At Ashurst Wood Primary 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 West Sussex 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. However, it also 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.
Our teaching develops understanding by allowing children to experience practical lessons where they can see first-hand what people do, in order to think about how and why people belong to a religious community. As a community school we promote our links with local parishes and the local diverse community. Visitors from different faiths enhance our teaching and learning and help children to understand and value difference.
We are creative in our approach, using drama, art, workshops, and outside visits. As communities do, we enjoy coming together to share food and celebrations around Chinese New Year, Pancake Day, Easter and Christmas to name but few. This is vitally important to children’s own development as they begin to consider what is important to their family and themselves.
We learn from religion through discussion and questioning and support children to develop their self-awareness and to understand the values which are important to them. We allow children time and space to develop these themselves in accordance with their age expectations. This is vital to enable children to develop confidence, self-esteem, self-reliance, self-discipline and responsibility as set out in the School's mission statement. Children have a great wealth of ideas which they share in their written work as well as using drama, ICT and art. It is crucial that children are involved in their learning, for example they retell religious stories through drama, dance, and poetry not just to retell the story but to understand what it is trying to say.
Religious education runs through our curriculum. Not just evident in the lessons that we share but also in the festival celebrations of the school, the promotion of self-awareness and thoughtfulness, and through the modelling of the School motto: ‘the small school with a big heart'. The children also have an enjoyable afternoon playing "Quiz the Vicar" when the Vicar visits!
Parents have a legal right to request that their children be withdrawn from the act of collective worship and religious education lessons. Parents must discuss this with the Head Teacher if they wish to exercise this right.
If you would like any further information about R.E. in our School, please contact Mrs Goodby, our R.E. Leader.