At St Augustine Webster primary school we believe that Religious Education is not one subject among many but the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values it communicates inspire and unify every aspect of school life. It provides the contents for and substantially shapes the school curriculum. Religious Education presents pupils with the same academic demands and challenges as any other curriculum area. The immediate aim of Religious Education is to promote knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, its relevance to the ultimate questions of life and the skills required to engage in religious thinking. Religious Education is presented to children of a wide range of commitment. It will be received in different ways and lead to different outcomes for different children.
Under Diocesan advice we have adopted the Come and See scheme of work in order to deliver the R.E. curriculum. Each class follows the same topic at their own level. Special attention is paid to teaching and differentiated learning when teachers are planning each four week topic. The aim of the Come and See programme is to explore the religious dimension of questions about life, dignity and purpose within the Catholic tradition. Links are made with the teaching of the Church, pupils’ own experiences and universal experience. The children will explore the beliefs, values and way of life of the Catholic tradition and, where appropriate other faith traditions. Religious Education should introduce children to the background and beliefs of people of other faiths so that prejudice and misunderstanding can be overcome from an early age.
A large proportion of our school community is from other faiths. Parents are expected to be supportive of the Catholic nature of our school life in our community. We celebrate the diversity of our faiths, traditions and cultures. Children of other faiths are actively encouraged to share their faith. We have relevant books, artefact packs and images which are used throughout the school in our study of other faiths in accordance with the Come and See scheme. Our children from other faiths take part in assemblies every year which outline the celebrations of their own faiths including Eid and Diwali. We do not look at other faiths in comparison to Catholicism, but rather in terms of what practising the other World Faiths looks like for believers. Understanding, respect and tolerance are key elements to our programme of study. Cultural background and faith differences within the school provide a rich source of learning material at many levels.