Religion Education (RE) Statement of Intent
Religion Education (RE) education makes a significant contribution to children’s knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews. We offer our pupils a curriculum that challenges them to learn about and from a broad range of religious and non-religious values and traditions. As a result, our pupils are equipped to explore the meaning of their own existence and purpose in life, by reflecting both personally and spiritually on their understanding of the family, culture, community, and diverse world they live in. We actively celebrate diversity and offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our pupils. We believe that RE is an important part of this process, and provides pupils with a regular opportunity to discuss and explore faiths and cultures through systematic and thematic topics, engaging with religious and non-religious speakers, and providing educational visits to places of worship.
At Sheringdale, we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (SACRE) produced by Wandsworth. However, our curriculum goes well beyond this. Across our school, Big Questions provide a foundation from which each RE topic is taught. Talk for learning within whole class discussions is used effectively to support children. It helps pupils learn to communicate their ideas fluently, developing the ability to reason with other pupils’ points of view enabling pupils to hold an informed conversation. These discussions are accessible to all children with SEND as they are able to access discussions through dialogue instead of written work. Additionally, they can use other pupils’ points of views to scaffold their own opinions, which can particularly benefit those on the autistic spectrum by helping them to consider life from other peoples’ perspectives. Equally, RE enables pupils from faith groups to talk about their own religious experiences, creating meaningful discussions and helping their peers to learn more and remember more with genuine experiences.
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum making important cross-curricular links, where possible, to other subjects. Throughout their learning journey at Sheringdale, our children have opportunities to develop their own sense of identity and belonging. Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, children talk about past and present events in their own lives and the lives of family members. They begin to distinguish between the similarities and differences of themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions. In Year 1, learning begins around the introduction of Christianity and Islam in systematic topics. Children then move on to comparing the similarities and differences between both religions through exploring religious leaders and sacred objects. This helps pupils to develop respect for and understanding of others, in particular those whose faith and beliefs are different from their own. By the end of Year 6, pupils leave Sheringdale with a broad range of knowledge across six major world religions. They also study humanist world views to reflect the large number of non-religious pupils at Sheringdale. Pupils will have been encouraged to discuss the challenges of belonging to a religion today, the existence of God, the importance of religious and non-religious forms of expression and whether religion can make a positive difference in life. As well as reflecting on their own rights and responsibilities as citizens in today’s ever-changing society, irrespective of whether they have a faith or are a person of no faith. We believe our curriculum will therefore enable our children to flourish as citizens in a pluralistic and global community.