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Religious Education

Intent

Broad

  • We ensure full coverage of the RE Curriculum by following the Herts agreed syllabus (Religion for Today and Tomorrow) supported by Understanding Christianity.

                 

  •  ‘Religious literacy’ focuses on the human experience of religion and belief and the development of skills for expressing these experiences. We aim to engage pupils in enquiring into and exploring questions arising from the study of religion and belief, so as to promote their personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It is not about telling pupils what religious views they should have but rather assists them in gaining shared human understanding, developing personal identity and searching for meaning in the context of evaluating different viewpoints.
  •  To encourage the development of attitudes and values that are a reflection of our Christian ethos, and an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith.
  • ‘Theological literacy’ focuses on the big concepts upon which religions are founded, such as God, creation and the afterlife and the development of skills for expressing these concepts. These big concepts are explored through the non‐statutory additional guidance document. 
 Sources of wisdom include: sacred texts, psalms, hymns, prayers, poems, letters, paintings, icons, artefacts and people. 
(DfES Circular 1/94 para 44-49).
  • Throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2 we cover and learn about 6 key world faiths (Christianity, Islam Sikhism, Hinduism Judaism, Buddhism)

Balanced

  • Pupils will have opportunities to develop an understanding of religion whilst exploring other areas of the curriculum. As an example the exploration of imagery in church stain class windows and recreating them in Art and Design. Reflecting on aspects of the impact of beliefs is covered within the values during collective worship and PSHE
  • RE teaching and learning will feature in cross-curricular themes. Children’s skills in oracy and literacy will be enhanced, problem-solving, decision-making and interpersonal skills will be developed.
  • RE presents many opportunities to explore multicultural and equal opportunities issues and for consideration of the environment.  Moral questions will be raised and pupils will develop a sense of citizenship through many aspects of the explicit RE curriculum.  Links will be made with people and communities within the locality.
  • The RE curriculum makes a significant contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development knowledge and awareness of Prevent, British values, keeping children safe and the diversity, equality and cohesion agendas, these are all essential contributing factors in providing outstanding RE teaching and learning for all children.

Progressive

  • Children will develop their religious and theological literacy through learning about religions and worldviews. In EYFS using the eight areas of learning to discover religious words and ideas, and throughout each key stage the targets progressively increase to; Upper KS2's target of using the eight areas to develop religious vocabulary to communicate knowledge and understanding of a range of theological concepts.
  • Knowledge and understanding is built upon from one year to the next with I can statements that break down the progression of knowledge skills and understanding into year group specific targets for our mixed year classes.        

Cumulative 

  • Knowledge is revisited and understanding strengthened by repetition, reinforcement and application in  learning about different faiths areas and as pupils progress through the school.
  • For pupils to become religiously and theologically literate by revisiting eight key areas of learning each year through the 2 year cycle plans. (Beliefs and practices Sources of wisdom.  Symbols and actions Ultimate questions Human responsibility and values; Justice and fairness; Identity and belonging; Prayer, worship and reflection)

Inclusive

  • A range of teaching approaches can be used by teachers to deliver this curriculum giving them flexibility in ensuring all learners are included.
  • We have designed and will continue to modify the curriculum to ensure children recognise and celebrate cultural diversity.
  • The curriculum aims to ensure that children develop their understanding of what it means to be a Christian or, someone from another faith who lives in Britain. They develop an awareness and tolerance of living in a multi-cultural society and being mutually respectful towards the beliefs of others
  • Teachers ensure that children have an understanding of equality of peoples’ own beliefs and self identity, which is enhanced through the teaching. This will include teaching pupils to appropriately challenge negative comments, expectations or stereotypes.

Implementation

  • We have developed a two year rolling programme to plan for the needs of mixed year classes to ensure full coverage of the Herts agreed syllabus with progression within the different Key Stages.
  • Religious Education is generally taught for one hour on a weekly basis, but may also be delivered through a class topic or as a whole-school focus. Teachers may develop their own key questions linked to the themes in the syllabus, allowing links with other subject areas where appropriate.
  • We recognise that depth is more important than over-stretched breadth.  Therefore each year group focuses on Christianity and another prominent religion to ensure a full and rich coverage throughout the school.
  • Lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways ensuring that all children can access and participate in engaging lessons. Interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions.
  • Learning will be recorded in class books however learning can be represented in a range of ways such as examples of work, photos and child’s voice.
  • Teachers pose deeper thinking questioning in class to challenge and assess. Children have the opportunity to personally reflect and develop a greater understanding of their own identity, promoting deeper thinking and spirituality.
  • Teachers aid in learning religious language and Theological literacy. ‘Theological literacy’ focuses on the big concepts upon which religions are founded, such as God, creation and the afterlife and the development of skills for expressing these concepts.
  • Children increase their cultural capital through visits and visitors. These specialist visits and visitors support RE learning by building on the children’s prior knowledge and encouraging them to think about others.
  • We uphold strong links with our local Church. The whole school is involved in weekly collective worship with a member of St. Mary’s Church and has the option to travel to the church for services at Easter, Christmas and in July for our leaver’s service.
  • As a school we promote our Christian values and have the opportunity to join in with our school prayer daily.

 

Parent's right to Withdraw

  • It is our practice to talk to parents to ensure that they understand the aims and value of the RE curriculum before honouring the right of withdrawal from RE
    •  Parents of a pupil at a community, foundation or voluntary school have a right to withdraw their children from RE. If a parent asks for their child to be wholly or partly excused from attending any RE the school must comply unless the request is withdrawn. Any parent who wishes to withdraw their child is expected to consult the headteacher. 

Impact

  • Teachers use formative assessment during teaching and learning and provide support as needed so that all children make expected progress.
  • As children progress through Spellbrook they cover the full RE curriculum developing a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of all the major religious beliefs and practices.
  • The level each child is working at (whether in line with the majority of I can statements for their year group, below or above) will be recorded and input into the school’s tracking system twice a year (February half term in preparation for written parent reports and at the end of the academic year to provide the receiving teacher with up-to- date information.
  • Children demonstrate a positive attitude towards people of any religion and show an understanding of cultural beliefs different to their own. They demonstrate respectful behaviour to all and this is transferable outside of school in the wider community and beyond. This is reflected in comments in the child’s annual report
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