Our RE vision at St Michael’s supports John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”, “therefore choose life…”, growth in body, mind and spirit. It also fulfils our Mission Statement,
‘As a vibrant learning community we aim to serve God, pursue excellence and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual’.
Our desire is for pupils to have a genuine passion and love of learning within RE. We aim to provide a safe space where pupils can learn to ‘disagree well,’ debate, engage with text, and explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical beliefs and those of others. We hope that our pupils will be able to articulate and voice their views in a respectful way, whilst listening to and considering the views and beliefs of others.
We hope that our pupils can share in a search for the truth starting from their own questions and viewpoint. Our school’s foundation statement demonstrates that as a Christian school we believe a search for the truth will lead to Jesus Christ and we are committed to nurturing pupils who have a faith commitment as they develop their philosophical, sociological and theological thinking. We also aim to provide a climate in which all may flourish and develop the character necessary to make wise choices throughout their lives. Dignity and respect is shown for all the differing views represented in our school and we are aware that there are different worldviews; and we may all start and end our search for truth in different places. We are committed to model inclusivity as Jesus was inclusive, prompting questioning as Jesus prompted questioning and challenging pupils to question and evaluate spiritual, philosophical and ethical issues for themselves in a critical manner. By critically examining worldview points that maybe different to their own our hope is that all may reflect on the influence and impact of religion on Britain’s cultural heritage and the lives of individuals and societies. This promotes respect and dignity for all.
Part of our vision is that pupils reflect on personal learning and thinking skills and acquire key skills such as explanation, communication, comparison, evaluation and analysis. We believe this supports their transition to future education, the workplace and society in the 21st century. Through a balanced and coherent curriculum which includes time for all to reflect on their own character and our Christian values, our hope is that pupils will become resilient, active learners, courageous advocates in their local, national and global communities, and also that they will embrace life- long learning!
By studying religion within a Christian context, and reflecting the Anglican tradition of our school we aim to provide exciting learning experiences, sequenced learning, reaching for the highest standards of religious literacy and academic rigour. Religious Education is taught in line with the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement.
Our aims are expressed in the words of Lord Runcie, quoted in The Way Ahead (Archbishop’s Council 2001):
“Nourish those of the faith;
Encourage those of other faiths;
Challenge those who have no faith.”
The department is staffed by a team of four enthusiastic and experienced RE specialists. Approximately 70% of curriculum time is spent studying Christianity, with the remaining time being focused on other faiths, principally Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
We provide opportunities for pupils to meet people of faith and to visit places of worship. Our programme of visits includes opportunities to explore Blackburn Cathedral, a mosque and a synagogue. Recent visitors to school have included the Bishop of Carlisle, the Bishop of Burnley, a Manchester Charity for the Homeless, a speaker about Fairtrade and Anjum Anwar, previously Blackburn Diocese’s Dialogue Development Officer, who spoke about her Muslim faith.
All pupils study RE to GCSE level. The course includes the study of the beliefs and practices of Christianity and Judaism, as well as consideration of moral issues such as war, crime and punishment and human rights. Many of our teaching strategies require pupils to work collaboratively. Pupils develop personal learning and thinking skills in RE which support their learning in other curricular areas and when they continue their education on leaving school.
Religious Education Learning Schemes