Religious Education at St Michael's
The Curriculum Leader for this subject is Miss Birch
RE is key to helping young people grow up in today’s multi-faith, diverse and connected world. Our RE curriculum aims to give pupils opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs and to contribute to the development of their own beliefs and values. Children and young people have an entitlement to receive RE at all Key Stages. Everyone has their unique view of the world and RE is about exploring these views. Our Religious Education is taught using exciting and rigorous methodologies by teachers with a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints in a way that is relevant to all pupils.
Pupils at St. Michael’s study how religions and beliefs relate to each other, recognising both similarities and differences within and between them. They are encouraged to reflect on the significance of interfaith dialogue and the important contribution religion and faith can make to combating prejudice and discrimination. Pupils are encouraged to be tolerant and accepting towards people with different beliefs and views to their own.
RE provides opportunities for our pupils to learn and achieve. RE at St. Michael’s is a stimulating, interesting and enjoyable subject which encourages pupils to learn, enquire and evaluate what religions have to say about fundamental questions of life – how can we be happy, why are we born, why do we die, why is there suffering, what is the nature of reality, and does it all matter? It fosters in learners an understanding of the influence of religion and beliefs both locally and globally. It enhances the capacity to think coherently and consistently, enabling pupils to evaluate their own and others’ views in a reasoned and informed manner.
What contribution does RE make to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC)?
RE contributes to the spiritual development of pupils by:
RE contributes to the moral development of pupils by:
RE contributes to the social development of pupils by:
RE contributes to the cultural development of pupils by:
How can RE support British Values?
RE has always been a curriculum area where values are explored in depth. Since November 2014, through the curriculum and through SMSC, we have been legally required to promote British values defined as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Concepts that support the teaching of British values regularly occur in RE.
Democracy: Through discussion in RE pupils can realise the significance of each person’s ideas and experiences. In debating the fundamental questions of life, pupils learn to respect a range of perspectives. This contributes to learning about democracy - as does examining the concept of responsibility to share our voice and influence for the well- being of others.
The rule of law: In RE, pupils examine different examples of codes for human life, including commandments, rules or precepts offered by different religious communities. They can consider the value of the rule of law, where all people are equal before the law.
Individual liberty: In RE, pupils consider questions about identity, belonging and diversity, learning what it means to live free from constraints. Within RE, pupils can develop an understanding of themselves as situated in a particular cultural context by considering the cultural norms, rules, desires and pressures which restrain them, but also by considering the ways that they are free.
Mutual Tolerance: Learning about different ways of life and beliefs requires an understanding of difference. Our quality teaching of RE helps pupils to move beyond tolerance towards an increasing respect and the celebration of diversity. This includes hosting visitors and paying visits to places of worship and places of religious or spiritual significance.
Respectful attitudes: In the RE curriculum, mutual respect between those of different beliefs is developed, promoting an understanding of what society gains from diversity. Recognition and celebration of human diversity can flourish where pupils understand different faiths and beliefs, and are actively encouraged to be broad-minded and open hearted. Pupils learn to disagree respectfully and teachers challenge their choice of language when necessary.
This excellent teaching of RE will help pupils discuss in depth and learn to think for themselves about British Values.
RE is a core area of the curriculum. Religious Education (by law) is locally determined. Therefore we follow the Cumbria Syllabus for RE. This syllabus is based upon the expectation that the equivalent of at least one hour a week is devoted to RE at Key Stage 1.
Teachers deliver a one hour lesson each week in Years One and Two. Additionally to this, we also include enhancements within our curriculum such as multicultural weeks and visits to places of worship. We also celebrate the religions of our pupils by joining in with festivals from their faiths, such as the Islamic celebration of Eid.
Our curriculum model ensures that there is continuity, coherence and progression in both year groups.
RE in the Early Years
RE is a legal requirement for pupils in Reception. Our Early Years Pupils encounter religions and beliefs through special people, books, stories, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They are introduced to subject specific words and use all their senses to explore beliefs and practices. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and reflect on their feelings and experiences and use their imagination and curiosity to develop an appreciation of and wonder at the world. RE will, through planned, purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child- initiated activity, provide these opportunities for our pupils.
RE: Useful websites to explore:
Short films and games:
Virtual tours and games: