What we say about RE at Dean Bank Primary School
Amealia – We get to learn about different beliefs and cultures.
Tyler – I like to look at videos and pictures to learn more about religions.
At Dean Bank Primary School, Religious Education is taught throughout the school in such a way as to reflect the overall aims, values, and philosophy of the school. Our aim is that children will become resilient, accepting, mindful and inquisitive learners. Our role is to ensure pupils are being inquisitive by asking questions about the world around them by allowing pupils to gain high quality experiences.
Through the R.E. curriculum, our children will discover and gain an insight into religions within the world that we live.
It is our intent that RE provides a positive context in which the diversity of cultures, beliefs and values in society can be celebrated and explored, and presents an opportunity to promote an ethos of respect for others. Lessons ensure that our children grow to become tolerant and respectful citizens, who appreciate that everybody has their own set of beliefs and values and that these may differ from their own.
Our curriculum encourages children to become critical thinkers and provides opportunities for personal reflection where children can explore their own beliefs and opinions in a safe and supportive environment.
The RE curriculum forms part of our school’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural teaching.
The Right of Withdrawal
The parent of a pupil at a community, foundation or voluntary school (or pupils themselves if they are aged 18 or over) may request that they be excused from all or part of the religious education (RE) provided. Religion and belief have become more visible in public life in recent years, making it important that all pupils should have an opportunity to engage in RE.
Dean Bank Primary School will ensure that parents who wish to withdraw their children from RE are aware of its aims and what is covered in the RE curriculum and that they are given the opportunity to discuss this if they wish. It should be made clear whether the withdrawal is from the whole RE curriculum or specific parts of it. No reasons need be given.
Whilst parents or carers have a right to withdraw children from RE, they should note that children may also encounter religions and beliefs in other areas of the curriculum from which there is no right of withdrawal. On occasion, spontaneous questions about religious matters are raised by pupils or issues related to religion arise in other subjects such as history or citizenship. For example, our school promotes community cohesion and help pupils to understand ideas about identity and diversity within both religious and non-religious contexts.
Managing the Right of Withdrawal
Parents have the right to choose whether or not to withdraw their child from RE without influence from the school; at Dean Bank Primary we ensure parents and carers are informed of this right, through the school website and prospectus. Where parents have requested that their child be withdrawn, their right will be respected, and where RE is integrated in the curriculum, we will need to discuss the arrangements with the parents or carers to explore how the child’s withdrawal can be best accommodated. If pupils are withdrawn from RE, we have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost.
We will ensure that parents who want to withdraw their children from RE are aware of the educational objectives and content of the RE syllabus and that the agreed syllabus is relevant to all pupils, respecting their personal beliefs. They will be made aware of its learning outcomes and what is covered and will be given the opportunity to discuss these. In this way, parents can make an informed decision; we may wish review their request in discussion with parents each year.
Where a request for withdrawal is made, we will comply and excuse the pupil until the request is rescinded. Though not legally required, we will follow good practice and invite parents to discuss their written request.
RE in Action at Dean Bank
In Year 1, we have begun to explore the question ‘What can we learn about Buddha?’. We looked at some symbols that are significant to Buddhism and explored their meanings, while also discussing what these symbols teach us about Buddha.
In Year 2, we have enjoyed learning about Advent. We explored the significance of the Advent wreath and what it means for Christians. We also identified what each of the candles represents.
In Year 3, we are thoroughly enjoying getting to study Hinduism again through our new enquiry question, ‘What do Hindus believe?’. We began the topic by exploring some images and creating ‘I wonder’ statements that we would like to explore during the topic. We have found all the opportunities to discover more about different Hindu deities very interesting.
In Year 4, we have begun to explore how and why religious people care for others. We started this unit of work by exploring ways that we look after and care for others.
In Year 5, we are exploring the enquiry question ‘How are Jewish beliefs expressed in the home?’. We began by exploring the ten commandments, before looking into the fourth commandment in greater detail. We created instructions that share how Jews celebrate the Sabbath.
In Year 6, we have been developing our knowledge and understanding of Christianity through the enquiry question ‘What do we know about Christianity?’. We have read the story of Zacchaeus to remind ourselves of the key beliefs that Christians have about Jesus.