Religious and Moral Education

Religious Observance Policy, Murrayburn Primary School

Introduction

Religious and Moral Education (RME). In accordance with the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, and the advice contained in the Scottish Government’s letter of February 2011, is the policy of the authority and Murrayburn Primary School to create opportunities for religious observance.

Definitions

Religious observance is defined for schools in Scotland as:

“Community acts which aim to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school community and express and celebrate the shared values of the school community”

Spiritual development “includes being helped to recognise, reflect upon and develop a deeper understanding of the value and worth of each individual which comes from one’s dignity as a person.”

There are many contexts across the curriculum, which encourage pupils to consider matters from a spiritual perspective; the potential for spiritual development is open to everyone and is not confined to the development of religious beliefs.

Worship

It is important to acknowledge that formal worship is not part of the religious observance programme. The following extract from the Scottish Government’s letter of February 2011 will inform the school programme:

“ Where, as in most non-denominational schools, there is a diversity of beliefs and practices ,the review group believes that the appropriate context for an organised act of worship is within the informal curriculum as part of the range of activities offered for example by religions, groups, chaplains and other religious leaders.”

The school will consider positively requests by members of the school community for organised acts of worship within the informal curriculum of the school.

Sharing and Celebrating Our Values

Aims

The school community comprises staff, pupils and families from a variety of faith backgrounds, no faith backgrounds and world views. This diversity is a valued aspect of Murrayburn Primary School and informs the planning of Sharing and Celebrating Our Values events. Curriculum for Excellence encourages each individual within a school community to develop as “a successful learner, confident  individual, responsible citizen and effective contributor”.

To further these aims, the school will therefore plan:

  • to allow pupils and staff to engage in shared activities to reflect upon, challenge and develop their spiritual perspectives of the world in which they live;
  • to celebrate important occasions in the life of the school and the community;
  • to share and celebrate our values as a community.

Our core values are:

  •            Respect for self and others
  •            Inclusion
  •            Supportive environment for all
  •            Developing capacity to be a life-long learner

Withdrawal

Under the terms of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, parents have the right to ask for their child to be withdrawn from Sharing and Celebrating Values (religious observance). The school will deal with such requests with sensitivity and understanding. The head teacher will offer to meet with any parent wishing to withdraw their child to ensure that they are clear about the school policy on religious observance.

In particular, parents should be reassured that the opportunities for Sharing and Celebrating Values planned by the school adopts an open and respectful approach and does not seek to compromise the beliefs of any pupils or their families. Where a child is withdrawn from these activities, suitable arrangements will be made for the pupil to participate in a worthwhile alternative activity.

Frequency

Murrayburn Primary School will follow the City of Edinburgh authority policy of a minimum of six Sharing and Celebrating our Values opportunities per year for each pupil.

Quality

The school intends to provide Sharing and Celebrating Values events of high quality which will further the aims of these community acts, as defined above.

A Planned Programme

There is an annual programme of 6 events which can be found in the ‘Sharing and Celebrating Our values’ page.

Location

Sharing and Celebrating Our Values events will take place in the school Assembly Hall and St Nicholas’ Church. As part of the school’s RME programme there may be occasion where classes visit other places of worship within the local community.

Diversity & Flexibility

Murrayburn Primary School will develop Sharing and Celebrating Our Values in a creative way which builds on our vision of a traditional school which celebrates its heritage within a “21st century outlook and one which is most appropriate to this school community. We place great value on the fact that our community is made up of families and individuals from a wide variety of cultures and traditions.