The R.E. curriculum follows the requirements of the SACRE ExploRE scheme of work and is developed to be a challenging and progressive creative sequence of skills and knowledge, which includes much debate and discussion of ‘Big Questions’ to enable children to consider diverse views and opinions and form their own. We aim to develop 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.
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.
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.
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.
High expectations and an excellent attitude to R.E. is expected of all children to help develop each individual as a learner. Themes and religions are grouped together to enable children to have the time to ‘delve deeper’ into a particular religion and fully explore new ideas therein.
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.