‘The essence of all religions is one, only their approaches are different’ (Mahatma Ghandi). Our R.E. North Star is to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to find out about the world and their place in it. Pupils will develop a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them.
Our teaching will encourage pupils to become critical thinkers reflecting on their own beliefs, religious or otherwise. R.E. does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place. Pupils will have balanced and informed conversations about religious and world views whilst exploring big questions. They will explore similarity and diversity between religions whilst learning to respect others’ points of view. Through high quality teaching, Pupils will understand and appreciate the range of different cultures and traditions within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain. The pupils will explore British Values and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to society. Our curriculum will develop the pupils’ ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives. Our R.E. curriculum will equip the pupils to speak confidently about their views and prepare them for secondary school by introducing the main religions in Hertfordshire. We follow the locally agreed syllabus for Herts and have adapted the Discovery R.E. Scheme of learning to fit in with the most common religions at Ashfield.
At Ashfield, R.E. is taught weekly as a discreet subject and lessons are planned with a clear progression of skills across each year group. The Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for R.E. 2017-22 provides an outline of the main concepts which pupils should learn and the expected outcomes for this. Each topic taught to pupils focuses on different concepts, with coverage provided across the Ashfield curriculum. The Discovery R.E. scheme of work provides planning and key learning activities and this scheme has been adapted to meet the needs of our pupils. We adopt an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given new focus each year, developing the learning in a progressive way but also building on prior knowledge and skills. In addition to Christianity, each year group will focus on one other faith including, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism throughout Key Stage 2 which is reflective of our Ashfield’s demographic. This builds on R.E. that is taught at our local feeder school.
Discovery R.E. advocates an enquiry model with a 4-step approach as the basis for implementation. Every unit (enquiry) is based around a key question. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself.
In Step 1, the children start from their own experience to ensure understanding of the concept being studied then move into investigating that concept in depth from the point of view of the chosen religion. This continues over three lessons of investigation and discussion throughout Step 2, which embeds subject knowledge. These lessons not only support the children with embedding their R.E. knowledge, but also contribute to their oracy and critical thinking skills. Exposure to and analysis of religious texts can also enhance their reading, comprehension and inference skills. In Step 3, they complete an assessment activity to evaluate the question again in light of their new knowledge, and have further opportunities to embed their own reflections on the learning in Step 4. Teachers plan with detail and attention to their individual children. Learning is scaffolded, and any individual needs are supported where necessary. Greater depth children are challenged to ensure that they are being given the opportunities to enrich their learning further.
R.E. lessons will include:
- A progression of R.E. knowledge
- A clear sequence of learning for each unit
- Specific R.E. vocabulary for units of work and year groups
- A development critical thinking skills
- Opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning
- Links with other subjects in the curriculum including English, Art , PD
- Differentiated activities or support (e.g. word banks, writing frames ) for children with SEND
- Well- chosen activities
- An understanding of diverse traditions and British values(Democracy, The Rule Of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths or Beliefs)
- Opportunities for SMSC ( spiritual, moral, social and cultural) development
In addition all year groups will have the opportunity to visit the place of worship for the religion they are studying. All classes participate in a carol concert at Christmas at the local church. Visitors from different faiths are invited into school for assemblies and workshops to enhance the children’s real life experience of religions and world views.
- Children talk passionately about their learning in R.E. and show curiosity learning about different faiths
- Children are tolerant and open minded to the beliefs of others
- Children share and explain the impact of faith/lack of faith on their own lives
- Children demonstrate new knowledge and skills in discussions and learning
- Children use and apply religious vocabulary and symbols in their learning
- Children show curiosity by asking questions and seeking answers to find out more
- Children recognise that similarities and differences between faiths
Our children will be successful and engaged in lessons because:
- Teachers use assessment for learning to support all learners and address misconceptions and gaps in learning
- Teachers build on a progression of skills and knowledge from the previous year
- Teachers make links and connections with prior learning in R.E. and in other curriculum subjects
- Teachers scaffold activities, model religious vocabulary and follow a sequence of learning so that all children can make progress
- Subject leader organises visits to religious places of worship and religious leaders/visitors to Ashfield Junior School