Non-denominational Religious Education is provided for all children as part of the curriculum and is in accordance with the locally agreed Religious Education syllabus. Religious Education is not part of the National Curriculum and the school chooses to adopt the Locally Agreed Policy which supports us in fully recognising the contribution that the teaching of Religious Education, both explicitly and implicitly, can make on ensuring that our agreed “ethos” can live and be exemplified in the day-to-day life at Draycott and Rodney Stoke First School. The subject area contributes to promoting respect for others, the challenge of stereotypes and helps to build understanding of other cultures and beliefs. Religious Education provides an opportunity to promote fundamental British values, defined as democracy, the rule of law, individuality and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different beliefs. This policy includes focus on particular religions and movements including: Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism.
As a Church of England school, these aspects of our school curriculum are very important, giving a framework for the ethos of our school. Religious Education (RE) is taught using the agreed Diocesan/LEA handbook ‘Awareness, Mystery and Values’. The main emphasis is on Christianity, however, children are also taught about other faiths and the need for respecting the beliefs and customs of other people in addition to valuing their own.
Our daily collective worship is an important part of the school day when we meet together as a community and it is a time when we place emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and the world around us.
Assemblies are non-denominational and although they are of a broadly Christian nature, due consideration is given to the multicultural society in which we live. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship should they so wish and should inform us in writing if this is the case. Their child can then be excused and alternative arrangements can be made.
Every day the children take part in an ‘Act of Collective Worship’, the pattern and purpose reflecting the Christian foundation and character of the school. On Friday we have a special ‘Sharing Assembly’ where we celebrate the children’s achievements in and out of school during the week. One morning every week we hold a children’s service in the church. Parents and friends are very welcome to join in with us at this service. The pupils also take part in services in the church at festival times such as Harvest and Mothering Sunday. Thus, through the ethos of the school and our policies we promote the welfare, continuity and cohesion of our community.
Religious Education in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
During the EYFS children begin to explore the world of religion and belief in terms of special people, books, times, places and objects, visiting places of worship and through celebration. Children listen to and talk about stories. They are introduced to specialist words and use their senses in exploring religious beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They reflect upon their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live. The early learning goals set out what most children should achieve by the end of the foundation stage and religious education can make an active contribution to all of these areas.
Provision for withdrawal from Collective Worship
Under the provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988, all parents have a right to withdraw their child from the daily act of worship, or from RE. Any parent wishing to withdraw their child from these elements of the curriculum should contact the head teacher.
Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan level.
The school aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith, and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers to all its pupils.