We ask big questions in RE and at St Berteline's we have adopted the Questful RE Scheme for our teaching of Religious Education.
Questful RE is
“No other aspect of school life can ensure better than RE that school is experienced by staff and students alike not as a fact factory but as a laboratory for learning the values and virtues, attitudes and aptitudes which make for the wholeness of body, mind and spirit,” (Saxbee 2013)
Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education believes that high quality Religious Education (RE) is the key to enabling every child to flourish. By embracing the explicit teaching of Christian concepts and God’s big salvation story, it is hoped that the content of this syllabus will give pupils a deeper understanding of Christianity. In addition, pupils explore all major world faiths and discuss world views where appropriate.
Whoever we are, wherever we live, whether we are a person of faith or not, we all have a view on the world. Nobody stands nowhere.
Quality RE has the potential, more than any other subject, to have the most powerful and lasting effect on the child’s heart and mind. It is a subject that combines academic rigour with the development of the character and spirit of the child. RE provides opportunities for spiritual development and personal reflection. On a quest to discover more about religion and world views pupils will discover more about themselves. As RE develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief, it provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose, truth and values, identity and belonging. Pupils will experience, explore and encounter a wide range of creative and challenging multi-sensory activities that will help them to discover the answers to fundamental questions such as these: –
- Who am I and what does it mean to be me?
- In what ways do/can I relate to others?
- How/where can I encounter God?
- How can I make a positive contribution to the world in which I live?
- What values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour are important to me?
- What does it mean to have faith?
- Who/what influences and inspires me?
Through an open investigative enquiry approach the pupils will be given the sense of being on a quest of discovery. A key feature of the syllabus is the large number of questions included in each unit. The purpose of these questions is to give pupils opportunity to investigate, reflect, evaluate and make meaning. In doing so they will discover more about themselves, their relationships with others, their relationship with the world around them and their relationship with God. The questions set the route through the curriculum content.
The curriculum content is a balance of the three essential disciplines of quality RE, Theology, Philosophy and Social Science. This means pupils will look at concepts through a theological lens, exploring what people of faith believe. Alongside this pupils will explore questions and answers raised in relation to the lived reality and impact of religion and world views on people’s lives. They will also think like philosophers, and be equipped with the skills that will enable them to make sense of life’s experiences.
RE prepares children for citizenship in today’s diverse society. It enables them to develop sensitivity to, and respect for others. Through authentic encounters with living faith communities, pupils will develop diversity dexterity and be equipped with the ability to hold an informed conversation about religious beliefs and practices.
The teaching of RE is both a huge responsibility and a privilege that must be recognised by those who teach it.