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Religious and Moral Education

By Judy Harris,2014-05-09 22:04
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Religious and Moral Education

    Religious and Moral Education

Rationale

    “Education is about the development of the whole person. Religious and Moral Education deals with the development of the person in relation to self-awareness, relationships with others, and the realm of beliefs, values and practices which go to make up a religious outlook on life. As such it makes an important contribution to the personal and social development of all pupils.” (R.M.E. 5-14 National Guidelines)

    Aims:

    ; To develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other World Religions

    and to recognise religion as an important expression of human experience

    ; To appreciate moral values such as honesty, liberty, justice, fairness and concern

    for others

    ; To investigate and understand the questions and answers that religions can offer

    about the nature and meaning of life

    ; To develop their own beliefs, attitudes, values and practices through a process of

    personal search, discovery and critical evaluation

    The teaching of Religious & Moral Education is concerned with the development of understanding of religion as a significant area of human experience. It is also an aspect of personal growth enabling the individual to explore questions concerning the meaning of life. The moral element is the process whereby a person develops responsible attitudes towards others, and skills of moral judgement about what is considered right and wrong.

The Multi-Cultural Dimension

    The aims of R.M.E. are in line with the schools‟ policies on Equal Opportunities and Racial Equality, which offer equal opportunities for all. In line with these policies, we wish pupils to understand, appreciate and respect peoples of all different religions, races, disabilities and ethnic backgrounds.

Teaching and Learning

    Religious and Moral Education is taught mainly as a discrete subject and is time tabled into our weekly plan. The context for our R.M.E is set in the National 5 14 Religious

    and Moral Guidelines and in the programmes of study of Fife Council‟s Religious and Moral Education Guidelines. The headings we work under are Christianity, Other World Religions and Personal Search. Some aspects of R.M.E particularly moral issues are integrated into other school areas, e.g. Personal and Social Education, Health, Citizenship and Bullying.

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Learning and teaching

    Pupils will progress from Level A-E through the Fife Council programmes of study which provide balance, continuity and progression and allow pupils to acquire skills common to other aspects of the curriculum. We have drawn up a topic grid for each stage of the school infants, middle and upper. This allows flexibility for any composite classes. The topics have been selected because:

    ; They relate to the needs and interests of pupils at that stage

    ; They provide continuity and scope for developing the processes and key aspects of

    personal and social development within the 5-14 guidelines

    ; They allow incorporation of the targets from each of the three outcomes set in the

    5-14 guidelines

    ; They allow for progression as pupils build up key words and ideas that make them

    familiar with the language of religion if they are to understand it and discuss its

    significance

Topics in R.M.E. are usually taught as class lessons with individual and group follow

    ups either written, oral or through an aspect of Expressive Arts, e.g. art, music or drama. There are also opportunities for research work. Aspects of R.M.E. are planned for and discussed in school assemblies throughout the year.

Our learning and teaching process follows this cycle:

    RECOGNITION

    Finding out

    LEARNING ABOUT

    What it means for others

     RESPONSE REFLECTION

     Doing something about it Thinking, talking about

     LEARNING FROM

     What it means for me

    RECOGNITION is mainly concerned with what the pupil needs to know or find out about a particular religion, a person or way of life. They will also identify within their own experience a similar thing.

    REFLECTION is concerned with what the pupil needs to think and talk about. Through discussion the pupil can more fully identify with what they understand within their own experience and re-evaluate what they thought or did previously.

    RESPONSE is concerned with pupils expressing their thoughts and feelings in the light of what they have learned, understood and reflected on.

This is a useful model for both teachers and pupils to follow.

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Time allocation

    A minimum of 15% of time should be allocated to Religious and Moral Education in conjunction with Personal and Social Development and Health.

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

    Staff will assess :

    ; aspects of knowledge and understanding in the three main attainment outcomes. ; skills listening, reading for information, discussion, collecting evidence, recording

    and presenting, interpreting, evaluating and developing informed attitudes. Assessment is generally on-going with forms of evidence varied according to the task. Assessment of knowledge and understanding and skills is assessed through the usual methods that teachers use in other areas of the curriculum. (See whole school Assessment. Recording and Reporting Policy)

    Through observation, staff will assess the development of positive attitudes within the pupil e.g. how the pupil empathises with and understands the beliefs and values of others, and how he/she forms personal judgements on religious matters.

    As religious and moral views are often controversial and involve personal decision and commitment, it would be wrong to assess the personal stances of pupils in relation to such matters. A pupil‟s view in relation to a moral dilemma will not be assessed as right or wrong, although the process of arriving at that view may be assessed. Staff will record pupil‟s strengths and particular needs in the pupil reports to parents. A

    judgement of progress is also reported in pupil reports.

    Role of School / Class Assemblies

    Assemblies generate a feeling of “belonging” and togetherness as a school family, where pupils‟ achievements are valued and the spiritual dimension emphasised as an

    important part of school life. Important messages about concern for others or the environment are conveyed. Pupils are involved in singing, reading aloud, drama or playing music, and also watch and listen with concentration.

    The aims for holding assemblies are:

    ; To promote pupils‟ spiritual development

    ; To increase their understanding of religious practices such as prayer and meditation

    and the religious experience which underlies them

    ; To promote the ethos of the school through the expression and celebration of shared

    values

    ; To provide an opportunity for individual reflection on spiritual and moral concerns.

    A school assembly is held weekly where an aspect of religious or moral education is discussed. This can be through:

    ; the context of a story/video

    ; a talk by local minister

    ; an illustrated talk by an invited speaker/charitable organisation

    ; religious/moral themes

    ; a class-lead assembly

    ; holding monthly „Star Pupil‟ assemblies

    Parents are invited to our class and end of term assemblies.

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Religious Observance

    Contemplation and reflection is an important aspect of all religions and pupils will have some first hand experience of this, through prayers, singing and reading from holy books. As we live in a predominately Christian society our religious observance is predominantly Christian based. Our school chaplain has an important role in carrying out the above. The chaplain will be involved with school assemblies approximately three times per term, for ? hour sessions. He is aware of the schools‟ aims for the teaching

    of R.M.E. and has a copy of the school policy. Religious observance will only be carried out during whole school assemblies. Children who are withdrawn from religious observance are supervised by a member of Staff and pursue personal projects in one of the classrooms.

    The school visits the local church to take part in a Christmas service and classes sometimes visit local churches for conducted tours, under the theme of Places of Worship.

    Exemption from Religious Observance

    Parents who wish to have their child withdrawn from Religious observance within the curriculum will indicate this on school enrolment form or through a written letter informing school of special requirements.

    Forward Planning

    Planning for R.M.E is done on a termly basis where activities, strands, outcomes and resources are identified. We also have a R.M.E overview topic record, which will be highlighted when planning and ticked when work has been covered. This is handed on to the next teacher at the end of the session.

    (See whole school Forward Planning Policy)

Resources

    We have a large bank of resources for R.M.E. including boxes of artefacts, videos, books, pictures, audio tapes and photocopiable material to support learning and teaching. The internet provides a wealth of information that relates to the teaching and learning of R.M.E. We also make use of human resources in the community e.g. School Chaplain, Charity Organisations, local people. A list of all resources are kept in each classroom.

Monitoring and Review

    The Head Teacher has the overall responsibility for the monitoring and evaluating of R.M.E. from Nursery to primary 7. This is carried out in line with our schools Quality Assurance, Monitoring and Reviewing Policy.

    This policy was drawn up in consultation with parents, the School Board and the local chaplain. It will be reviewed during the ongoing cycle of School Development Planning.

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