Religious Education (RE)
We have devised our own RE curriculum in light of the 2016 Statement of Entitlement published by the Church of England's Education Office. Our curriculum has been approved by the Board of Trustees and is based on the Church of England’s Understanding Christianity resource. You can download our RE curriculum and RE Policy at the foot of this page.
The aims of our RE curriculum are :
Pupils enjoy RE immensely and teachers demonstrate passion in teaching this important key subject.
Theology is the study of religious beliefs and practices that concentrates primarily upon the texts on which a particular faith is based. Christian theology for example is underpinned by the texts of the Old and New Testament. Islam is based on the Qur’an.
Through an enquiry based approach, children learn about religious concepts and beliefs using this source evidence as well as other evidence such as religious artefacts and works of art.
We teach children the ' Big Story'. This refers to the key stories and the connections between them in the Bible. This includes the creation story, the fall (Adam and Eve), the role of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua and the prophets right through to the life of Jesus.
The ' Big Story' is illustrated in our school hall which helps children understand the purpose of important Bible stories.
Philosophy literally means the love of wisdom. Incorporating philosophy into our RE curriculum not only supports our enquiry based approach, but also helps children to learn to ask deep questions, challenge, examine, analyse, evaluate and interrogate source materials and deepen their understanding of religious ideas.
Key Stage 1 : Children learning to develop a philosophical mindset through the study of Hinduism.
Human and Social Science
This aspect of the RE curriculum focuses on the application of religious beliefs and the direct impact theology has on peoples' lives. Children learn how people live out their beliefs and faith through worship, prayer and daily life. This includes other faiths..
Children in Year 5 and 6 record their understanding of Islam.
Our Christianity curriculum is based on developing children’s understanding of the following core concepts :
The curriculum has also been designed to make meaningful links when studying these concepts with other faiths. For example, when children study the creation story found in Genesis, they will learn about the Hindu creation story as a comparison.
Likewise, when children learn about the 'fall' and Christian explanation of sin, they will learn about the Islamic and Hindu view for the existence of evil.
The first book of the Bible describes the creation of the universe and God's purpose for mankind. The children will learn both creation stories found in Genesis and that God
Children in Year 2 learning about how the Bible tells of God's love.
Children will learn that Adam and Eve disobeyed God's instruction and were tempted to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. This was when mankind broke the relationship with God.
Our Year 1 and 2 children learning about God's plan to restore the broken relationship after the fall in the Garden of Eden.
The People of God
history of the Jewish/Hebrew people begins when God promised Abram, and later named Abraham, that he would be the father of a great people if he did as God told him.
The Bible narrative includes the message of the prophets who tried to persuade people to stick with God. The plan appears to end in failure with the people of God exiled, and then returning, awaiting a ‘messiah’ – a rescuer.
A Key Stage 1 respond to God calling upon Moses.
Open Bible help the children understand the thoughts and feelings surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.
Gospel literally means 'Good news'. Christians believe Jesus' incarnation for all people
is Good news'. Children learn the important stories and events from Jesus' life, his teaching and ministry and how Christianity and the message has spread across the world.
Our Year 1 and 2 children learning about Jesus as a great storyteller.
A cross around the world - the children learn that the gospel message is global.
In their study of Jesus' life, the children study important events and the things Jesus said. They learn about the miracles and parables and his disciples. The events of Holy Week are studied in great depth and its connections with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter day.
Links are made with Christian Church year and how Christians today mark and celebrate these events.
The Old Testament plots the ups and downs of God's divine plan to restore the broken relationship with mankind after Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world. Ultimately God sent his own son. Children will learn the importance of redemption and salvation in terms of God sending his own Son to pay the penalty for mankind's sin in return for salvation through his own death and resurrection.
A Key Stage 2 response to the concept of Salvation.
The Kingdom of God
The children learn that the Bible talks in terms of God's Kingdom having begun in human hearts through Jesus. The idea of the Kingdom of God reflects God's ideal for human life in the world. Christians look forward to a time when God's rule is fulfilled at some future point, in a restored, transformed heaven and earth.
The children study the parable of the mustard seed and other parables and examine Jesus' references to the kingdom.
Classwork from Year 5 and 6 based on the Kingdom of God.
Status of RE in A Church School
Religious Education is a prominent subject within our overall school curriculum. Older children have RE journals to record and note their ideas and developing understanding. Younger children tend to have their work recorded in a class portfolio. The following work on parables is recorded in a class portfolio for Year 3 and Year 4.
A Key Stage 1 response to the concept of the kingdom of God.
RE is assessed on an ongoing basis and lessons are adapted according to children's starting points. Information is gathered in a number of ways including listening to children's discussions and responses. Our RE curriculum identifies the ideas and concepts children are expected to know and understand. Below is response captured by a Year 5/6 child based on their study of the kingdom of God.
One day, the Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would begin.
Jesus replied, "You won't be able to say when or where it has begun because the Kingdom of God is within you”.
A Child in Year 6 response to the study unit on the Kingdom of God.
Where possible, we make cross curricular links. In the work below, the child records their understanding of the parable of the mustard seed to develop their computer skills.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed. It grows into a tree where birds come and perch in its branches.
Year 1 and 2 responding to the parable of the mustard seed.
In this example, the children study a range of artists’ interpretations of the kingdom of God. This task helps the children understand the view that the secrets of the kingdom of God have been revealed to us and are within.
The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven
has been given to you.
Year 5 and 6 reinforcing the concept of the kingdom of God being within.
Here, our Year 3 and 4 children learn about the significance of the Jewish star of David and add geometry into the mix.
Year 3 and 4 learning about the star of David in their study of Judaism.
The festival of Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish year. Here, the children learn to replicate a Sukkah to help them remember the how the Israelites sheltered during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after escaping from slavery in Egypt
Children in Year 3 and 4 studying Judaism and building a Sukkah.
Here, our Key Stage 2 children learn about the importance of the cross as a symbol of Christianity as the world's largest religion. In doing so the teacher, links it with the skills associated with weaving to create a woven Peruvian cross originally made from alpaca wool.
Children in Year 3 and 4 weave Peruvian crosses.
Teachers make use of Godly play - a form of story-telling. In this example, the children learn how the Bible came to be written down from its humble origins of stories told round a campfire to the Bible as we know it today.
Children in Year 3 and 4 engaging in learning through Godly Play,
Our Year 3 and 4 children as part of their spring term enquiry, examine the impact of the discovery of the empty tomb on Easter day. Here they make and celebrate Easter with an edible Easter garden.
Children in Year 3 and 4 celebrating their learning about salvation by making and edible Easter Garden.
In Year 3 and 4, children learn about our local church including the significant stories contained within the stain glass windows. They look for Christian symbols within the church and study different examples of Christian crosses. A local historian assists with their enquiry. Here the children share their findings and display their work in the south aisle.
Enquiry is at the heart of our RE teaching. Each concept begins with an overarching enquiry supplemented by lesson enquires. Enquiries might include questions such as :
Children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions. This helps them develop their enquiry skills and deepen their understanding of religious ideas.
Children in Year 1 and 2 posing their own questions about Moses.
All concepts are taught in an age and developmentally appropriate way that gives children the opportunity to develop the following skills and processes :
Investigation and Enquiry
Year 5 and 6 interpreting works of art to help them understand Pentecost.
Enquiry led learning in Year 1 and Year 2 based on Hinduism.
Religious Education providing children with opportunities for Spiritual Development.
Year 1 and Year 2 responding to the parable of the mustard seed.
Children are actively encouraged to make links and identify similarities between events and source material. For example, the children learn to make links between stories in the Old Testament and those in the New Testament.
Our Year 5 and 6 children compare and contrast Jesus' final days and entry into Jerusalem with Daniel and the Lion's Den. Similar parallels can be drawn when the children study the Easter story and Jonah and the whale.
Year 5 and Year 6 analysing the events of Holy Week and comparing this with the Daniel in the lion's den.
Year 5 and Year 6 noticing and making connections.
Year 5 and Year 6 expressing their understanding through artwork.
You will find RE displays in each classroom as well as communal areas. The purpose of RE displays is to provide children with a visual reminder to reinforce their learning and to highlight RE as a key subject within the school curriculum.
The display below is an example of a 'working wall'. This is where concepts and ideas are added to the display as the children's knowledge and understanding is developed.
Working walls are not designed to show finished products but to show work and learning in progress.
A working wall display in Key Stage 2 where children's responses are added as they learn about the Kingdom of God.
Learning between Lessons
Carefully placed displays with thought provoking questions can support and reinforce learning between lessons.
Displays to support learning between lessons.
Christianity forms the majority study in our Religious Education curriculum. This amounts to approximately two thirds of dedicated time with the remaining time being dedicated to other faiths. This is consistent with the Statement of Entitlement published by the Church of England in 2016.
World faiths are taught with a specific emphasis on similarities between each religion whilst maintaining the integrity distinctiveness of each religion.
The world faiths studied in addition to Christianity are Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. These faiths are taught as whole units as children progress through the school. The children also learn meaningful connections with the 7 key Christian concepts where appropriate. For example, the creation in Genesis is compared with creation stories in Islam and Hinduism.
Our Year 1 and 2 children study Hinduism, Year 3 and 4 children study Judaism and Year 5 and 6 children study Islam.
Children in Year 5 and 6 learn about the pillars on which Muslim's live their faith.
Bible Club, Esther the nearly queen, Esther the really queen, Spring 2018