RE at St Mary's

Our vision for RE comes from our school vision:
Explore, Enjoy, Excel together; Be amazing!

We want our children to explore and question through RE, enjoy learning about different faiths and other people's beliefs and experiences and excel in RE, producing learning that they are proud to share with others. Our goal is to see children flourishing, nurturing their unique talents and abilities.  

Why do we teach RE?

As a Church of England school, we seek to follow the Church of England’s Statement of entitlement for Religious Education. 

It says: 

The aims of Religious Education in Church schools are:

To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.

To enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.

To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.

In addition, we want to prepare them for the diverse landscape of modern Britain; welcoming those of all faiths or none.  As they progress through the school the children receive a rich diet of teaching, visitor experiences, music and worship to inspire and uplift them.

What do we teach in RE?

In RE we aim to give children a grounded understanding of Christianity and the major world faiths.

As the children progress through the school they will encounter different religions and worldviews.  In Key Stage One, children will encounter Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  In Key Stage Two, children will revisit these religions, but also encounter Hinduism and non-religious views, such as Humanism.  See our curriculum map on the class pages for more details.

An important aim of RE is that children are encouraged to reflect on their learning and make their own decisions about what they believe.  The aim of RE is not to make children into religious believers, but to understand that religion still influences and sustains many people in the world today, and to consider the wisdom of faith traditions, and reflect on what they might take from it.  Our teaching is rooted in the Church of England, but we provide a space for all children to express their home religion, or for those of no faith.

Our curriculum follows the locally agreed syllabus for South Gloucestershire.  In addition, we use the Understanding Christianity resource for our teaching of Christianity. 

How do we teach RE?

Children aim to answer a ‘big question’ through following an enquiry over a term. 

This will involve learning about what a faith might say, investigating it further and analysing.  Finally, children will reflect on what they might feel is their personal response to the big question.   

Religious Education at St Mary's may be taught through Art, Drama, Storytelling and investigating artefacts.  We encourage children to develop a knowledge of the rich tradition of religious art and music; responding and reflecting on what they may learn from it. We try to bring in visitors and take children out to experience religion in the real world.  For example, in December 2019, our Year 4 children visited the local Methodist Church for an 'Advent Adventure', in November 2019 Year 5 and 6 welcomed an Education Outreach Worker from Bristol Cathedral to learn about life at the Cathedral during World War 2. Year 3/4 visited 'The New Rooms' in Bristol to learn about John Wesley and the abolition of the slave trade and in the Spring Term of 2020 our Y1s and Y2s are visiting a synagogue in Bristol as part of their topic. 

Above all, we believe that the Christian values underpinning our education will enable the children to become confident, reflective, spiritual and morally aware people who can play a role in shaping modern Britain.