Why we teach RE.
Religious Education has never been more relevant, engaging or challenging as religion and religious issues are in the news every day. It emphasises respect for others, regardless of their beliefs, race or social status. In our diverse society, children need an understanding of other principal religions and other world views. In teaching about the beliefs and traditions of other people, the subject promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat issues such as prejudice. It also gives children the opportunity to discuss challenging questions such as: the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, why people believe what they believe and the difference between right and wrong. Teaching Religious education helps children make sense of what they themselves believe and think thus encouraging them to recognize their value in society and the global community.
How we teach RE
At Fleetville Juniors we follow Herts agreed syllabus using Discovery RE. Discovery RE is an enquiry-based scheme of work, covering the 6 principal world faiths in a progressive way. Throughout all the enquiries, the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is carefully
Each enquiry lasts for half a term and begins with a “big” question. The children then start discussing the theme from their own experience. Only when the children fully understand the concept they are considering, do they then move on to investigating what the people following the studied religion believe about it. They will spend approximately 3 lessons on this, learning in a variety of ways, so they can adapt their responses and come to a measured conclusion. In week 5 they will complete an activity which can assess their learning, by answering their “big” question. The assessment activities are child friendly and can be answered in a variety of ways, as long as the child can justify their view with the knowledge they have gained throughout the enquiry. This demonstrates the level of critical thinking that the children can apply – a valuable skill for them throughout the school curriculum.
The final week in every enquiry gives the children time to reflect on what they have learnt about the concept and apply to it their own lives, thus allowing them to form their own beliefs and identity. These lessons are often very creative and children have opportunities to make items to express themselves in ways other than just writing.
Discovery RE gives schools a choice of which religions to teach in different year groups.