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Religious Education

RE Curriculum Intent

Religious and ‘worldviews’ education at Churchill Church of England, VC, Primary School, creates learning about and from religions and ‘worldviews’ for pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of the main world faiths, develop enquiry skills and learn more about the world and themselves.

 

Through a thoughtful pedagogical approach to teaching Religious Education (RE), pupils gain an understanding of the struggle and impact of religions and ‘worldviews’ locally, nationally and globally. They are able to explore religions through a variety of lenses such as theology, culture, history, sociology, ethics and hermeneutics (interpreting text, for example the Bible). 

 

As they study each religion, pupils are encouraged to gain an understanding of lived religion as represented today, exploring diversity within and between religions.

 

They will learn about the common and opposing values of different religions and beliefs, and gain a realistic understanding of the struggle and legacy of beliefs and worldviews, both positive and negative, in the world of the past and today.

 

“Truth springs from arguments amongst friends” (David Hume, philosopher)

 

Through our RE teachings, pupils learn to explore and express their own ideas and beliefs as well as consider those of others. They are encouraged through links with Christian concepts to value difference and develop the courage to stand by what they believe in, support others in their beliefs and seek to improve the world around them. They begin a journey of gaining spiritual understanding and academic knowledge, to function well in the world today.

 

“Lived religion is MESSY. No religions fits in a box. Within and between religions there is messy and mixed ground”

(Professor James Holt, University of Chester, 2020)

The aims of our Religious Education curriculum are drawn from the North Somerset agreed syllabus (Awareness Mystery Value) and are based on the three statutory aims of the curriculum: to develop successful learners, confident individuals and positive contributors. RE has a vital role to play in the development of these core aims.   We aim to:

  • acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain;
  • develop an understanding of the influences of beliefs, values and traditions of individuals, communities, societies and cultures;
  • develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues with reference to the teaching of the principal religions represented in Great Britain;
  • enhance their spiritual, moral, cultural and social development by:
  • developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life raised by human experience, and how religious teaching can relate to them;
  • responding to questions about the teachings and practices of religions;
  • reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in light of their study;
  • develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions.

 

Implementation

The legal position of religious education

Our school curriculum for RE meets the requirements of the Education Act (1996).  The act states it is compulsory that RE is provided for all children, in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus; ‘Awareness Mystery and Value’.  RE should play a part in the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils.  It should take account of the fact that religious traditions in the UK are predominantly Christian, while also taking account of the teachings and practices of other principal religions in the UK.  As a voluntary controlled Church of England School, parents of all pupils may request that their children receive RE in accordance to the trust deed relating to the school.  Further advice on this matter can be obtained from the local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.  RE must not be designed to convert, or force upon pupils, any religious belief or practice.

 

Planning

Religious Education has the same status and importance as any other subject and the same high standards are applied to Religious Education as to all other subjects.   Our school scheme of work is planned in line with the agreed syllabus (http://www.awarenessmysteryvalue.org/) and is supported by two planning tools: Understanding Christianity and Discovery RE, both of which promote our curriculum intention and aims. 

 

In accordance with the agreed syllabus, the teaching of religions reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are, in the main, Christian. The children also learn about the five other major religions, namely: Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam.

 

Teaching & Learning

  • Visits and Visitors – whenever possible we endeavour to use first hand direct experience to build upon children’s learning in class.  Visits from believers and leaders of various faiths are sought for each theme where possible and we are looking to extend our provision through visits to major religious buildings, such as mosque and synagogue
  • Use of religious artefacts wherever possible.
  • Active learning – discussions, debates, role play and reflection.
  • Enquiry based learning – asking and answering questions about life, moral and religious issues.
  • Use of quality online resources such as video clips, museums and virtual tours
  • Creative and expressive activities including music, art and poetry
  • Circle Time so children can explore and express their thoughts and beliefs
  • Stilling and reflection techniques
  • Links to our local church communities of St Mary’s and St John’s as well as online teachings provided by Rev'd Andrew Hemming Winscombe and Rev’d David Gent from the Wrington Benefice.

 

Other activities and whole school events:

  • RE work links to Christmas, Easter, Harvest church celebrations and Year 5 Church Day
  • Children visit church to learn experientially about Christmas and Easter additionally to the RE curriculum

Assessment

Children’s progress is assessed formatively by teachers throughout the learning journey.   At the end of a unit teachers assess the children’s knowledge and understanding based on a central or unifying idea/ theme within the unit of learning.  A judgement is then made against three statements: developing, secure or excelling, taken from the Salisbury Diocese.   A summary of these assessments shared three times a year with the RE curriculum leader.

Effort in RE is reported annually to parents and guardians.

 

The RE subject leader meets regularly with the Ethos committee, attended by the Foundation Governors, to review the learning and teaching of RE.

 

 

RE Impact

On leaving Churchill CE VC Primary School in Year 6, religious and ‘worldviews’ education will have given pupils a varied and experiential knowledge of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism and some knowledge of other religions and non-religious ‘worldviews’, particularly those represented locally.

 

Children will have explored big questions and through creative tasks reflected and debated their own opinions and ideas. They will have built core skills in RE through a varied pedagogical experience in the classroom.   In particular, pupils will have understanding of the diversity and struggle of religions in modern life and in history, and the courage needed to express one’s beliefs and values in the world today. They will have reflected upon and expressed their own views in various way, including in creative opportunities. Pupils will have appreciation of the diversity of the world and country in which we live and in combination with our values curriculum, they will have learned the importance of respecting and advocating the beliefs and values of others.