of the Catholic Church. We aim to develop a strong awareness of the spiritual dimensions of life amongst our pupils and to equip them with Christian and most importantly Catholic values which will guide them throughout their lives.
In addition we aim:
- to support the Mission Statement of the school in communicating an understanding of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ, underpinning the ethos of the school and its nurturing role;
- to help develop children’s own beliefs, values and attitudes through an exploration of Christ’s and the Apostles’ teachings as found in Scripture, the examination of religious language and symbolism, along with their shared human experience;
- with emphasis on Roman Catholic beliefs and practices, to know the place significance of Christianity and other world religions in the contemporary world, in the surrounding wider and local communities, and within the Parish;
- to deliver Religious Education through the Salford Diocesan approved RE syllabus, ‘Come and See’ and other resources as appropriate;
- to help pupils develop a personal relationship with Jesus, and to experience the Good news of the Gospel.
- to enable the pupils to grow in their awareness of what it means to be a member of the church;
- to encourage our pupils to reflect on their lives and on society in the light of the Gospel;
- to support the parents and the parish in creating a Christian Catholic community built on the experience of liturgy and prayer;
- to develop in our pupils a sense of social justice;
- to increase pupils’ knowledge, awareness and respect of other religious traditions and cultures;
- to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where politeness and respect are shown to all;
- to develop in children through study of Scripture, an understanding of Gospel values as taught by Jesus.
Planning for Religious Education
Teachers will use a variety of approaches when teaching RE, including work for the whole class, group and at an individual level when a specific need is identified. Mixed ability groups provide opportunities for discussion and creativity.
Differentiation is mainly through outcome though pupils who show the ability to discuss aspects of RE at a deeper level are encouraged through discussion with the class teacher in a small group. Provision for children with Special Educational Needs is made where appropriate through differentiated work to accommodate the wide range of abilities within each class. It is also recognised that Religious Education has a unique role to play in the building of individual pupils’ self-esteem, that through role-play, drama and art work and discussion groups it is the aim of the school that all pupils find a means to relate to the subject.
The importance of continuity and progression is recognised through the choice of topics and discrete units that make up the scheme of work.
We follow the ‘Come and See’ programme as approved by Salford Diocese. We have adopted a fixed topic, whole school approach. The whole school explores each religious theme through the same topics at the same time, with links to the liturgical calendar made wherever possible. A minimum of 10% curriculum team is allocated each week to the teaching of Religious Education as stated by the Diocese of Salford.
Into our termly planning, we incorporate the Curriculum Directory and the subject specific skills taught in Religious Education.
Teaching and Learning Styles
Teachers deploy a variety of techniques to enable children to learn and to assess their progress. Whole class teaching, group work and when necessary individual teaching takes place. Teachers also communicate religious teaching by their everyday witness, based on their own faith commitment. As far as possible, we try to employ Catholic staff by using the C.E.S application forms and placing ads through Catholic outlets e.g. The Catholic Teachers’ Gazette and on the Diocese website.
We recognise the fact that all classes in our school have children of widely differing abilities, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example, by:
- Setting common tasks, which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.
- Setting tasks of increasing difficulty.
- Grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each ability group.
- Providing resources of different complexity, adapted to support the work of individuals or groups of children.
Assessment and Recording
Teachers are responsible for their own record keeping and assessment. We assess children’s work in Religious Education by making informal judgments as we observe them during lessons and through written tasks. We assess them orally, and through their own writing and drawings. Teachers attempt to elicit a personal response from children, so that knowledge of God will help them to understand themselves and the consequences of their actions. We mark a piece of work once it has been completed and provide feedback as outlined in the school’s Marking and Feedback Policy. I can statements are used to assess learning in each unit of work and provide levelled judgements. Children’s progress informs future planning. Children’s progress is reported to parents twice a year at Parents’ Evenings and in an end of year report.
The purpose of assessment, recording and reporting in RE is to ensure reflective learning, to celebrate growth and achievement and enable further progress.
We recognise that assessment recording and reporting are a natural part of teaching and integral to the learning process. They are continuous processes requiring a close partnership between teachers and pupils, and the involvement of others as appropriate. They are the responsibility of all teachers.
We believe that assessment is at the heart of good teaching and that our approach to the assessment recording and reporting of Religious Education will be broad in character and will recognise the innate dignity and worth of each individual.
Assessment is carried out in a variety of styles by the class teacher, through discussion, questioning, observation, marking written work and providing feedback, testing and achieving targets throughout both key stages and the foundation stage.
Assessment is used to help inform future planning. Teachers also assess the children in two areas; Knowledge and Understanding (AT1) and Reflection on Meaning (AT2). The class teacher will comment about the child’s progress on their report.
Assessment can be made via strategies such as:
- Children’s recorded work and marking
- Class Teacher observations of children during role play, carpet time etc
- Children’s own speaking and listening contributions
- Pupils’ self-assessments – for example through mind maps
- I can levelled statements for each unit of work
The process of assessing and recording will enable us to provide evidence of the quality of teaching and learning for ourselves as teachers and for parents and inspectors.
Formal end of year assessments by the class teacher will be recorded on a progress checker and submitted to the RE Co-coordinator for tracking.
Monitoring of RE
The RE Co-coordinator monitors planning and children’s books on a termly basis, or more frequently where needed. This will take place in line with the school monitoring policy and will provide feedback to teachers and governors.
Religious Education contributes significantly to the teaching of Literacy in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Children use a variety of writing genres when recording their Religious Education work.
I.C.T. (Information, Communication, Technology)
We use ICT where appropriate in Religious Education. The children find, select and analyse information using the internet and CD ROMs. They also use ICT to review, modify and evaluate their work to improve its presentation.
P.S.H.E. (Personal, Social and Health Education)
Through our Religious Education lessons, we teach the children about the values and moral beliefs that underpin individual choices of behaviour. Links are made with the SEAL programme. So, for example, we contribute to the discussion of topics such as smoking, drugs and health education. We also promote the values and attitudes required for citizenship in a democracy by teaching respect for others and the need for personal responsibility. In general, by promoting tolerance and understanding of other people, we enable children to appreciate what it means to be positive members of our pluralistic society.
S.E.N.D (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
The Governing Body and the staff of St. Peter’s School firmly believe in the value of each individual as a child of God. The school therefore, welcomes pupils with Special Educational Needs. In our school, we teach RE to all children, whatever their ability. The teaching of RE is a vital part our School Curriculum Policy, which states that we provide a broad and balanced education for all our children. When teaching RE, we ensure that we provide learning opportunities matched to meet the needs of children with learning difficulties and the gifted. We take into account the targets set for individual children in their Provision Maps.
Multi-Cultural Education and Equal Opportunities
Our belief in the value of each individual encompasses a mutual respect for differences. Our Admissions Policy states that we are a Catholic school. Regular monitoring of the Admission’s policy takes place. Both Multi-Cultural Education and Equal Opportunities permeate the whole education process and can be found in all aspects of school life.
Other faiths are included in our planning as recommended by the ‘Come and See’ scheme of work.
Teacher’s long/medium/short term planning will be a collaborative process which assists continuity and progression.
All planning will identify specific assessment opportunities for each topic which will be integrated into our teaching.
Feast Days and Liturgical Celebrations
Alongside ‘Come and See’ we aim to extend the children’s knowledge of the following important feast days and occasions for celebration so that they all become familiar with the structure of the Church’s year:
- Harvest – festival in Church
- Holy Rosary – Rosary Club and Prayer bags
- All Souls Day -
- All Saints Day
- Advent – Advent Boxes and Liturgy in Church
- Christmas – Nativity and Liturgy in Church, Carol Concert
- Ash Wednesday/Lent – Lenten Boxes, Almsgiving
- Holy Week – Mass in Church, Stations of the Cross, The Passion Play
- The Crowning of Our Lady
- Corpus Christi
- SS Peter and Paul
- Transition to High School
Prayer is a fundamental part of our school life including formal prayers and children’s own informal prayer. The prayers introduced during class lessons and assemblies follow the Diocese recommendations for prayer in Primary School.
Additional prayers in EYRS, KS1 & 2 include prayers at the start and end of each day and prayers before meals.
Informal prayer has a very important place in the spiritual life of our children and should include the everyday language of praising, thanking and asking for forgiveness. Informal prayer should encourage reflection by all pupils on their everyday life.
Through worship we aim to join the work of home and parish in developing the Spirituality of the children and to develop the concept of worship as an integral part of school life.
We also aim to develop an understanding of different forms of worship and to reflect the Catholic nature of our children in various acts of worship. We provide opportunity for different forms of worship, where children are actively involved in planning and delivery. Members of the Chaplaincy Team will assist individual classes in various prayer and worship opportunities, where appropriate. These are:
- Careful preparation of and involvement in class and school masses
- Whole school and key stage assemblies, class collective worship, and special celebration assemblies
- Special liturgical services to celebrate feasts of the Church’s year
- Classroom worship supported by focal areas where the children can reflect and pray
- Weekly timetabled class meditation sessions
- Weekly whole school musical worship
- Voluntary prayer groups, e.g. rosary group, meditation group
These are set up in each classroom and are changed regularly to reflect changing topics and the liturgical calendar. The children may be involved in the design and content of the class focal area and are encouraged to make use of it throughout the day. The school mission statement of ‘Live, Love and Learn’ is clearly displayed in all classrooms. Children are encouraged to bring in items from home to add to the display and they can be reminded to place questions or captions on the display if they wish.
Useful items for an attractive display include:
- Coloured fabric in accordance with the Church colours for the Liturgical year
- Book Stands
- Bibles/Stories about God & Jesus
- Class prayer books/books for intentions etc.
- Altar cloths
(These resources are constantly being added to and updated).
Health and Safety
Teachers must give due consideration to the safe and respectful use of resources and artefacts that they use to support their teaching of RE. Any broken, damaged or dangerous resources should be brought to the attention of the RE Coordinator.
Candles – when lit
Candles must be supervised by an adult and never be left unattended. They should be placed on/in a suitable container and placed on a steady, hard surface. Children should be kept at a suitable, safe distance.
Race Equality and Equal Opportunities Statement
The school is against discrimination in any form. We are committed to the principle that all children are made in God’s image and should be given equality of opportunity to fulfil their potential whatever their gender, disability, cultural, ethnic or religious background.
Role of the Subject Coordinator
- To formulate a policy and scheme of work and to ensure that this is followed by all teachers.
- To advise and encourage the staff in planning and revising and to keep them abreast of new developments through INSET activities, both in-house and Diocesan run courses.
- To keep personally up to date with current issues through INSET
- To monitor and maintain resources.
- To liaise with the Governors.
- To advise the Head Teacher on developments needed to improve the attainments of the pupils in Religious Education.
Reviewed by Gillian McKeogh
(To be updated Summer 2018)