Read our RE Curriculum Guide.
St James’ CE Primary is a voluntarily-controlled Church of England school. As such, Religious Education (from now, ‘RE’) can be regarded as a core subject.
RE is concerned with an exploration of the important aspects of life and what it’s like to be human. It provides opportunities for pupils to ask questions, seek answers and develop ideas in a quest to discover more about their own identity and that of others. RE can provide a context for the exploration of moral and ethical opinions and dilemmas by learning about lifestyles and behaviour. It can help our pupils to understand the power and meaning of belief and religion for individuals and communities in the United Kingdom and across the world.
Within their learning in RE, pupils develop specific attitudes that are open, reflective, and critical and a skill base which allows them to be curious, play with ideas, empathise, listen, imagine, question, make links and reason.
Our Aims and Ethos (and various related policies) describe the attitudes and approaches we place great emphasis on. RE can play a key role in developing and sustaining this ethos. Similarly, St James’ CE Primary School is a happy and healthy place to achieve and believe, and RE can actively support this by providing an opportunity to learn about each other and celebrating our beliefs and choices. To learn about our similarities and differences is important to support our ethos. Teaching and learning in Religious Education actively promotes fundamental British values of individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
How is RE taught?
At St James’ CE Primary, we want our pupils to learn about religion:
- to develop a knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and teachings
- to explain meanings within religious language, story and symbolism
- to develop a knowledge and understanding of religious practices and lifestyles
…and to learn from religion:
- to reflect on aspects of human nature, identity, personality and experience especially in the light of one’s own beliefs and experiences
- to identify and respond to questions about the nature, meaning and purpose of life
- to give informed and considered responses to religious and moral issues
The subject of RE is taught in line with recommendations laid down by the state and the Leeds local authority. At St James’ CE Primary, RE is taught as a separate subject, but also integrated in other subjects and all that we do. We often teach the subject around a theme, which could be festivals, buildings or special books. Teaching in this way helps children to compare and consider everybody, ultimately leading to greater understanding and respect.
We do not promote religion or a particular religion: children learn about all major religions and – importantly – that some people choose to have no faith.
Does my child need to be taught RE?
Parents have a statutory right to withdraw a child from RE. This right of withdrawal exists for all pupils in all types of school, including schools with and without a religious designation. If a parent is considering withdrawal from RE, we will listen to their concerns, inviting them to do so with the Head of School or other representative of the school. We work hard to ensure that any reservations or doubts may be accommodated to avoid withdrawal but recognise that a parent has this right if reservations cannot be resolved. Any formal decision to withdraw should be made in writing to the Head of School or Head of Federation. We will ask parents if they wish to continue the withdrawal each year.
If a pupil is withdrawn, we have a duty of care to look after the pupil, but not to provide alternative education. Any arrangements made must not incur extra cost for us or the local authority.