About Us

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Umbrella Trust - Religious Education Policy

Company number 8180450

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Collective Worship policy of the Umbrella Trust.

1. Mission Statement

Our aims are:

To support the Catholicity in each school community by

  • Recognising every child as a unique and special person, and helping each to reach their maximum potential through collaboration
  • Offering experiences to our children to meet together to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith, its traditions and practice and offer opportunities for spiritual reflection and development
  • Helping children to develop an understanding of the universality of the Church’s mission through co-operation across our parishes and in our communities.
  • Encouraging children to work for the Common Good through a range of activities which promote a preferential option for the poor.

2. Rationale of Religious Education

In the life of faith of the Catholic school, religious education plays a central and vital part. At the heart of Catholic education lies the Christian vision of the human person. This vision is expressed and explored in Religious Education. Therefore, religious education is never simply one subject among many, but the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values studied in Catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of the life of a Catholic school. We are committed to classroom RE, then, because all pupils have the right to receive an overall education which will enable them, in the light of the faith of the Church, to engage with the deepest questions of life and find reasons for the hope which is within them (1 Peter 3.15). Religious education is, then, the core subject in a Catholic school.

(Statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales 2000)

3. Aims and Objectives of Religious Education

The aims and objectives for religious education in our school are essentially as listed in the Bishops’ Curriculum Directory as published in 2012:

  • To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith;
  • To enable pupils continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively;
  • To present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching so that pupils can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society;
  • To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them;
  • To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life;
  • To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith;
  • To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum;
  • To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture.

The outcome of excellent Religious Education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.

The objectives of curriculum religious education in Catholic schools are:

  • to develop knowledge and understanding of the mystery of God of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit; of the Church, and of the central beliefs which Catholics hold;
  • to develop awareness and appreciation of Catholic belief, understanding of its impact on personal and social behaviour and of the vital relationship between faith and life, life and faith;
  • to encourage study, investigation and reflection by the pupils;
  • to develop appropriate skills: for example, ability to listen; to think critically, spiritually, ethically and theologically; to acquire knowledge and organise it effectively; to make informed judgements.
  • To foster appropriate attitudes: for example, respect for truth; respect for the views of others; awareness of the spiritual, of moral responsibility, of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life and especially the challenge of living in a multicultural, multi-faith society.

We recognise our responsibility to at this time to ensure that our children have the opportunity to:

  • Explore the beliefs of other Christian Churches as well as other World Faiths
  • Explore the importance of Deanery structures within our diocese and the significance of the Cathedral.
  • Ensure that Religious Education in our schools makes a significant contribution to the Common Good and Community Cohesion.
  • Offer the opportunity for Key Stage 2 children to have an experience of pilgrimage and retreat.

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4. Religious Education in the Classroom

We recognise two aspects of Religious Education in our school:-

  1. Implicit, or informal Religious Education – those opportunities which arise in the course of a school day to lead pupils through curriculum content or through relationships to a religious understanding of their implications. It is the policy of our schools to use such opportunities as they arise.
  2. Explicit, or Curriculum Religious Education – those time tabled or planned periods of time given to an explicit consideration of Religious Education in the classroom. It is the policy of our schools to give 10% of curriculum time to Religious Education.

5. Inclusion

All pupils in our schools, irrespective of ability, faith and background will have appropriate differentiated access to the Religious Education programme.

6. Programmes of Study

To fulfil our Aims and Objectives we use the Come and See programme to adhere to the Curriculum Directory, as prescribed by the Bishop. We will continue to use the Planning Sheets provided by the Diocese and additional material as and when appropriate.

7. The Process of Teaching

We adhere to the process recommended by the Curriculum Directory of Search, Revelation and Response, and use Come and See to do this, in the process ‘Search – Explore’, ‘Revelation – Reveal’, ‘Response – Respond’.

We acknowledge and concur with the Bishops’ view of the importance of high quality religious education: “Excellence in religious education, then, will be characterised by a clarity of succinct religious learning objectives and of key content, by appropriate methodologies, rigour, richness of resources, achievement of identified outcomes and accurate methods of assessment. Classroom RE will be a challenging educational engagement between the pupil, the teacher and the authentic subject material.”

8. Assessment, Recording and Reporting

Assessment, Reporting and Recording of Religious Education is addressed in the book “Levels of Attainment in Religious Education in Catholic Schools and Colleges” (Bishops’ conference 2010). It is essential that teachers are familiar with this publication.

Our schools will adhere to the assessment guidelines offered periodically by the Diocese of Hallam, and will respond accordingly.

Assessment in religious education is related to the concepts, skills and attitudes to be developed through learning about and learning from religion. Assessment establishes what children know, understand, can do and how to get there. It offers support and motivation to the learner. It does not assess spirituality or the practice of faith.

9. Policy Monitoring and Review

This policy is monitored by each Religious Education Subject Leader, and is evaluated and reviewed by the whole staff and governors every two years.

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Date approved by the Governing Body…16 March 2015

Date for Review…………………………………………..

This Policy will be reviewed in June 2016