Our aim is that all children:
- Understand and reflect upon the religious and spiritual beliefs, practices, insights and experiences that are expressed in humanity’s search for meaning in life.
- Develop respect for and sensitivity towards others, in particular those whose faith, traditions, beliefs and values are different from their own.
- Develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of beliefs, exploring and expressing their own personal beliefs, values and traditions as well as their responses to others, considering how these influence day to day life.
- Make links and recognise similarities and differences between beliefs of different religions as well as those of their own beliefs.
- Explore the influence of family, friends, media, teachings, texts and guidance from moral/religious leaders on beliefs, moral choices and identity.
At Balgowan Religious Education promotes pupils’ understanding of the multicultural and multi-faith society that we live in today. RE at Balgowan is taught in such a way that it reflects the school’s aims and values. It plays an important role, along with other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children. We follow the Bromley Agreed Syllabus, produced by Bromley SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). Bromley SACRE state: ‘The central principle of this RE syllabus, whilst recognising that the majority religion in the UK is Christianity, should not advocate or promote any particular religion or belief but should extend pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religions, beliefs and world views.’ By enabling children to explore a range of beliefs and values children are able to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and consider links, similarities and differences between faiths. Having learned about different faiths and beliefs, pupils are then encouraged to understand how we can interact with each other and explore inter-faith issues of contemporary society.
The areas of study through which children learn are listed below:
At Balgowan our lessons are engaging, with pupils being given opportunities to explore religion and beliefs through symbols, artefacts, enquiry and drama. Our RE syllabus follows a spiral approach, where learning is referred to and built upon year on year. In Early Years pupils are introduced to RE through the understanding that people having different beliefs and how others may celebrate special times. Children look at key festivals or events that are celebrated in different religions and discuss why these are important to those who practice that religion. In Key Stage One, pupils explore a range of religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism. These are then built upon in Key Stage Two, giving the children the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and enabling them to apply their knowledge to answer more challenging questions, making links and comparing similarities and differences.
Throughout their time at Balgowan, pupils are also given the opportunity to visit a Mosque, Baptist Church, Gurdwara and a Synagogue, exploring different places of worship and what these places mean to the individuals who worship there.
Religious Education allows children to help build their identity but also to understand their culture and the cultures of others, and how they relate. This can not only help breed tolerance, but also support them in building the moral framework that is so important in guiding young people as they grow and develop into active and effective members of our community.