Our vision for RE at Freegrounds Infant School is to provide opportunities for pupils to reflect on their own beliefs and values, to confidently seek guidance when faced with moral dilemmas and to use their understanding of different cultures and religions to understand themselves and the world around them.
At Freegrounds infants we promote an inclusive, respectful and collaborative ethos in classrooms and throughout our school environment. We believe that RE creates a safe place for children to share their thoughts and ideas and as such it is always taught by the class teacher and supports inclusivity and achieving our duty towards the Prevent Strategy.
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the child is recognised as being of fundamental importance for the education of all children by our school community. SMSC enables children to interpret and respond to a variety of concepts, beliefs and practices and to their own and others cultural and life experiences. In Freegrounds Infants we value cultural diversity and work towards a common vision with a sense of belonging by all communities; we value and appreciate the diversity of backgrounds and circumstances. It is recognised that such development will be most successful when the values and attitudes promoted by the staff provide a model of behaviour for the children. We believe it is important to allow an opportunity to pause for reflection and stillness everyday through class, year group and whole school assemblies and that these times also offer the chance to mark and celebrate special occasions and achievements.
RE is taught in Freegrounds every half term using the Hampshire ‘Living difference III’ syllabus. It is occasionally taught as part of a project (Light, Christmas, Easter etc.) but is more often taught as a discrete unit and is always concept driven. We use a range of teaching and learning styles, which include activities such as exploring artefacts, group and class discussions, role play, games, computing, investigations and problem-solving activities. RE is also taught through Collective REflection, our learning values, Philosophy 4 Children and through visits and visitors.
We have a daily act of Collective Worship which includes recognition of a Christian belief in God but will also acknowledge other religious groups and beliefs. During this time we gather together as a school and consider important themes and values. In our school we refer to this time as Collective Reflection as it represents for us the opportunity to come together and reflect over things which are important to us individually and as a community.
This ensures time is set aside for daily worship or quiet reflection in the form of whole class, year group and class assemblies and can be led by headteacher, deputy headteacher, teachers, children and sometimes by a visitor.
At Freegrounds Infant School RE is about Religious Education, not religious instruction. However, parents do have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education or parts of it. Should this be the case we strongly advise parents speak to the class teacher in the first instance to ensure they are fully aware of what is being taught so they can make an informed decision about the aspects from which they wish their children to be withdrawn.
It is our expectation that while children are withdrawn they will still remain in school and will receive learning opportunities in other curriculum areas or through work provided by their parents which may support their own religious beliefs.