At Highnam Academy we believe that Religious Education has a unique place within our curriculum. Whilst it is neither a core nor a foundation subject, it has equal standing alongside the other core subjects.
The specific aims of Religious Education in our school are:
- 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.
- To develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues.
- To enhance spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- To support and strengthen the vision, ethos and values which are at the heart of our school life.
We use the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. This provides the children with creative and engaging ways to explore the three core elements:
- Make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs.
- Understand the impact of these beliefs.
- Make connections between these beliefs and the children’s own views and experiences.
To support our Christianity units we use the Understanding Christianity document.
RE is legally required for all pupils. RE is a core subject of the curriculum for all pupils. It is an entitlement for all pupils through their schooling, from Reception up to and including Year Six. It will be given at least 5% of the curriculum time. This equates to:
- EYFS: 36 hours of RE
- KS1: 36 hours of RE
- KS2: 45 hours of RE
We are committed to providing a teaching environment conducive to learning. Every child is valued, respected and challenged irrespective of ability, race, gender, religion, culture, disability or social background. Mutual respect and tolerance for all cultures will be promoted through the study of RE.
Parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from RE lessons. However, as it is central to the life and identity of Highnam Academy, we ask that parents write to the Head Teacher to express their wish and reasons for doing this. A meeting will then be held where they can discuss their wish with the Head Teacher. It is important to acknowledge and make parents aware that RE is open and broad, exploring a range of religious and non-religious worldviews. This will be discussed at the meeting.
Pupils benefit from the use of RE resource boxes (especially for non-Christianity units) loaned from Gloucestershire Services for Religious Education. They are also encouraged to regularly refer to the RE Working Wall within each classroom.
Throughout the school year we provide opportunities for pupils to visit a variety of places of worship including Holy Innocents Church, Gloucester Cathedral, Masjid E Noor Mosque and Cheltenham Synagogue.
At Highnam Academy, the children and staff enjoy sharing their love of RE! Through their learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. They also develop an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. As such, RE is invaluable in an ever changing world.