Religious Education at Harleston Primary is taught in accordance with the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus, which can be viewed in school on request. Our aim is to develop pupils’ awareness and understanding of the six major religions, with a focus upon Christianity.
The Norfolk Agreed Syllabus has heightened its focus on the key concepts within Religion. This new form of teaching gives children more time to develop their higher order thinking skills and gives them a greater understanding of the religions they are learning about. Children are provided with opportunities to learn about and from religions, allowing them time to reflect on, consider and analyse a range of faiths. Parents wishing to withdraw their children from Religious Education should discuss the position with the Headteacher.
The school works very closely with the local church, St Johns, which we visit on several occasions throughout the year including, Harvest, Christmas, Easter and our Year 6 Leavers Service. The children enjoy the experience of going to the church on these occasions, with one commenting recently, “It’s fun, I like going to church with the school, I like taking part at the front of church and using the microphone”. Parents have also seen the benefits the visits to the church offer, “The opportunities to be involved in these events are not only a valuable learning tool, but also gives her confidence.”
As a school, we extend the children’s global understanding of religions beyond Christianity and celebrate a number of festivals, eg, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Eid and Shabbat. We optimise opportunities to enable the children to experience festivals first hand and encourage visitors into school to share their beliefs and cultures and expect all children to value and respect each other as unique.
This year, we are introducing Godly Play into our teaching and are using this as a vehicle to further develop philosophical thinking and use creativity as a medium in which children can express their inner thoughts, questions and feelings.
During our last SIAS inspection, the school was described as ‘outstanding’ with regard to the effectiveness of our religious education, a fact that we are very proud of.