Religious Education enables pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage as well as enabling them to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights. It also contributes to the development of pupils’ own spiritual and philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.
A Statement of Entitlement 2016 (Church of England)
In the simplest terms, studying religion and belief has a claim to be an indispensable part of a complete education because of the influence of religions and beliefs on individuals, culture, behaviour and national life. Most religions and beliefs offer answers to life’s deepest questions. And most young people are seeking answers to those questions, as they grow into independence and work out how to live a good life.
If it is thought that one of Religious Educations most important functions is to help young people understand and have access to culture, then it is essential as culture and belief are so closely inter-twined. Religious Education helps young people to become culturally literate, accessing and enjoying their heritage. Europe and the UK are deeply influenced by the Abrahamic religions, in their language, literature, law, holidays, art, architecture and moral standards. Many great artists, composers, musicians and writers had deep religious and philosophical inspiration for their work. Many use religious themes and employ references to religious literature and thought.
If we are to understand the works of Milton or Mozart, we need a deep knowledge of the religious texts that they used. If we are to feel a part of the traditional culture of Britain, and feel a connection with its history, we need a good understanding of the religious and philosophical ideas which helped to form it.
At Dr South’s we follow the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. As part of that, we help the children learn about religion, in terms of factual knowledge about the world’s main religions and humanist perspectives, and learn from religion, as we believe that people of all faith perspectives can learn from each other.