At The Russell School, we believe that it is important for children to learn about the beliefs and values held by others. The acquisition of skills and attitudes developed through Religious Education are an important part of the development of children’s learning and are crucial for their lives as members of a multicultural society.
Religious Education in this school reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are mainly Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of other principal religions. The teaching follows the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus, and is drawn from the study of Christianity in its many forms, and recognises Christianity's formative influence upon the country's culture.
Our curriculum recognises that we live in a multi-racial society and Religious Education contributes to the process of education for world understanding. Religious Education is not simply just teaching religious faiths and beliefs, but giving children the opportunity of exploring the spiritual and moral dimensions of life in a safe, supportive environment.
While being a non-denominational school, Religious Education (RE) remains an important part of the school curriculum. RE lessons contribute to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children. We consider and respond to the ‘big questions’ in life: its meaning and purpose, as well as exploring the nature of values and the benefits of a moral society. In the Early Years, children learn about themselves, their friends and family and important members of the community. This helps them to understand that we are unique and have different beliefs which must be respected and nurtured as part of a community. Throughout the year, we explore different religious festivals and celebrations, helping the children develop an appreciation and basic understanding of different faiths and cultures around the world.
In Key Stage 1 pupils learn about different beliefs in the world around them. They begin to understand the importance and value of religion and beliefs and that other children and families may hold different beliefs from their own. They learn to recognise that beliefs are expressed in a variety of ways, and begin to use specialist vocabulary. Pupils are encouraged to use their imagination and share their sense of wonder about the world around them. They are introduced to a range of stories and other religious materials and encouraged to offer their views. They talk about what is important to them and others, recognising their own unique value as individuals, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences, and developing a sense of belonging.
In Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a range of religions, developing an understanding of their impact locally, nationally and globally. The children explore religious beliefs, teachings and practices, through sacred texts and other sources. They learn to appreciate diversity in religion, exploring similarities and differences within and between religions and beliefs and the importance of dialogue between them. They recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong, and valuing what is good and true. They consider their own beliefs and values and those of others in the light of their learning in RE. They communicate their ideas and recognise other people's viewpoints. They develop their range and use of specialist vocabulary. RE helps develop social and cultural understanding in a multi-faith, plural society.
Parents have a legal right to request for their children to be excluded from Religious Education lessons. Any child who does not take part will be looked after by a Teaching Assistant or may join another class for the duration of the lesson. Parents must discuss this with the Headteacher before making a formal request.