Religious Education (RE)
Religious Education (RE) is a statutory requirement that all state funded schools (including academies and free schools) must teach a full RE curriculum that prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.
The world including Britain today is a diverse place and it is important that we develop a mutual respect for and tolerance/acceptance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith in order to be able to live in peace and harmony with one another (and therefore flourish).
All children need to acquire core knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of the religions and worldviews which not only shape their history and culture but which guide their own development. The modern world needs young people who are sufficiently confident in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others, and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society.’ Secretary of State for Education 2013. At St John’s, RE helps pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews and helps pupils to appreciate diversity, difference, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews studied.
Our RE makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum by developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures. It enables pupils to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life."
As Church schools, we are inclusive communities and teach a wide variety of religions and worldviews. However, in a church school RE teaching is considered a core subject; it will have a high profile and will be intrinsic to the development of the school’s Christian vision in enabling all pupils to flourish. It is important to note that church schools do not teach about Christianity to convert pupils to Christianity or ‘make more Christians’ but rather to gain knowledge and understanding of Christianity. Thus, the key phrase in the sentence is ‘learning about’. RE teaching is learning about a range of different religions and worldviews to develop knowledge and understanding. IT IS NOT ‘learning to be’ any of the religions or worldviews taught.
The language used in RE lessons will be formulated around words such as ‘Christians believe’ or ‘Muslim people believe’ rather than ‘we believe’. The term ‘worldviews’ is used to refer to a person’s way of understanding, experiencing and responding to the world. It can be described as a philosophy of life or an approach to life.
Further information can be found in the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education February 2019.