As a school we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education created by the local authorities for Central Bedfordshire, Bedford borough & Luton. The school also follows ‘Understanding Christianity’, a Church of England education project.
The principal aim of RE is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
The RE syllabus uses a multi-dimensional model of religions and worldviews, and of RE itself. Learners explore questions of identity: who am I? Where do I fit in? What influences shape me? They discover a range of accounts of the meanings humans find in life, developing their own sense of meaning, and they consider how human values are often common and humane, but also often distinctive in the ways they are expressed and practised. In this context, RE has two focal points. It is about the religious identities, meanings and values studied. All three words are plural: answers to these ultimate questions are not final or singular, but contested and varied. RE is also about the pupil’s own search for identity, meaning and values by which to live.
At John Donne each RE unit of work begins with a big question. Using enquiry-based learning, the syllabus provides a coherent framework to allow for deeper levels of knowledge and understanding of religious and non-religious life stances, and to develop respect and sensitivity, so that, as future citizens, the children will value and celebrate cultural and religious diversity, in peaceful co-existence. It also provides opportunities for pupils to explore their own beliefs, values and traditions.
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that pupils can do the following:
The aims from the 'Understanding Christianity' document are:
• To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring core theological concepts.
• To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and understanding their impact in the lives of Christians.
• To develop pupils’ abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the
world and human experience