No hell below us, above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
We hope that one day you'll join us and the world will be one.
Imagine there are no countries,
Nothing to kill and to die for and no religion too…."
This was John Lennon's vision and it has much to make it seem attractive. Surely, the world would be a better place without the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, religious bigotry in Northern Ireland and suicide bombers. Unfortunately, the world would also have lost the idea of holidays (originally holy days), Christian Aid, Christmas, meditation, whole sections of our literary, musical, artistic and architectural heritage and some very impressive teaching for life. Does anyone really want to contradict the message of the Good Samaritan?
This dilemma takes people to the heart of what R.E. tries to achieve. It faces up to fact that there are real differences of opinion between people and yet a great deal that people happily share from the treasury of the world's religions. Since so many ideas can only be a matter of belief and opinion, RE allows pupils to explore and respond to the issues in an attitude of honest enquiry and thus develop skills valuable in other subjects and in everyday life. The study of religious and moral beliefs and practices also provides insights into this country's traditions and values and an understanding of the views and practices of a variety of faith communities. Consequently, R.E. should be seen as a vital and relevant subject with a pivotal role to play in the provision of a balanced curriculum. In delivering this we follow the legally established Havering Agreed Syllabus for R.E.
Principles into Practice
In accordance with the 1988 Education Act, Christianity is the main religion studied. Significant attention is also paid to Islam and aspects of other faiths are studied to encourage a wide-ranging perspective. Students are invited to draw upon any family religious traditions they follow and to undertake their own research but there is no expectation that students should follow or accept any religion. They will not be made to take part in any faith's religious practices.
At Key Stage Three, all students study R.E. for one period a week. The course is divided into units which, typically, last between 6 – 8 weeks. Regular assessments and tests are given to determine students' standards but pupils are taught in mixed ability groups. In Years 7 – 9 students are taught in form groups and in Years 10-11 they are in mixed ability groups within 2 broad ability bands. In Key Stage Four, which commences in the summer of Year 9, all students are prepared for the Edexcel GCSE course comprising of Unit 1, "Religion & life" and Unit 8 "Religion & Society". Students base their responses on the study of Christianity and of one other religion. Each unit is examined separately with one formal Short Course GCSE examination being taken in Year 10 and the other in Year 11. Together they form a full course GCSE.
The courses are delivered by well-qualified specialist teachers. There is a dedicated R.E. area complete with interactive whiteboard which are used extensively. The expectation is that pupils will learn from each other as well as from the teachers and from research tasks. As a result, mutual respect is essential. The purpose of the course is not to make students religious but to enable them to reflect upon religious teaching and practice to help them come to a mature understanding of their own and others' views of life in the 21st Century. It is acknowledged that Religious Education can often raise issues of great importance to parents and pupils. As a consequence, pupils are encouraged to discuss their work with parents and teachers are happy to responds to any concerns raised by parents.res essential. The purpose of the course is not to make.
Mr. J. Davis (Head of RE)