St James Hatcham is based on a Christian foundation and as such, Christianity forms the basis for most of the teaching of RE.
However, we recognise that: ‘Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs, encouraging pupils to develop a sense of personal identity and belonging. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. Religious education challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. It enables them to grow within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community.’ (Lewisham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, 2018 – 2022)
At St James, we follow the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Religious Education Scheme in line with National guidelines to teach about Christianity and other faiths: Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism. We also use and incorporate the Lewisham SACRE agreed RE Syllabus to form part of our teaching and learning.
The units of work that are taught to each year group come from the Southwark Diocesean Board of Education’s curriculum guide to ensure appropriate coverage and progression; including the topic of Christmas and Easter.
Each class teacher is responsible for ensuring that the RE offered is matched to the level of understanding of the children in their class. It should raise the child’s awareness and understanding of the nature of faith and help to develop attitudes of respect and tolerance towards others. The effect of having all classes deeply engaged in studying different world religions at the same time is the creation of an environment which promotes understanding, tolerance and respect for all. A reflection of the four values we uphold here at St James: Love, Peace, Hope and Joy.
RE at our school has been recognised as above standards and the school has been awarded an outstanding grading at the last Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) inspections.
The Faith Group are a dedicated group from our community whose responsibility is to look after Religious Education within the school to ensure the teaching and learning is delivered to a high standard and to support pupils’ growing awareness of the differing religions taught at St James Hatcham. The group is currently made up of Ms McFarlane (Headteacher), Ms Price (representing the local church) and Miss Zeina (Year 2 Teacher, RE and Singing Subject Leader) as well as a parent representative. We meet for 1 hour every half term (6 times per year).
Faith Group Ambassadors are a volunteer group made up of a mixture of children from Years 5 and 6. It has been set up where topics such as creating stronger links within the community are discussed and organised. Our Faith Group Ambassadors also play a role in Church and Collective Worship sessions whereby they are responsible for the reflection section as well as leading a service once a half term. Meet our Faith Group Ambassadors.
Our link with St James Hatcham Church
Our church services led by Ms Price are very memorable and relatable. Children and adults enjoy the lessons taught and are able to deeply connect and reflect with important themes discussed such as forgiveness, new beginnings, growth and courage.
Ms Price also invites external guest speakers to give broader views on faith, spirituality and enrich our learning while also improving links within the community.
As always; our appreciation for Ms Price’s services and the strong link with the church community are highly valued amongst us all at St James.
A prayer for our children, parents and staff:
Dear God, Thank you for the gift of education in every form.
As our St James’ family continue on their journeys this year,
May confidence be their foundation,
May grace be their guide and,
May hope be their compass towards a bright future.
I pray they would have eyes to see
The needs of those around them
And a heart to love well.
May they face each day with positivity
Knowing that no matter what comes their way,
They do not have to face it alone.