Understanding others' religions and views of the world allows our children to become better local, national and global citizens
Beehive Lane RE Curriculum
The R.E. curriculum follows the requirements of the ‘SACRE Essex Agreed Syllabus, 2022’. This syllabus reflects significant developments in education in religion and worldviews, offering challenge and depth for all students.
It embodies an approach that values lived experience and diversity within and between religious and belief traditions, and encourages children and young people to engage critically with the big questions in life.
The syllabus promotes a multi-disciplinary study of religion and worldviews, developing students’ knowledge, critical faculties and curiosity about the world in which they live. It prepares them both for life within the large and diverse County of Essex, but also in the wider world, where they will encounter a huge range of ideas and beliefs.
High-quality RE will support pupils’ religious literacy, meaning that pupils will have the ability to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and worldviews. Pupils will be able to make sense of religion and worldviews around them and begin to understand the complex world in which they live. RE is primarily about enabling pupils to become free thinking, critical participants of public discourse, who can make academically informed judgements about important matters of religion and belief which shape the global landscape. Children will have an understanding of what it means to be a British Citizen or, someone from another country who lives in Britain in order to develop an awareness and tolerance of living in a multi-cultural society with the need to be mutually respectful.
- To know about and understand a range of religious and non-religious worldviews by learning to see these through theological, philosophical and human/social science lenses.
- To express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religious and non-religious worldviews through a multi-disciplinary approach.
- To gain and deploy skills rooted in theology, philosophy and the human/social sciences engaging critically with religious and non-religious worldviews.
Children will be aware of how someone, themselves and others, make sense of the world in which they live and the impact this has on their daily life. It will:
- Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society.
- Prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Children should gain a wide knowledge, acceptance and understanding of different faiths, cultures and opinions and be able to explain key beliefs associated with these through debate and discussion which is used to engage and inspire, to focus and extend thinking skills. We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world and to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences. They should appreciate the way that religious beliefs shape life and our behaviour, develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The purpose of RE is to develop religious literacy. The essential outcomes for RE are therefore related to the knowledge and understanding of religion and worldviews.
The school values of commitment, aspiration, respect and enjoyment underpin this, alongside SMSC education, which plays a key role in R.E. and as such, the school engages in several linked opportunities in the local community to develop and broaden children’s knowledge and understanding of taught ideas and grow their confidence, questioning and explanations.
Stories and language play an integral role in this and children will expand their vocabulary base and be able to use this within their writing to explain ideas.
Our syllabus is rooted in a multi-disciplinary understanding of the subject. This provides a balanced diet ensuring that pupils are seeing religion and worldviews through different lenses, and places RE within a strong, and well-established academic tradition. In this syllabus we assert that RE is rooted in three key disciplines or disciplinary fields.These are theology, philosophy and the human/social sciences. In this syllabus they are re-contextualised for the school context in the following ways:
We have called this thinking through believing. It is about asking questions that believers would ask. It requires pupils to think like theologians, or to look at concepts through a theological lens. Pupils will explore questions and answers that arise from inside religions and worldviews.
We have called this thinking through thinking. It is about asking questions that thinkers would ask. It requires pupils to think like philosophers, or to look at concepts through a philosophical lens. Pupils will explore questions and answers raised through considering the nature of knowledge, existence and morality.
We have called this thinking through living. It is about asking questions that people who study lived reality or phenomena would ask. It requires pupils to think like human and social scientists, or to look at concepts through a human/social science lens. Pupils will explore questions and answers raised in relation to the impact of religions and worldviews on people and their lives.
In order that pupils can become religiously literate, it is asserted that an approach in RE that balances these disciplines is adopted. In addition, this approach helps pupils to become well-informed and hold balanced views because they will have had the opportunity to gain a real breadth and depth of understanding and use a range of different methods to validate knowledge across the disciplines.
Our RE curriculum is based on these principles and ensure pupils have a balanced approach rooted in these disciplines by:
- - Using suggested core questions for each Key Stage relating to each of the three disciplinary lenses, in order to ensure there is a balance between the three disciplines in each phase of learning (i.e. Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2, Upper Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3)
- - Using a core body of knowledge to be investigated which is rooted in each academic discipline, but contextualised for the school setting (see below)
High expectations and an excellent attitude to R.E. is expected of all children to help develop each individual as a learner. Pupils study Christianity as an ‘in-depth’ focus, but other faiths and worldviews have been chosen in accordance with the needs of our school community. Reception class will also study Hinduism, KS1 will link Christianity with Judaism whilst in KS2, we move to Islam and Buddhism as secondary foci to compare theistic and non-theistic religions, alongside other beliefs.
RE in EYFS will prepare children for the multidisciplinary approach. Pupils begin to explore religion and non-religious worldviews in terms of important people, times, places and objects, as well as visiting places of worship. Pupils listen to, and talk about, stories which may raise puzzling and interesting questions. They are introduced to specialist words and use their senses in exploring religious and non-religious beliefs, practices and forms of expression.
Many NATRE (National Association for the Teaching of Religious Education) and Understanding Christianity exemplars support the teaching and learning of RE across the whole school.
Within school, opportunities are taken to share knowledge and understanding of R.E. in assemblies, drama pieces, dances, stortytelling and showcase events. Children are exposed to a rich learning experience within R.E: focused assemblies: regular visits to the local Church for festivals; visits from Humanist speakers; Islam workshop; visits to the mosque. All of these experiences develop and build on previously taught skills and knowledge and help further develop understanding of the faith being studied.
Assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation in terms of R.E. ability rather than Literacy ability, although this is also evident. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each unit to inform leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. R.E. is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinies, lesson observations and pupil interviews. There is also much ‘in the moment’ assessment in order to address misconceptions quickly and give the child the opportunity to develop thinking skills further. This provides opportunities to challenge children and move them on quickly in terms of their learning and also to support the less able to achieve.
The impact of R.E. is not only measured in terms of progress, from starting point and attainment levels achieved, but also seen through other aspects, social situations, and SMSC opportunities throughout the school. The understanding around beliefs, tolerance and diversity will filter across the whole curriculum in terms of academic, social, creative and personal skills and children will demonstrate a positive attitude towards people of any religion and show an understanding of cultural beliefs different to their own. They display respectful behaviour to all and this is transferable outside of school in the wider community and beyond.
Children will develop enquiring minds and the ability to question and debate in a reasoned and rational manner, without fear of failure. R.E. allows students to discover areas of interest and fascination, as well as areas they might like to learn more about.
Through their R.E. learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life, which they are then able to communicate to the wider community. R.E. offers our children the means by which to understand how other people choose to live and to understand why they choose to live in that way. Most importantly, children will be able hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and worldviews, becoming more religiously literate.