Religious Education is taught for 1 hour weekly in every class, following 'Understanding Christianity' and 'The Emmanuel Project'
As a church school with a strong Christian ethos embedded within everything we do, at West Witttering Parochial, Religious Education has a very high profile.
We enjoy investigating Christianity and other faiths, understanding and discovering more through an enquiry approach to Religious Education supported by a range of broad learning activities and experiences.
Through challenging ourselves to 'be curious' and 'be reflective' we achieve knowledge and understanding of religions and how they shape the everyday lives of people, including ourselves.
We aspire to grow to be broad minded, tolerant and respectful members of a diverse society which we embrace and celebrate, whilst having a strong sense of our own faith and beliefs.
Learning about and from Christianity makes up around 75% of the Religious Education, we base our planning on the ‘Understanding Christianity’ and ‘The Emmanuel Project’ resources. It is taught through 8 main core concepts (God, Creation, Fall, People of God, Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation, Kingdom of God), through units which lead with an enquiry question to investigate, following the enquiry cycle. Children's knowledge and understanding of the 'Big Story of the Bible' is also supported by the use of 'The Big Frieze' which can been found in classrooms as well as our school hall and is referred to in both R.E. lessons and during collective worship.
The Emmanuel Project and some Discovery RE resources are used to deliver the units based on other faiths. We are passionate that children at our school develop awareness, knowledge, understanding, tolerance and respect of all faith groups.
However, we believe that Religious Education plays a much bigger part in our school than our weekly lesson. Every classroom has a 'reflection area' in which the children are integral to maintaining, take pride in doing so and is referred to through the week as well as in our weekly 'class reflection' on a Friday. Pupils often contribute to this area, taking ownership of it and sometimes RE work can be incorporated into the theme of the reflection area too.
We celebrate both Christianity and other faiths in our daily collective worship, either in our school hall or at our church, St Peter and St Paul, just metres from the school. Our rector and school governor, Father Jonathan leads worship weekly. We are also fortunate enough to have assemblies led by our church youth leader, Alistair Ghinn. We welcome other members of our church, local and wider community and enjoy hearing updates from St Pauls School, Bo, Sierra Leone from Father Bruce.
The themes we plan for our collective worship reflect the core Christian values such as generosity, compassion and trust. We use one overriding theme per half term and explore this theme in different ways over 5-7 weeks. Concepts from Understanding Christianity, awareness of other cultures and religions and spiritual, moral and social development, supporting both R.E. and our whole curriculum and school ethos are woven into the collective worship during each half term.
Pupils are asked to lead worship as a class across the year, we aim for all our collective worship to be inclusive, invitational and inspiring.
We have an R.E. week, where the whole school takes extra time to engage in an element of faith.
We warmly welcome visitors into the school wherever possible to talk about and share their faith, both from other Christian denominations and other religions.
We are keen to share 'Christianity in Action' with our pupils, encouraging them to be involved with Christian outreach programmes such as Foodbanks, Christian Aid, and Christmas gifts for children less fortunate than themselves, inspiring them to take action to help others where they identify injustice.
We support many charities through the school year, these are often chosen by the pupils to ensure a good sense of the purpose of donating or raising money for these causes.