At St. Mark’s C of E Primary Academy, we believe that it is important for all our pupils to learn from and about religion so that they can understand the world around them. The aim of Religious Education in our school is to help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain; to appreciate the way that religious beliefs shape life and behaviour, develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Religious Education is taught throughout the school in such a way as to reflect the overall aims, values, and ethos of our Christian school, through key questions such as Why do Christians believe that Jesus is Special or What are the beatitudes and what do they mean to Christians? It plays an important role, along with all other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE, in promoting social awareness and understanding in our children. We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world and to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences. We include and promote British values, ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as UK citizens. Our curriculum is designed to encourage creativity, imagination, enquiry, debate, discussion and independence.
We use the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education developed by the Southwark Dioceses as the basis for our curriculum. At St. Mark’s C of E Primary Academy, it has been agreed the following religions will be studied in addition to Christianity: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
- Christianity is the main focus in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- KS1 – Christianity, Islam and Judaism are studied.
- KS2 – Christianity continues to be studied as well as additional units on Islam, Judaism, Sikhism Buddhism and Hinduism. We value the religious background of all members of the school whilst supporting the Christian ethos of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which have been made between home, school, and different faith communities.
We are extremely blessed that Mother Roxanne and Mother Susan of the local church, St Mark’s, weekly lead Collective Worships for our school at the church. Year 6 children participate in the reading of the Bible and also in leading prayers. We also benefit from visits from The Bible Kidz organisation who also foster a love for Christ. We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry, first-hand experiences and self-reflection wherever possible for both staff and children.
The children at St. Mark’s C of E Primary Academy enjoy learning about other religions and why people choose, or choose not to follow a religion. Through their R.E. learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. As such, R.E. is invaluable in an ever-changing and shrinking world.