R.E. (Religious Education)
The important thing about R.E. is that it embraces differences, big or small,
It is diverse,
It is full of enquiry,
It is taking others' views into account,
And it is broadening our horizons,
But the important thing about R.E. is it embraces differences, big or small.
Religious Education Curriculum Aims
At Heathfields Infant and Wilnecote Junior Academy, we want our children to make sense of what they have learnt in RE and gain an understanding of different cultures and religions through shared experiences, reasoning, and reflection.
The aim of our RE teaching is to deepen children’s critical thinking skills through greater subject knowledge and to allow their own spiritual development. Our belief is that, using an enquiry-based model well, children’s critical thinking skills can be developed, their motivation to learn increased, and their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced. This approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. Through our RE programme our children:
Learn about religion by:
- Gaining a secure knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practises of Christianity
- Beginning to explore other faiths and perspectives
Learn from religions by developing the ability to:
- Express curiosity about fundamental questions of life
- Understand and use religious language
- Reflect on beliefs, practises, values, and traditions in order to understand their influence on the individual, on community life and on culture (including British Values and spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of life)
- Understand that for some questions there are no right or wrong answers
- Make informed responses to religious and moral issues
- Identify the relationship between religious beliefs, human responsibility, global issues, and the natural world
In line with the Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus, through the provision of our RE curriculum, we want our children to acquire:
- An increasing core of insightful knowledge concerning religions and beliefs, by exploring religious beliefs, teachings, and practises.
- A developing capacity to engage with ultimate questions and to formulate their own sense of identity and values; by engaging with fundamental questions.
- A growing range of the social, spiritual, and emotional skills and dispositions appropriate to living well in a religiously plural and open society, through informed discussion and personal reflection.
At Heathfields Infant and Wilnecote Junior Academy, we follow the Discovery RE programme with adaptations to align our curriculum with the Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus. Each RE lesson will provide an opportunity to explore, build knowledge and understanding, and encourage children to reflect on the subject. This is done as the children explore the 3 key enquiry skills of R.E. as shown below.
By the end of the unit, each child reflects on what they have learnt by assessing their own understanding of key vocabulary and concepts and comparing this to their initial understanding recognising how they have progressed as an individual throughout each unit.
R.E. Curriculum Intent
According to the R.E. Council, ‘the ability to understand the faith or belief of individuals and communities and how these may shape their culture or behaviour, is an invaluable asset for children in modern day Britain.’ At Wilnecote Junior Academy, in line with Staffordshire County Council syllabus for Religious Education, R.E. lessons will provoke challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life and the beliefs of others.
Pupils will learn to express their insights and to agree or disagree respectfully. By the time a child leaves Wilnecote Junior Academy in KS2, they will be expected to:
- Develop a deepening knowledge and understanding about a range of religious and non-religious world views.
- Describe and explain the beliefs of others.
- Describe and explain ways in which beliefs are expressed.
- Know and understand the significance and impact of beliefs and practises of individuals, communities, and societies.
- Connect these together and draw links between religions and with their own beliefs as an individual in an ever-changing society.
- Gain and deploy deepening understanding of specialist vocabulary and terms.
- Know and understand about religious diversity within the region, as well as nationally and globally.
- Gain and deploy skills that enable critical thinking and enquiry in relation to the material they study.
- Reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, experiences, ideas, values, and beliefs with increasing discernment.
We are committed to providing our children with an exciting and positive learning environment, with a wide range of opportunities to support their learning, in which they can develop their knowledge and understanding of religions while contributing to their spiritual, moral social and cultural development.
- R.E. is well planned and resourced with clear structure to sustain pupils’ natural curiosity so that they are eager to learn and develop investigative skills.
- Opportunities for cross-curricular learning are considered and children are encouraged to use the vocabulary taught during R.E. lessons in other subjects and in real life situations.
- Children are given opportunities to reflect on prior learning through their knowledge organiser which is stuck in at the start of each academic year.
- Opportunities for assessment are carefully considered and implemented during R.E. lessons to address any misconceptions and support children’s understanding.
- R.E. is assessed through the children’s acquisition of key vocabulary each half-term, this is then retested at the end of the academic year to see what the children have retained.
- R.E. is all-inclusive and diverse where any misconceptions are addressed to enhance R.E. concepts.
- Learning relates to real life experiences of the children so that they can apply their understanding to the real world.
R.E. Education at Heathfields Infant and Wilnecote Junior Academy
The teaching and learning of R.E. upholds our school values of PRIDE (perseverance, respect, inquisitiveness, determination, and enthusiasm) through its enquiry-based approach. The curriculum has been mapped out to ensure that all children have a good exposure to religions and are learning 'collectively enough' without overwhelming them and are allowed to compare the beliefs of each religion to their own social and moral beliefs. Therefore, R.E. is a key contributor to children’s SMSC development (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) and opportunities for the development of our children’s SMSC development are always considered across our wider curriculum.
Religious Education is a key player in engendering knowledge and understanding which can lead to tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. It encourages evaluation and critical thinking, equipping our children to take time to consider the belief positions they encounter. RE contributes significantly to the British Values agenda and the mapping documents clearly show the British Values links across the year groups. British Values include Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
Other ways in which we promote a broad religious education for all is by reading stories from a range of cultures and religions, using real life examples that are in the news and bringing children’s attention to celebrations and traditions. This will ensure that all children develop a good understanding of respect and tolerance for all.
It is a legal requirement that all school age children take part in a daily act of collective worship for all students which takes account of their age and aptitude [Education Reform Act 1988]. These acts of worship must be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian Character” for most of the time. Collective Worship is a time when the whole school, or groups within the school meet to consider and reflect on common concerns, issues and interests. It offers all pupils an opportunity to worship through engaging in relevant, meaningful experiences and provides opportunities for the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.
Worship defined in this way draws on literature, music, art, drama and other sources of inspiration and reflection for pupils and staff whose religious and cultural backgrounds are of any faith or none. In this way collective worship is inclusive not exclusive. In this school, at times, we combine our acts of worship with assembly, helping to ensure that worship takes place within a broad educational framework. The headteacher usually leads the whole school assemblies, with other staff leading at appropriate times, predominantly during class assemblies.
We choose from a range of methods, including:
- Pupil’s contributions
- Sacred and secular stories/readings
- Artefacts/natural materials
- Visual aids/focal points
- Dialogue/creative silence
Collective worship may also be carried out during curriculum time in subjects such as: Religious Education (R.E.) and Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE) as both subjects share the same core values as collective worship.
R.E. Subject Impact
In R.E., we strive to ensure that our children’s progress is in line with or exceeding their potential when we consider the varied starting points and different world views of our children. At Wilnecote, children in the past have been considered to have a very narrow world view and their perceptions of the world are heavily influenced by the surrounding environments. We measure the children’s starting points carefully using a range of materials, including, but not limited to, vocabulary banks to assess the children’s prior knowledge and then how the children’s knowledge progresses as the year goes on. We intend that the impact is that children will be prepared for life in their next school stage, in modern Britain and the wider world as we recognise the importance of this for young people to become a good citizen and be inclusive within their own society.
Involving the Wider Community
We aim to share as much of our R.E. learning with parents/caregivers as we can as it is important that our children remember the skills that we have taught them in school and are able to apply them both in school and at home. This will be done in several ways such as:
- Inviting parents in to school to support some amazing opportunities provided for our children.
- Communicating information via letters.
- Inviting external agencies and charities to visit our school to provide our children with enriching experiences.
- Visiting our local church to experience religion within context.
- Sharing our learning and experiences of R.E. on the school website.
- Sharing media of our learning via the school’s social media handles under the hashtag #wjaRE
Miss Paskin is the R.E. Lead at Wilnecote Junior Academy.
Miss Matthews is the R.E. Lead at Heathfields Infant Academy.
Any queries please do not hesitate to contact the school office at:
email@example.com (Wilnecote Junior Academy)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Heathfields Infant Academy)