We teach pupils tolerance and respect for other cultures and faiths, through an understanding of the nature of religion, beliefs and practice. We believe that religious education should not indoctrinate pupils in any particular faith but that it should go beyond simply teaching about world religions. We help pupils develop an understanding of what and how people worship, what creates feelings such as awe, wonder, reverence and humility and how religious faith affects people’s everyday lives.
Our pupils learn from religions in addition to gaining knowledge and understanding about religions. Pupils develop a tolerance and respect for others and to learn to challenge the prejudices that can exist in our world. They understand the value of living in a multicultural, multi-faith and multi-lingual society. In addition pupils are encouraged to develop open minds to new and different concepts, and to form their own opinions based on evidence and argument.
- Learning journey
During the course of their time with us, pupils grow to understand the key concepts, beliefs and practices of Christianity and five of the other major world faiths. They begin in Year 3 with an introduction of the basic beliefs of Christianity and Hinduism; they study prayer, symbolism and festivals. Buddhism is introduced in Year 4, when pupils also begin to reflect on influence, caring, worship and attitudes towards living things. In Year 5, pupils begin to discover Judaism, looking at some key events and influential figures in Jewish history and at how they are commemorated by followers. The focus in Year 6 is on Islam and Sikhism, and pupils also receive an introduction to philosophy.
As pupils move through the School they are also encouraged to reflect upon their own needs and experiences and to confront what are sometimes referred to as ‘ultimate questions’. Moving outside the classroom, we aim to establish links, where appropriate, with local churches and other religious communities and their members.
- Beyond the classroom
Pupils visit local places of worship, including St Matthew’s Church and the Cambridge Buddhist Centre.