Religious Education Curriculum Statement
Our Religious Education (RE) Curriculum equips pupils with theological and philosophical literacy. We want pupils to develop a solid base of knowledge about religions, particularly Christianity as a Church of England school and as the main religious tradition of Great Britain, but including teachings and practices of other principal religions represented in this country, such as Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. We also focus on developing children’s empathy, compassion and respect, as well as the ability to evaluate and analyse, ask and answer challenging questions, and express their ideas and insights. Our RE promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and also contributes to the development of British Values such as tolerance and individual liberty.
As a SIAMS Outstanding school….., we want our curriculum to empower children to see RE as more than just a subject, and to instead see it as intertwined within our values and ideas in our school and community.
Content covered in RE across the school ensures a wide range of religions are covered. Each topic is carefully thought out to ensure progression throughout the child’s RE journey through the school. As a Church of England school, we aim for children to explore Christianity each year, whilst also experiencing perspectives of non-Christian religions.
We use the Understanding Christianity and Discovery RE schemes to supplement our planning and learning, aiming to respond to the children’s thoughts and questions. Both these schemes follow an enquiry approach which allows for the children to not only learn new things, but to delve deeper into applying this knowledge further.
Teachers have identified the key knowledge areas and skills within each religion and these show progression throughout the school. Each lesson and new topic involves recapping previous learning, ensuring greater confidence for pupils and opportunities for reflection. This reflection is a crucial part of RE learning as it helps children foster their own opinions and ideas, but also for teachers to respond to children’s needs and questions.
Lessons are designed to challenge all pupils and to help children to explore their own concepts and ideas. RE is a key connector to individual spirituality and allowing time for this to grow is important. All aspects of RE respect the school’s commitment to inclusion, and reinforces the importance of British Values and the 6Rs.
Each base includes a Spirituality Area, which children are able to interact with in both structured and unstructured times. This builds on the idea that RE is more than just a subject to be taught in schools, it underpins many aspects of our individual and philosophical needs.
Where appropriate, we make cross-curricular links so that learning is repeated in several contexts and children are given opportunities to recall knowledge and skills, strengthening their long-term memory. This also applies to our Collective Worship whereby knowledge and concepts are reflected. Educational visits and visitors are also encouraged to enable children to gain real-life experiences and interactions.
Learning and teaching in RE is interactive and practical, allowing opportunities for children to work independently, in pairs and in groups of various sizes both inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers address the varying needs of all learners, differentiating activities where necessary and as appropriate, and ensuring an appropriate level of challenge. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect understanding of the key identified knowledge.
In the Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS) RE is infused throughout the child’s day to day life in the classroom. Although it is taught explicitly to the children, many important aspects of the RE curriculum can be found throughout the Prime and Specific Areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Understanding the World. The children are encouraged to explore their own ideas through play and investigate our natural world.
Through the quality first teaching of RE taking place we will see the impact of the subject in different ways.
Pupil voice is an important aspect of the subject through discussions. This shows that children are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in RE using subject specific vocabulary and ideas. Dialogue with children also demonstrates that they enjoy RE and are able to see RE as more than just a subject in school. Outcomes in base RE books evidence a broad and balanced RE curriculum and demonstrate the children’s discussion and ideas. Learning is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence. Through RE, children will link learning to our school values and British Values enabling them to influence the decisions they make in their own lives, and that of their community, in the future. Assessments and monitoring will show standards in RE will be high and will match standards in other subject areas.