Religious Education and the development of our pupils' Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education are both integral parts of the Thomas Whitehead CE Academy curriculum. The RE curriculum at Thomas Whitehead CE Academy is based on the agreed syllabus provided by Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton . This syllabus aims to embed the 'Understanding Christianity' resource with the key purpose of supporting pupils in developing their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it.
RE plays a significant role in the personal development of children. At its heart is the intention to enable children to become "religiously educated” in order to face the demands of the contemporary world. Given the opportunities for encountering people of different beliefs and lifestyles, RE also has a key role to play in fostering respect and social cohesion. As well as being "religiously educated”, RE helps students to become "skilled cultural navigators”, able to handle the differences of faith and belief around them, as well as establish their own sense of identity and belonging.Through the curriculum children are encouraged to develop a curiosity to learn about other people's beliefs and cultures and to find the common threads which bind them together.
Spiritual education in RE is concerned with becoming a person in the fullest sense. It can encourage our journey towards an understanding of ourselves, God the creator and the wonder of the world around us.
Moral education in RE relates to the child’s understanding of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. As children mature they will also develop an awareness of what is fair and just. They will be able to apply their thinking to circumstances beyond their own immediate surroundings. At Thomas Whitehead CE Academy we try to build on the moral teaching within the home while accepting that there may be different approaches between home and school. RE encourages students to discuss ideas such as people's responsibility towards the world and generations to come. In RE children are encouraged to make a personal response to right and wrong and to consider a range of responses to moral issues.
Social education in RE refers to a child’s ability to understand and play their part within school, the wider community and later, in wider society. RE teaching involves exploring the similarities and differences in religions and cultures though which children make links between faith and personal action in everyday life. Social development represents the abilities and qualities that an individual needs to play a full and active part in society. At Thomas Whitehead CE Academy, the Christian teachings ‘to love one another and to treat everyone as an equal’ are instilled from the beginning.
Cultural education in RE allows a child to recognise that all cultural groups are distinctive. At Thomas Whitehead CE Academy we celebrate the enrichment of the total community which flows from diversity of age, gender, racial and social origins, abilities, culture and religion. We are committed to ensure that all are given every opportunity to develop their talents to the full. Culture is the embodiment of shared beliefs, knowledge, customs and values of that group. Children need to appreciate the distinctive features of their own culture and those of others.
All that we do celebrates and explores life in response to God’s love. We believe Jesus Christ offers real hope for our world, and whilst we don’t get everything right, we want to contribute to the common good of all in our community.