Intent – The Religious Education Curriculum
The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own – North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus 2019-2024.
At Hunton & Arrathorne Community Primary School, Religious Education has a significant role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection. The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and appreciation for the expression of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community.
Implementation – The Religious Education Curriculum
Our R.E curriculum is designed to provoke challenging questions and prompt children to think deeply and dynamically about their life; their world and their experiences, as well as thinking empathetically about the experiences of others.
Each of our R.E topics begins with a ‘big question’ where children are encouraged to develop their own lines of enquiry, debate and listen to the opinions of others. In order to be compliant in respect to the Religious Education curriculum we follow the North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus (2019-2024- SACRE). The syllabus and our long term plan should ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.’ (s375 (3) Education Act 1996).
Teachers use the progression documents to ensure children make clear progress throughout units taught. Additionally, our long term plan is structured to allow children and staff the opportunity to see where links occur and prior learning is built upon – for example learning about sacred texts in KS1 is skilfully built upon where children in LKS2 explore the bible in more depth. Equally, work on caring for our world in Key Stage 1 is built upon in Upper Key Stage 2 through the study of Ummah. By carefully linking units from the Agreed Syllabus, we are able to encourage children to see the golden threads within the R.E curriculum. Our long term plan is bespoke to our children’s needs as we are aware, as a small village school, that children can have gaps in their cultural capital about people of faiths other than Christianity – in response to this we have created additional opportunities for pupils to explore these faiths and associated festivals with the main themes of ‘believing’, ‘expressing’ and ‘living’ interwoven throughout.
Equally, we recognise the importance of ensuring children’s cultural capital with regards to Religious Education is high. To achieve this, we plan additional units of study where we feel there is a need for further exploration –this includes units, which develop the children’s understanding of Pentecost, Holy Week and the Trinity amongst others. Teachers also ensure that, alongside the long-term plan, pupils are aware of and celebrate major Christian festivals. For example, the Nativity, church carol concert and popular ‘Easter Labyrinth’ during Holy Week. Parents have the right to request that their son or daughter be excused from all or part of the RE provided at school.
As ‘Change Makers’ we also strive to become citizens of the future – considering the wider world and our responsibilities as global citizens. As such, links to opportunities for pupils to develop their global citizenship skills are incorporated into the long-term plan.
Religious Education is taught on a weekly basis across the school. Teachers may develop their own key questions linked to the themes in the syllabus, allowing links with other subject areas where appropriate.
Lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways ensuring that all children can access and participate in lessons. Interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions. Children record R.E learning in a ‘big book’ in Reception and KS1 and R.E books in KS2.
We have decided that the application of knowledge in R.E will link closely to how children are able to interleave and apply the ‘Big Ideas of RE’ (golden threads) throughout their learning.
Our ‘RE Big Ideas’ at Hunton & Arrathorne School are ‘belonging’, ‘faith’, ‘love’ and ‘community’. Children are encouraged to link these threads across topic’s learnt; linking back to knowledge gained previously and across concepts and religions.
Impact – The Religious Education Curriculum
The impact of Religious Education on pupils will be
- extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs
- develop a religious vocabulary and interpret religious symbolism in a variety of forms
- reflect on questions of meaning, offering their own thoughtful and informed insights into religious and secular world-views
- explore ultimate questions of beliefs and values in relation to a range of contemporary issues in an ever-changing society
Pupils’ progress in RE is based on the expected outcomes outlined in the Agreed Syllabus, which in turn have been developed in line with guidance produced nationally. We track individual pupil’s progress in this way, whilst also bearing in mind that the statements do not cover all aspects of teaching and learning in RE. For example, pupil’s personal views and ideas are not subject to formal assessment, and yet are central to excellent RE.
Progress in RE is reported annually to parents in the end of year report.