RE (Religious Education) has a very significant position in our school curriculum; it is also key to enabling us to live out our school vision. Teaching and learning in R.E is in pursuit of excellence and we aim that through experiences in Religious Education that our children have a better understanding of their religious and spiritual selves as well as those of people around them. Our Religious Education curriculum is one aspect that our children acquire a deeper understanding of the Christian faith.
At St Paul’s School, we follow the LDBS R.E. syllabus with the aim that:
- all children become religiously literate
- RE enables all children to live life in all its fullness – vision for Education (Church of England)
- it takes note of the Religious Education Church of England Schools – Statement of Entitlement
During their time at St Paul’s, children have the opportunity to learn about Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. The units:
- are rooted in theological concepts, strong subject knowledge and contentâ€‹
- offer a balanced curriculum which enquires into religions and worldviews through theology, philosophy and the human and social sciencesâ€‹
- offer sequential learning both in terms of knowledge and skills across the primary age range
- offer motivating, engaging and creative activities
- provide opportunities for children to develop understanding and empathy towards people of similar or differing religious or worldviews to their ownâ€‹
Teaching and learning in R.E. is part of our curriculum in enabling our children to become religiously literate and to nurture their own spirituality as well as providing opportunities for them to explore their place within the world. This is also enhanced through:
- The Christian vision of the school
- Close links with our Parish Church
- Acts of Collective Worship
- UNICEF Rights Respecting School
- An embedded PSHE curriculum (JIGSAW)
- Reflection Areas that are changed on regular basis
The LDBS syllabus has taken note of the 2013 national curriculum framework for RE, taking into consideration the following three strands for RE learning:
- know about and understand a range of religions and world views
- express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviewsâ€‹
- gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and world views
We offer a systematic enquiry- based approach to the teaching of RE so that the following skills in children can be developed:
- ability to be critical thinkers
- ability to engage critically with texts
- ability to ask deep and meaningful questions
- ability to make connections within and across religions and worldviews
- ability to reflect, respond and express their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions
- ability to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, belief systems, values and practices
Within the R.E. curriculum there are six key areas of enquiry:
- beliefs, teachings, sources of wisdom and authorityâ€‹
- ways of living
- ways of expressing meaning
- questions of identity, diversity and belonging
- questions of meaning, purpose and truth
- questions of values and commitment
The R.E syllabus consists of units of learning that are set out as follows:
- Six weeks’ worth of lessons (the majority of units)
- Four weeks’ worth of lessons (Christmas and Easter units)
- 2 weeks’ worth of lessons (exploring a key Christian concept)
R.E is an important part of our curriculum and we have ensured that sufficient dedicated curriculum time, meeting explicit RE objectives, however organised, should be committed to the delivery of RE. This should aim to be close to 10% but must be no less than 5% in key stages 1 and 2. At St Paul’s this works out as one hour in Key Stage 1 and 1.5 hours in Key Stage 2. To make ensure we are well within these statutory ‘hours’ of RE teaching, we plan an extra RE half day/day per term, for example such as our ‘Big Easter Project’ in the Spring Term.
All RE needs to follow careful planning starting with:
- end of unit expectations
- key concept being explored
- key religious vocabulary
Each weekly lesson is planned to ensure that children...
- know what the big theological question is that is being explored throughout the unit
- given opportunity to learn through enquiry-based learning
- given opportunities for deep theological enquiry and discussion
- given opportunities to reflect/express so they can demonstrate their understanding and personal response
- We use the LDBS syllabus and assessment grids to guide our planning. This ensures we know what the children need to have learnt by the end of the unit and plan accordingly
- We ensure all units are enquiry-based and follow the LDBS syllabus
- In the Christianity Units, we endeavour to have a member of the church clergy come to school or we go to the church for a visit with the class
- We try to include at visits to other places of worship linked to the world faith being studied
- We try to have visitor from a member of a different faith, linked to world faiths being studied
- For every four or six week unit, we ensure that the big question and the weekly question is displayed in the classroom along with key vocabulary. This display is then updated on weekly basis as the children record their response to each weekly question
- We encourage a dialogue of question and response in lesson. We want children to ask questions and others to respond whilst the teacher ensures that any misconceptions are addressed.
The impact of our R.E curriculum is by the end of Year 6:
- children will be able to hold a balanced and well-informed conversation about religion and worldviews. (Religious literacy)
- children will make good or better academic progress from their starting points as a result of a rich and engaging RE curriculum.
- children will be able to reflect, respond and express their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions.
- children will be able to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, belief systems, values and practices.
- children will have developed a deeper understanding of what it means to live life in all its fullness.
RE Knowledge and Skills Map
A Sample of Work in our R.E. Curriculum