What we believe
We believe RE is an important subject within our school curriculum because of the influence of religions and beliefs on individuals, culture, behaviour and national life. Most religions and beliefs offer answers to life’s deepest questions. Children are naturally inquisitive and we encourage them to seek answers to those questions, as they grow into independence and work out how to live a good life. RE provides opportunities for children to reflect and analyse, to discuss and debate, to explore and discover, and to learn more about the world in which they live.
At Oakfield we teach the Hampshire agreed syllabus “Living Difference III”.
This syllabus seeks to introduce children to what a religious way of looking at and existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life individually and collectively. It recognises and acknowledges that the question as to what it means to lead one’s life with such an orientation can be answered in a number of qualitatively different ways. These include the idea that to live a religious life means to subscribe to certain propositional beliefs; the idea that to live a religious life means to adhere to certain practices; the idea that to live a religious life means to exist, to be in and with the world in a trustful or with a particular kind of awareness. (HIAS RE)
Through this syllabus we explore a range of concepts:
- A- Concepts which are common to all people (e.g. remembering, specialness or celebration)
- B- Concepts which are shared by many religions (e.g. God, worship or discipleship)
- C- Concepts which are distinctive to particular religions or non-religious tradition (e.g. dukka, redemption and Trinity).
How we teach RE
All the concepts we learn about are taught through a cycle of enquiry:
- Apply their own beliefs and values to situations in their own and others’ lives
- Enquire into religious/non-religious concepts
- Contextualise what is being studied in religious practice and belief and specific situations
- Evaluate what has been discussed, taught and learnt.
- Communicate their own responses to what has been discussed, taught and learnt.
There are two obvious starting points – children’s’ own responses or the enquiry into religious concepts. All planning sequences are, however, required to complete all the elements of the sequence in order to make sense of what they are learning and its implication for themselves and others.