At the heart of R.E. at St Michael’s is the teaching of Christianity through the life and work of Jesus Christ. As an inclusive school, St Michael’s encourages learning about and learning from other religions, fostering global understanding and respect for other faiths.
Through visits, visitors, discussion drama, and use of literacy and a wide range of resources, the department aims to provide a vibrant, and thought provoking lessons which will explore opportunities to extend and deepen children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding.
Vision for Learners at St Michael’s CE Middle School
‘Each person, uniquely made in God’s image, merits the best that we can give’.
Our sense of purpose begins with the statement above, rooted in the highest possible understanding of young people and all their God-given potential. All that we do flows from this including our core values of Aspiration, Belief and Creativity: St Michael’s ABC.
Our pupil’s join St Michael’s at a crucial stage of transition from childhood to early adulthood. We support them through this journey in three key ways. Firstly, by inspiring them to aim high in all areas of schooling and personal development. Secondly we coach pupils to sustain belief in all situations and challenges. Finally, we actively seek ways to for all pupils to explore and nurture their creativity.
RE at St Michael’s is a subject that allows pupils to explore Faiths across the world, establishing their core beliefs and practices and examining their relevance in everyday life. Skills and knowledge are nurtured over time that enable them to have academic and practical tools that will enhance their learning further in RE – continuing on to Upper School and beyond.
Pupils build their understanding of world religions across the four year journey at St Michael’s alongside examining the central beliefs and knowledge of the Christian faith and how to live a Christian life. At the centre of teaching RE is remembering our school’s Christian mission statement that every child is made in God’s image and that pupils deserve the very best we can give them.
RE builds ASPIRATION by:
RE builds BELIEF by:
RE builds CREATIVITY by:
Through aiming high in RE and inspiring pupils to achieve their very best, will enable pupils to be sure of their knowledge as they encounter other faiths in the wider world.
This knowledge will enhance their tolerance and acceptance of other faiths during their whole life.
Having a wide knowledge of world faiths will ensure their personal development in exercising tolerance in later life.
The skills taught in RE enable students to reach their highest potential and can be used across all areas of the curriculum to improve their learning.
RE enhances acceptance of different beliefs and faiths and understanding that they exist even though they may not have any direct experience.
For others, Belief will give them confidence in their own search for faith and therefore will sustain and empower them for the future.
We are investing in the future of the subject by preparing them for GCSE and A Level. This knowledge will sustain them when challenged about religion. Their interaction with learning about other faiths and cultures will ensure their tolerance of all faiths in the wider world.
RE offers different experiences that are linked with other creative subjects across the curriculum. For example, cross curricular work with the Art Department during Year 8 for the Holocaust topic explores ways of creatively responding to World War 2 and Auschwitz.
Other imaginative opportunities are used to exercise their different creative abilities within the RE curriculum using Art, Drama, Music and poetry within different topics. Other activities that enhance creativity are the Christmas and Easter workshops, Hindu morning, the Quaker interview, and the Holocaust Day.
Wider British Values
St Michael’s is a Rights Respecting school which believes that supporting children’s development of character and values, including the core British values of democracy, mutual respect, liberty and the rule of law, is an essential part of equipping young people to thrive as citizens in the world of the future. RE actively supports this by:-
Ensuring that pupils with their own beliefs have the right within RE to “think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying those rights” ( UNCRC article 14 RRS).The values and beliefs that they personally hold should be nurtured and developed in RE lessons without fear of ridicule.Article 13 states that pupils “must be free to say what they think and to seek and receive all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.”
Encouraging respect of different faiths and beliefs through a good understanding of the belief, what matters to believers from that faith. We also identify aspects of faith which believers from the same faith may hold different views and therefore need respect and tolerance within a faith. In particular we look at Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism as important world religions.
Once a wider knowledge of world beliefs/world issues has been established – pupils will be equipped to state their opinions with evidence to back up their point. Even if others disagree “every child has the right to have say in ALL matters affecting them and to have their views taken seriously”. (Article 12 RRS.)In return, others should respect differing opinions to their own and therefore RE education overall should “encourage the child’s respect for human rights … their own and other cultures and the environment.” (Article 29 RRS). This should help develop the child’s personality and abilities to the full – enabling them to thrive as British citizens in the future.
Where it all fits in
If you are working well in this subject these are the skills you are learning:
Analysing and evaluating different faiths.
Researching to gather knowledge.
Comparing and contrasting concepts and ideas.
Reflecting on other points of view and counteracting their opinion.
Using critical thinking when using sources to gather correct information.
Empathising with other viewpoints and beliefs.
Communicating their ideas to others with a balanced outlook
If you like this subject then these are some of the jobs you can go on to:
Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics
Working within Faith communities in Reconciliation
Working for the UN
Archbishop of Canterbury!