Religious Education at St Michael's
The National Curriculum for RE states:
- Schools provide pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
- The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
In Church Schools, RE should enable pupils to:
- develop a strong foundation of the Christian faith through knowledge and understanding that includes Christian Beliefs and Values, The Bible, Old Testament Characters, the Life and Teachings of Jesus, Prayer and Worship, Saints, The Local Church, The Christian Community, Living out the Faith, Rites of Passage and Christian Festivals
- apply an understanding of Christianity to make reasoned and informed responses to life issues and moral choices
- develop some knowledge and understanding of the other main world faiths represented in the United Kingdom, applying an understanding of religion to develop respect, empathy and sensitivity towards all people
- enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
- develop the ability to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences and communicate issues of faith and truth
- develop skills of critical analysis and evaluation and the promotion of understanding of people from different faith backgrounds and none.
It is our intent, at St Michael’s, that teachers will aim to realise a child's true potential within a Christian Ethos through:
- Imparting knowledge and ignite the children's ability/desire to relate religious teaching to their day to day lives.
- Teaching about Old Testament characters, the life, teachings and actions of Jesus, Christian festivals, creation, wisdom, saints, liturgy, our church, rites of passage, living our faith and values rooted in Christianity.
- Linking society's pressures and changing attitudes to religion and hoping in the process, to see the child's own spiritual nature develop.
- Developing knowledge and understanding of the other principal world faiths, applying an understanding of religion to develop informed respect, empathy and sensitivity towards all people and help build bridges of understanding leading to community cohesion.
Religious Education at St Michael’s is taught in line with the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education syllabus. This syllabus enables children to explore aspects of other religions whilst also reflecting on the teachings on the Church of England. Through the teaching of Religious Education, we aim to promote spiritual and moral development and help the children understand and respect people of other faiths. The school has a core Christian foundation and six Christian values of Faith, Hope, Love, Kindness, Acceptance, Forgiveness, which play a central part in the life of the school.
The school’s Christian vision is embedded in every aspect of its work. It is reflected in its policies and practices, through displays along the corridors and within the behaviour reward system of House Points, with the houses being named after the Patron Saints of the UK. This is so that pupils grow in confidence, can reflect on their behaviour though Christian viewpoints, and to embed the knowledge that they are unique and that they matter.
Collective worship is the heartbeat of the school and pupils recognise that it is a significant part of every day. There is a Collective Worship Assembly every day, and each day starts and ends with prayer, worship is a naturally occurring event.
There is a strong partnership with the parish church, which interweaves the life of the church with the work of the school. The parish priest plays a key supportive role with regular services taking place in the Church. The regular, committed involvement of the incumbent, creates a seamless experience of Christian and Anglican traditions. Older pupils take part in the regular Class Mass and many choose to attend preparation classes so that they can take communion. Pupils love the opportunities given them to ask challenging questions during Mass.
Pupils understand that Christian compassion requires a deep concern for the wider world, which is why members of various organisations are invited into school weekly to discuss their organisation in an assembly, prompting the children to develop ways we can reach out and help their community. Pupils, therefore, recognise where they encounter injustice and look for ways they can make a difference by putting love into action.
The children at St Michael’s know and understand different religions and they have a respect for religious believers. They can recognise the relevance which religion has in the lives of many people and can see how it contributes to people’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It encourages pupils to develop enquiring minds through the raising of questions about the nature of religious commitment and the beliefs on which it is founded. The children know and understand the spiritual dimension of life through the study of Christianity and the other principal religions and understand how religious beliefs affect the ways in which those who hold the beliefs think and act. Our children recognise that religion is a living reality in the community and demonstrate it by participating in charity events, and fundraising activities. Pupils know that they are safe, valued and special and that the school’s Christian character leads to collective responsibility to look out for one another: Loving learning, learning to love… A small school, part of God’s big family.