At Cheriton Primary we follow the agreed syllabus for Hampshire schools known as Living Difference III. This syllabus requires children to focus on concepts which are particularly significant in human and religious experience.
Children are given opportunities to investigate these concepts through reflecting on and expressing their own responses, ideas and reactions, by enquiring into the meaning of the concepts and how religious people respond to them, and most importantly, children are encouraged to form and express their own opinions and responses to what they have discovered.
As a result, children are encouraged to be discerning, reflective, open minded and philosophical.
RE is not concerned with teaching children what to think, but it develops their capacities and skills in how to think for themselves. It encourages children to consider what they have explored, develop opinions and express those opinions from an informed position in a climate of respect and open mindedness.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from parts of or all the RE curriculum in the school.
Parents are not legally required to provide any reason for their request to withdraw their child from RE, neither are they legally required to inform the school in writing. However, Parents are strongly encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have with the class teacher or Headteacher to ensure that a full understanding of the purpose of the RE curriculum is understood.
Parents should also be aware that the requirements of a number of National Curriculum subjects such as geography and history may also involve pupils in learning about the character and contributions of a diversity of cultural traditions and this will inevitably include material on the beliefs and practices of those traditions. Similarly, there is a requirement for schools to address spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, citizenship and intercultural education and references to religious beliefs and practices may emerge when exploring these areas with pupils. While the law states that children can be withdrawn from parts of or all RE lessons, parents who exercise this right are advised that when issues crop up in classroom discussion when exploring other areas of the curriculum, withdrawal may not always be practicable or possible.
As a school we aim to be sensitive to parents’ wishes and try to accommodate the requests of the parents by avoiding planning material outside RE lessons that would cause anxiety for pupils and parents.