Intent

Thomas Jones is positioned within a diverse community in West London. Through our Religious Education curriculum we aim to respect the faiths and beliefs of our community and widen our pupil’s understanding of and perspectives on key world religions and beliefs alongside humanism and non-religious beliefs.

As part of the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) within the borough have bought into (and adapted for the specifics of our borough) the Hampshire scheme for RE: Living Difference III.

The Living Difference III syllabus seeks to introduce children and young people to what a religious way of looking at and existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life individually and collectively. It builds on an approach to religious education, enriched by philosophical and theological enquiry. At Thomas Jones we will focus on both religious and non-religious lives, key world religions and humanism. We aim to help children to understand, philosophise, communicate, empathise and respect the plethora of ideas, beliefs, cultures and faiths amongst us.

Our aim is to:

  • develop children’s understanding of the world and its people.
  • develop children’s understanding of others’ beliefs.
  • develop understanding, respect and tolerance for others’ beliefs.

Through everything we do at Thomas Jones we strive to enhance community cohesion and promote tolerance and understanding of others. We teach children to recognise and value the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities and to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

Religious Education has equal standing in relation to the core and foundation subjects at Thomas Jones and is taught from Reception upwards.

Living Difference III offers an educative approach to religious education emphasising a process of enquiry into concepts. Children have the opportunity to respond from their own experience before being introduced to the way others appreciate things.  Living Difference III gives children the opportunity to evaluate; that is to make a judgement about why something is important for someone else as well as to discern what may be important for themselves.

In exploring what it means to lead one’s life with a particular religious orientation it recognises that this can be answered in a number of different qualitative ways.

These include:

  • The idea that to live a religious life means to subscribe to certain propositional beliefs
  • The idea that to live a religious life means to adhere to certain practices
  • The idea that to live a religious life means to exist, to be in and with the world, in a trustful manner or with a particular kind of awareness.

 

Link to Personal Development Curriculum and SMSC

Our RE curriculum at Thomas Jones is supported by our Personal Development curriculum where children develop a sense of self and other within the concept of community and are encouraged and taught how to understand and respect others’ points of view and actions.

Provision for the spiritual development of pupils includes developing their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise)
  • perspective on life
  • knowledge of and respect for different people’s faiths, beliefs (religious or otherwise), feelings and values

Provision for the moral development of pupils includes developing their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

Provision for the social development of pupils includes developing their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, co-operating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain

Provision for the cultural development of pupils includes developing their:

  • ability to recognise and value the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. This is shown by their respect and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

 

Law

The Education Act 1996 states that Religious Education is a statutory subject.

Each Local Authority has to have a Standing Advisory Council for RE (SACRE) and each SACRE has to produce an agreed syllabus for RE.

The syllabus must legally reflect the fact that religious traditions are in the main Christian, while taking account of other religions. This affords us some context for our teaching at Thomas Jones school, however, situated in a hugely diverse community we are committed to incorporating a broad range of religions and beliefs into our RE curriculum.

The Living Difference III approach to religious education is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE)

Every Local Education Authority (LEA) is required by law to have a SACRE. Its origins go back to the Education Act of 1944, but the Education Reform Act 1988 and the Education Act 1996 strengthened its place in an LEA. The responsibilities of SACRE are:

  • to provide advice to the LEA on all aspects of its provision for Religious Education (RE) in its schools
  • to decide whether the LEA's Agreed Syllabus for RE needs to be reviewed and to require the LEA does so
  • to provide advice to the LEA on Collective Worship in its schools
  • to consider any requests from Head teachers to hold Collective Worship that is not of a broadly Christian character
  • to advise on matters relating to training for teachers in RE and Collective Worship
  • to publish an annual report of its work

 

Withdrawal from RE

Parents and carers have the right to withdraw their children from all RE teaching or individual lessons/parts of lessons at school if they wish to. If a parent/carers requests to withdraw their child from all or part of our RE curriculum we would ask for them to meet with a member of the leadership team so that the RE curriculum can be shared with them in full alongside our rationale for RE, before they make their final decision. This decision rests solely with the parent/carer and will be fully adhered to and respected by the school.

Teachers’ rights are safeguarded, should they wish to withdraw from the teaching of religious education