At St Margaret's we follow the Devon and Torbay Agreed Syllabus 2019, which asserts the importance and value of religious education (RE) for all pupils, with on-going benefits for an open, articulate and understanding society.
The following purpose statements underpin the syllabus:
• Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
• In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
• Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully.
• Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
• RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
• Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.
The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
Religious Education (RE) has an important place in the curriculum of all schools. It provides a safe space for young people to develop their understanding of people, cultures, faiths and relationships. This agreed syllabus sets out detailed and extensive programmes that will enable pupils to gain a coherent understanding of religions and worldviews, preparing them for life in twenty-first century Britain. It gives teachers clear guidance on how to approach the teaching of RE across all key stages, taking an innovative and rigorous approach that will promote high standards of RE in our schools.It has been chosen after extensive consultation with teachers and school leaders from both primary and secondary sectors, and I would like to acknowledge the unstinting work of SACRE, and other colleagues and partners, who have worked hard to make sure good RE resources can be a reality for every school. The syllabus offers valuable support to teachers who are less confdent about how to approach the subject, and provides a suitable stretch for those who are more experienced. I am pleased to recommend it to Devon schools.
Dawn Stabb (Head of Education and Learning, Devon County Council)
The new RE agreed syllabus will give Devon & Torbay schools valuable support to enable them to teach high-quality RE in both primary and secondary phases. It takes a pedagogical approach, offering accessible resources and detailed subject knowledge which will make a significant impact on raising the quality of RE in schools. The detailed curriculum units are designed to develop a coherent understanding of religions and worldviews through the exploration of key questions and core concepts. The syllabus incorporates the Understanding Christianity approach and offers flexible assessment systems. We believe it will make a significant contribution to every pupil’s personal and academic development and we are pleased to recommend it to schools in Torbay.
Rachael Williams (Assistant Director of Education, Learning and Skills, Torbay Council)
Devon and Torbay SACREs are pleased to present this RE syllabus to all schools. This syllabus represents our vision for excellent RE in schools, regardless of governance or funding routes. The advice of experienced teachers and nationally recognised experts has informed the pattern and structure of the syllabus and ensures that it will support teachers in the planning, resourcing and delivery of engaging learning activities. Its breadth of focus will off er learners opportunities to explore a range of religions and worldviews. This is their entitlement and our challenge. It gives us great pleasure to present this syllabus to you as a powerful tool in the promotion of excellent RE throughout our school communities.
Jeremy Roberts (Chair of Devon SACRE) and Corrine Guntrip (Chair of Torbay SACRE)