St. James Hatcham CE School is based on a Christian foundation and as such, Christianity forms the basis for most of the teaching of R.E. 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 use the Southwark Diocese Board of Education Religious Education Scheme in line with National guidelines to teach about Christianity and other faiths: Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
The units of work that are taught to each year group come from the Southwark Diocese 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 R.E. 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.
We enrich the teaching of RE through helping the children learn through drama, art, sharing stories, celebrating religious festivals and through “Godly Play”. The learning of RE is further enriched by celebrating Religious festivals throughout the year and inviting visitors from faith communities to come in to help enrich the children’s knowledge and understanding of the different Faiths . Classes also visit different places of worship.
Children’s work is of a high standard where books record the RE learning journey; demonstrated through photos, art, drama and writing.
RE at the 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.
There is a group of people whose responsibility it 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 including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism .The group is called a “Faith Group”. The group is currently made up of Ms McFarlane (school headteacher), Ms Price (representing the local church) and Miss Zeina (Year 2 Teacher, Singing lead and RE Subject Leader) as well as a parent representatives. We meet for 1 hour every half term (6 times per year).
A faith group for children of Years 5 & 6 has been set up where topics such as creating stronger links within the community will be discussed and organised.
Our link with St James Hatcham Church
Our church services lead 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.
During Lockdown (March 2020) Ms Price was still able to hold church services for us at St James’ ‘Jenny’s Place’ where uplifting messages were given to encourage faith and hope during the unprecedented times.
This academic year (2020 – 2021) each week a class was able to go to the church for their service. We then were able to set up a Zoom link where the service was streamed so that the whole school could join in as well.
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.
Dean Andrew Nunn of Southwark Cathedral leading one of our church services.
Fred’s Paws for Thought
Alongside Ms Price’s worship services, her cat Fred shares his ‘furballs of wisdom’ with us all weekly (with little help from his human).
We always look forward to hearing what Fred has to say and you can too following the link below.
Development of Oracy within RE
Oracy is a whole school target that we focus on at St James Hatcham. A great way to develop this is through drama. The act of ‘stepping into someone else’s shoes’ enables children to reflect deeply about various characters’ thoughts and feelings. This then allows children to incorporate the meaning into real life contexts.
During Lockdown (January 2021), teachers set, on our online remote learning platform ‘Dojo’ , activities that would encourage children to develop these vital skills. Here are a few examples:
Reception – Beatrice retelling the story of Creation.
Year 1 – Marcel re-enacting a Baptism.
Year 2 – Aniayah’s speech asking PM Boris Johnson not to abolish all rules (link to the Ten Commandments).
Year 3 – Splendor re-enacting the Judgement of King Solomon
Year 4 – Cian’s reflection following his work on The Good Shepherd.
Year 5 – Cyrilla’s report on Christian Aid.
Year 6 – Critical Care children acting out the story of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’.
A prayer for our children, parents and staff:
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.
Reports and Policies: