Religious Education

Intent

At Holland House we believe that knowledge and understanding of beliefs (both our own beliefs and those of others) is key to developing a strong moral compass within the ever changing diverse world in which we live. We want our children to respect both themselves and others; treating everyone with kindness, understanding difference and celebrating diversity.

The teaching and learning of RE gives opportunities for pupils to learn about religious beliefs as well as reflect on their own.

We believe that RE promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development of our pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

At Holland House all children have the right to practice their own religion (UNCRC Article 30) and have the right to give their own opinion, and for it to be listened to (UNCRC Article 12).

At Holland House, we believe in empowering our pupils by giving them knowledge and understanding of different religious beliefs in order to develop empathy, tolerance and mutual respect. We give pupils the opportunity to express their own opinions and beliefs about religious, spiritual, social and moral stimuli so that they can go on to be confident and responsible members of our diverse local and global community.

Implementation

All pupils are entitled to access the RE curriculum at Holland House.

The RE curriculum at Holland House follows the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus. Across each phase pupils explore all of the 24 dispositions set out in the Syllabus through learning about religion as well as learning from religion. The Birmingham approach is designed to be inclusive for all children across our super-diverse city enabling each one to be respected and understood.

The dispositions both define and promote a flourishing personal, spiritual and moral character. The dispositions encourage pupils to think about, and act upon, a growing understanding of their own faith or viewpoint, whilst acknowledging their neighbour’s perspective.

During pupils’ first few years in school, they are progressively introduced to the dispositions. Subsequently, they re-visit all 24 with increasing depth, enabling a growing sophistication of spiritual and moral character, disposition by disposition, and a growing knowledge of religious traditions and non-religious worldviews. Each time a disposition is encountered, the traditions of one faith or a number of faiths and non-religious worldviews are used to resource the learning. A sacred scripture, religious practice, rite of passage, an institution, piece of literature, art or music can equally trigger learning.

Rather than starting studies from the perspective of a religion or worldview, in Birmingham the dispositions are the starting point, enabling a universal viewpoint to be shared and understood before extending study to points of agreement, and distinctiveness, through four dimensions of learning.

These dimensions are

  • Learning from Experience
  • Learning about Religious Traditions and Non-Religious Worldviews
  • Learning from Faith and Non-Religious Worldviews
  • Learning to Discern.

The dimensions will assist pupils in developing skills to consider issues, not only from their own perspective but also from an analytical viewpoint.

Through their RE learning, pupils are encouraged to engage with the stimulus, join in with enquiries and questioning, developing their thinking skills, express their opinions, learn to be caring, creative, critical and collaborative.

British Values are an integral part of the RE curriculum. Pupils explore religious beliefs and the impact of those beliefs on followers of that religious tradition. They then make connections to their own life experience and understanding of the world, reflecting on their personal beliefs. These skills promote individual opinions, tolerance and mutual respect of the opinions and beliefs of others and an appreciation of democracy and the rule of law.

Our key objectives are

To provide opportunities for each child to explore their beliefs and experiences so that they can appreciate and understand themselves and others better.

To develop a questioning and enquiring attitude to the world around them.

To help develop in children a sense of their own worth and how they relate to their family and community.

To encourage children to consider the views and experiences of others around them and to develop tolerance and respect and understanding for those with different attitudes, experiences and faiths in the world around them.

To encourage children to observe, express their appreciation and wonder of the beauty of the natural world and to discuss ways in which we can care for it.

To provide children with knowledge and experience of other world faiths and how followers practice and celebrate their religion.

To provide opportunities to reflect on experiences that require a moral choice and be able to distinguish the right way to act in such situations.

To work in partnership with parents, faith communities and the wider society.

To develop an approach which cultivates social cohesion and solidarity.

Impact

Ambitious End Points  

Children will leave Holland House with both the religious knowledge and understanding of the dispositions they need for further study and later life. They will be equipped to ask questions, be curious and empathetic about the wider world. This will be demonstrated by children being assessed as meeting at least age related expectations and being able to read, write and discuss the complete spectrum of beliefs and views using relevant vocabulary and demonstrate that all are accorded equal respect.

Rights of the Child (UNRC) 

This policy is written with consideration to our schools commitment to the Rights of the Child (UNRC) and our achievement of becoming a Rights Respecting School.

Through the Unicef RRSA teaching and learning we are covering many of the Rights of the Child statements particularly-

Article 7: We have the right to a name and a nationality. Article 12: We have the right to say what we think should happen and be listened to. Article 13: We have the right to information. Article 14: We have the right to choose our own religion and beliefs. Article 15: We have the right to meet with friends and join groups and clubs. Article 30: We have the right to use our own language.

Intent behind Birmingham’s agreed syllabus 

The intent of Birmingham’s character-driven approach is to encourage the development of 24 dispositions, or values. The dispositions were created and agreed unanimously by the conference members, sixty people from the locality of Birmingham who were appointed by Birmingham City Council at an Agreed Syllabus Conference.

They are equally applicable to, and inclusive of, the religious, those who have an established non-religious world view and those classing themselves as ‘nones’. Importantly the dispositions were created by conference members representing all these groups and are therefore ‘religious and non-religious’.

The Legal Requirements 

There is a statutory requirement laid upon schools to provide a basic curriculum; this consists of the National Curriculum and the locally agreed syllabus of Religious Education. The Birmingham Agreed Syllabus is designed to conform to the legislation which states that:

1.  “Any agreed syllabus…of religious education shall reflect the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian.”

2.  Should take “account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.”

Education Reform Act 1988. 

Parents have a statutory right to withdraw their children from R.E. and Collective Worship. They are informed of this right in the school prospectus.