The Religious Studies curriculum at St Mary’s School comprises biblical studies, contemporary issues and world religions. It acknowledges that the religious traditions of the United Kingdom are mainly Christian while giving due importance to other world religions represented in our country. The curriculum aims to offer all pupils of any religious belief or upbringing the opportunity to express their views and to deepen their knowledge and understanding of beliefs and traditions across the world.
Aims and Values
Through the Religious Studies Policy we aim:
- To observe and understand the principles of a Christian society;
- To understand and explore a variety of cultures and world religions;
- To study foundation biblical texts of the Christian tradition;
- To encourage discussion in areas such as human rights, discrimination and social justice
- To create opportunities for open discussion about cultures throughout the world
- To allow pupils to form a response, religious or otherwise, to moral issues
- To encourage pupils to respond to fundamental questions of life raised by religion and human experience
- To allow pupils at St Mary’s to participate in religious services within the community
Teaching and Learning
In Kindergarten, Reception and Lower and Upper Transition pupils are introduced to Religious Studies by their class teacher. Pupils learn about celebrations, festivals, customs, sacred stories and key figures. Their work also encompasses the natural world and care of it.
In the Middle School, years 3, 4 and 5, pupils continue to learn aspects of Religious and Moral education with their form teacher. Pupils also attend a weekly assembly with the Deputy Head Teacher who introduces the children to a range of Bible stories. In the Upper School, years 6, 7 and 8, pupils attend a 30 minute lesson once a week where specific chapters and stories from the Old and New Testaments are explored in depth and discussed in relation to life today. Pupils also have the opportunity to learn about a variety of world religions and to explore social and ethical issues of every day life. Course content is based around the Religious Studies Common Entrance syllabus.
In addition to this all pupils attend a full school assembly twice a week with the Headmaster during which religious observance in the form of hymns, readings and prayers take place. Services at Remembrance and Christmas offer the opportunity for the children to observe significant events in the Christian calendar and to be joined in doing so by family members and members of the community.