What we believe for our curriculum
At Birchwood Primary School we believe that Religious Education provides an opportunity to celebrate and foster awareness of the differences within our school and the wider world. It is a subject that celebrates diversity and challenges stereotypes.
RE is taught in accordance with the aims of the Agreed Syllabus. Particularly relevant to our school is the aim which states:
‘Religious Education should help pupils to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a society of many religions and beliefs.’
RE is taught in accordance with the aims of the Suffolk Agreed Syllabus. In accordance with the law we provide religious education for all pupils registered at the school. Parents are informed in the school prospectus that they have the right to withdraw their pupils from religious education. Parents who choose to withdraw their children from Religious education lessons are required to state this in writing annually to the Head of School.
We believe that it is the responsibility of the parents who have chosen to withdraw their children from school RE to provide acceptable alternative religious education work for their children to do during RE lessons. We expect that this work will be discussed with the class teacher so that these children can be fully included, and their alternative work linked to what the rest of the class is learning.
The Scheme of Work
The scheme of work for Religious Education covers all the requirements of the Agreed Syllabus. RE is taught in termly and half-termly units in a combination of religion-based and thematic topics. We use the Discovery Scheme of Work to ensure all of the above requirements are met.
RE and our Community
We endeavour to draw on the varied experiences and backgrounds of our pupils and staff in order to make RE relevant and interesting to our pupils. One way of doing this is through our links with local religious communities and places of worship. We try to ensure that children have at least one local RE visit every year.
At Birchwood Primary we hope that ‘learning about’ and ‘learning from’ religion will create well-rounded and tolerant individuals, especially when they go out into the wider community and meet people from faiths, cultures and nationalities different from their own.
There are literally hundreds of ways we can demonstrate the excellent impact our curriculum design has on our pupils. In a nutshell, here are some examples:
- For the school year 2018/19 Birchwood received the ‘Widening Inclusivity in Religious Education (WIRE) Award’. This award demonstrates that RE provision at Birchwood School is broad and inclusive. We are proactive with our teaching of RE by seeking opportunities for our pupils to speak with members of a wide selection of religious groups. Pupils see religion in action through visiting, for example, the local Sikh Gurdwara and visits to our school from members of the Muslim faith.
- As a school, we have close links with our local church. Here pupils have celebrated Harvest, Christmas and Easter. The stories and symbolism of these festivals are shared with the pupils in an interactive way; enabling them to develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.