“Embracing our values today… to be a successful part of the world tomorrow!”
Religious Education - R.E.
The Intent, Implementation and Impact of our R.E. Curriculum.
The aim of R.E. and collective worship at South Farnborough Junior School:
- To develop and support community spirit, a common ethos and shared values.
- To provide a sense of family, community and belonging by taking opportunities to mark special celebrations and achievements to develop and reflect upon social and moral values.
- To reflect upon values which are broadly of a Christian nature (past and present, incorporating values, beliefs, traditions and patterns of worship)
- To develop an awareness of other’s beliefs, cultures, patterns of worship, ceremonies, festivals to understand that people achieve self-knowledge and a sense of belonging by adherence to particular faith.
- To develop spiritual awareness and provide space and time to pause for reflection.
- To involve children in an activity with which they can identify, while allowing for them to be emotionally and intellectually challenged.
- To show awareness of the feelings of others and express feelings of their own, in a thoughtful manner.
- To enable children to consider the effects religion has on people’s lives.
- To identify and appreciate a variety of beliefs and customs.
- To develop each child’s moral values, developing them towards being a successful citizen in the future, enabling them to be more inclusive with others.
- To build Cultural Capital- This is all about ensuring the children have the same experiences as others so as not to be disadvantaged among others later on in life. This is why RE needs to be used as a tool for widening the children’s experiences.
We aim to teach this through concepts. There is a concept per half term, which is a name for, or a way of referring to, a theme within each unit. There are three types of concept:
A- Concepts common to all people: remembering, specialness, celebration, rights, duty etc.
B- Concepts shared by many religions: God, worship, symbolism, stewardship etc.
C- Concepts distinctive to a particular religions or non-religious traditions: dukka, trinity, redemption, moksha, Torah etc.
We begin with helping children develop their own points of view while respecting the views of others.
We provide Cross-curricular links with British values and PSHCE.
We use a number of strategies to cover all styles of learning:
- Cross curricular activities, which are either blocked or fully integrated into a topic, e.g. religion in Ancient Egypt/Greece etc.
- Links with the creative arts and R.E. such as drama, art, music, literacy at ICT.
- A mix of whole-class/group/individual approaches.
- Mixed-ability groups with tasks appropriate for children’s ages and abilities.
- Wherever possible, we use first-hand experience as a stimulus for learning. We encourage children to question the stories, practices and beliefs they encounter and form opinions about them.
- When planning and delivering the R.E. curriculum, reference is made to ensure that the health and safety, equal opportunity and special needs policies are met.
- The school has links with the local church and visits are made by the lower school. Outside visitors also contribute to the RE curriculum by coming in during the year to give topical assemblies.
- Progression throughout the school is ensured by following the Living Difference III Age Related Expectations (AREs)
- Year 3/4 should be able to describe and evaluate their own responses to concepts studied.
- Year 5/6 should be able to explain and evaluate their own responses to concepts studied.
Our topics have been planned accordingly to provide the best opportunities for the children to develop these skills.
As Christianity is the predominant religion in the school's pupil population and in the community surrounding the school, Christianity is the chosen faith for Progressed Study. However, there are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds and beliefs and values of the children and the staff. We value the religious background of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links which are, and can be made between, home, school, and a faith community. We acknowledge that each religion studied can contribute to the education of all our pupils. We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry and first-hand experiences wherever possible for both staff and children.
We teach RE through a cycle of enquiry involving 5 key steps: Communicate, apply, enquire, contextualise and evaluate. These are then organised into the concepts:
- The concept is introduced and the children apply it to their own lives
- The children investigate in an intellectual, but open-minded way and enquire about the concept from a religious point of view
- The children evaluate the importance of the concept and then consider, “Could this matter to me?”
We have high expectations for our pupils. 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. As such, R.E. is invaluable in an ever-changing and shrinking world. We see this in everyday school life in a number of ways:
- Children being positive members of our school community
- There being fewer prejudicial incidents in school and on the playground
- Children demonstrating a much deeper cultural understanding through their discussions and relationships with others
- Children showing empathy with their peers.
Assessments are made by evaluating how much we feel each individual child has understood each concept introduced and been able to apply to their own lives or other religious beliefs, both through their work and their everyday actions.