Our Mission Statement is:
In all that we do, we aim to be: CARING CHRISTIANS
At St John’s we aspire to help every child reach their full potential as a child of God. We achieve this by living out our motto everyday:
‘With Christ at our side, we do our best in all things.’
At St John’s we:
Welcome: We welcome all people into our school community.
Welfare: We care for the well-being of our school community.
Witness: We reflect the teachings of the Bible through the way in which we live our lives.
Word: We use the Word of God as the template for life and learning.
Worship: We confidently and enthusiastically proclaim and explore our faith.
1. Aims and objectives
1.1 At St John’s RC Primary, Religious education enables children to put into practice the aims of the Mission Statement to create a community inspired by Gospel values which place the word of God at the centre of all activities in school. It helps them to work in partnership with the families and the parish to provide opportunities for living and sharing the Catholic faith. We aim to foster in children the gift of faith which will be the basis of their lives, which can grow and develop and then be passed on to future generations.
We want the school to grow as a Catholic community, benefiting all pupils and staff and to be an example to all who visit the school and are connected with the school. We aim to develop the faith and understanding of the children who are pupils but not members of the Catholic community, showing that the Catholic faith can provide a positive role model in today’s world. We also want to develop an understanding and tolerance of other faiths while reaching out and fostering in the wider community a love of God and knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ.
1.2 The objectives of teaching religious education in our school are to help children:
- develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues arising in their lives;
- systematically study the mystery of God as discovered through the Bible and through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the teachings of the church and the relationship between faith and life.
- develop knowledge and understanding of their Catholic religion and other major world religions and value systems found in Britain;
- develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a religious tradition;
- be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life;
- develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate the cultural differences in Britain;
- develop investigative and research skills, and make reasoned judgements about religious issues;
- have respect for other people’s views, and celebrate the diversity in society.
2 Teaching and learning style
2.1 We base our teaching and learning style in RE on the key principle that good teaching in RE allows children both to learn about religious traditions and to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values, and promotes their spiritual growth and development.
2.2 We recognise the fact that all classes in our school have children of widely differing abilities, so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways, for example, by:
- setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- setting tasks of increasing difficulty (we do not expect all children to complete all tasks);
- grouping the children by ability in the room, and setting different tasks for each ability group;
- providing resources of different complexity, adapted to the ability of the child;
- using classroom assistants to support the work of individuals or groups of children.
3 Pupil Chaplaincy Team
We have a vibrant Pupil Chaplaincy Team. This consists of a dedicated team of 11 Pupil Chaplaincy members from Years 4, 5 and 6 and an Adult Leader. Pupils apply in writing and are interviewed by the Headteacher, Adult Leader and/or RE Leader. This role in school has a high profile and pupils are given a special sweatshirt and lanyard to wear so that they are easily distinguished from other pupils. They provide an excellent link between school and parish – for example in representing our school at the Lenten Soup Kitchen. Some of the tasks undertaken in school include: preparing and leading Collective Worship; writing to new pupils, parents and parishioners; creating displays; fund-raising; helping to lead Masses, meditation sessions and our Rosary Club.
4 Mini Vinnies
We also have a dedicated team of Mini Vinnies who meet weekly on Wednesday lunchtimes. This group is led by a member of the parish and Vincentian, Mr D Hartley. The team consists of 12 pupils from Years 4 and 5. They also enhance our school-parish links for example by attending Mass for the house-bound. Other activities carried out by our Mini Vinnies to enhance the 5 Ws at St John’s include: providing cards and serving at our Parishioners Tea Party; creating display pieces for class prayer tables/altars.
5 Curriculum planning in religious education
5.1 We plan our Religious Education curriculum in accordance with the “Come and See” Catholic Primary R E Programme. We ensure that the topics studied in religious education build on prior learning. We offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge and we ensure that the progression planned into the scheme of work offers children challenge as they move through the school.
5.2 We carry out the curriculum planning in religious education in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the religious education topics studied in each term during each key stage. The RE subject leader devises this plan in collaboration with teaching colleagues in each year group.
5.3 During the year, all pupils have opportunity to study another world faith.
6 Contribution of RE to the teaching in other curriculum areas
Religious education contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We also encourage the children to write letters and record information, in order to improve their religious literacy.
6.2 Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship
Through our religious education lessons we teach the children about the values and moral beliefs that underpin individual choices of behaviour. By promoting British Values, we enable children to appreciate what it means to be positive members of our society.
6.3 Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
Through religious education in our school we provide opportunities for spiritual development. Children consider and respond to Big Questions. We enhance their social development by helping them to build a sense of identity in a multicultural society. Children explore issues of religious faith and values and, in so doing; they develop their knowledge and understanding of the cultural context of their own lives. In September 2016, we introduced the Caritas in Action Scheme throughout the school in order to further enhance SMSC provision.
7 RE and inclusion
7.1 At St John’s RC Primary School, we teach religious education to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. Religious education forms part of the school’s curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our religious education teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress.
8.1 Teachers will assess children’s work in religious education by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and gives the child written or verbal feedback to help guide progress. The children are encouraged to make judgements about how they might improve their work in the future. At the end of each term, pupils are assessed and levelled. These levels are recorded and the attainment and progress of all pupils is monitored. This information is used to assess the progress of each child, for setting new goals, and for passing information on to the next teacher at the end of the year. Standards in RE must at least match those in Literacy.
9.1 We have sufficient resources in our school to be able to teach all units. Resources for ‘Come and See’ are available on the ‘Come and See’ website. Further resources are available from the RE Leader.
Each class has a religious focus area which the children contribute to. It contains a focus for prayer and has a coloured prayer cloth which corresponds to the liturgical year.
10% of the timetable is devoted to teaching Religious Education in each Key Stage.
10 Monitoring and review
10.1 The RE Leader is responsible for monitoring the standards of the children’s work and the quality of the teaching in religious education. She is also responsible for supporting colleagues, for being informed about current developments, and for providing a strategic lead and direction for RE in the school.
The Subject Leader presents the Headteacher with a termly report evaluating strengths and weaknesses and indicates areas for further improvement. This is reported at Governors Curriculum Committee meetings and feeds into the Headteacher’s termly report to the Full Governing Body.
The Subject Leader has allocated time for carrying out the vital task of reviewing samples of the children’s work and visiting classes to observe teaching in the subject. The Subject Leader takes an active role in our Burnley Catholic Cluster meetings, regularly contributing agenda items.
11 The Sacramental Programme
The Salford Diocesan programme of study for Religious Education and the Programme of Initiation for the Sacraments are interwoven. Our parish priest, teachers and catechists work together to carry out their mission in school and parish. It is through the close links and commitment of all concerned that the programme operates successfully.
Regular meetings are held in for parents of children entering and working through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist. All this combines to provide an environment in which the children, families, parishioners and staff can be supported on their faith journey
12 Related Policies
This policy will be reviewed at least every three years.