St Anne’s Rationale for the teaching of Religious Education (RE)
As a Church of England School, we seek to follow the Church of England’s statement of entitlement of Religious Education. We aim to deliver effective Religious Education to provide pupils with the skills, values and attitudes needed both to learn about religion and learn from religion; as well as developing their capacity to respond to life’s big questions. The study of Christianity gives pupils an understanding of one of the key influences in shaping British society and their study of other religions and beliefs gives them an understanding of the richness of life in the UK.
The teaching and learning of Religious Education at St Anne’s empowers pupils to; follow in their own quests for meaning and purpose; reflect and make decisions in responsible ways; and mature in respect of their own and others beliefs, attitudes and values. Pupils are invited to ask questions, engage with current issues affecting their futures and to consider the contributions made by religions and beliefs. We want to prepare them for the diverse society of modern Britain; welcoming those of all faiths or none.
How we teach and learn RE at St Anne’s
We plan our religious education curriculum in accordance with the South Gloucestershire LEA’s Agreed Syllabus. We ensure that the units studied in Religious Education build upon prior learning. We offer opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit through carefully planned teaching and learning experiences. In addition, we use the Understanding Christianity resource for our teaching of Christianity. As the children progress through the school they will encounter different religions and worldviews.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Religious Education sits very firmly within the areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) and Understanding the World (UW). The areas of learning enable children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others, and to learn how to form positive and respectful relationships. They will do this through a balance of guided, planned teaching and pursuing their own learning within continuous provision. They will begin to understand and value the differences of individuals and groups within their own immediate community.
Children will have opportunities to develop their emerging moral and cultural awareness. Children in EYFS encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects. Their learning is based on enquiry enabling them to reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live.
In key stage 1, children will encounter Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In key stage 2, children will revisit these religions, but also encounter Hinduism and non-religious views, such as Humanism.
We carry out the planning in Religious Education in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the Religious Education units studied during each term in each phase. Medium-term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. The class teacher writes the weekly plans and plans for the specific learning objective for that lesson (short-term plan).
To ensure coverage of the Agreed Syllabus, Religious Education is planned for and taught discretely. The subject is taught weekly for an hour and other themed days may be planned in. Where purposeful links can be made, Religious Education may be taught through the wider curriculum. Religious education sits well alongside the PSHE Curriculum, contributing to pupil’s personal and social development. St Anne’s values play an important part in pupils’ emotional and spiritual wellbeing. We promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils through lessons.
Pupils also have use of the outdoor environment to develop a sense of awe and wonder. Technology may be used to carry out research or to record or present work. Pupils receive a rich diet of teaching which may include: music, drama, storytelling and worship to inspire and uplift them. We try to bring in visitors and plan trips to places of worship. Religious texts and collections of artefacts are also used to enhance pupil’s knowledge and understanding.
Learning comes from a range of activities, including written, oral, practical and artistic, and may include individual tasks, paired and group work and whole class activities. The Learning to Learn Characters may be referred to during sessions to help children become effective learners of the subject. Home learning tasks and homework projects may have a Religious Education link also.
How we celebrate our RE learning
Some aspects of Religious Education are not appropriate for formal assessment. Pupil’s knowledge and understanding is assessed through entry and exit tasks, responses during lessons and work produced in books. This evidence aids teacher’s professional judgements. Progress is communicated clearly to parents/carers in the pupil’s end of year report.
Learning may be shared with parents and the wider school community through assemblies, displays, items on the school website and newsletter and through whole school events.