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Religious Education

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.

In our delivery of the Religious Education curriculum we closely mirror the ‘Aims of R.E’ in the syllabus we follow.

The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:

  1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
  • identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses, offered by some of the sources of wisdom2 found in religions and worldviews
  • appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
  1. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities • express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues
  • appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
  1. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
  • find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively
  • enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all
  • articulate beliefs, values and commitment.

IMPLEMENTATION – Rationale

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) when studying religions other than Christianity and for comparative studies. The Christian units are supplemented with Understanding Christianity. 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).  We use Understanding Christianity as a resource to further enhance our teaching of Christian elements within our long term plan.

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 the relevance of the cross at Easter in KS1 is skilfully built upon where children in LKS2 explore the impact of Pentecost. 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 Although most of our children would identify as Christians, they are not actively practicing  – 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. The syllabus follows the main themes of believing, expressing and living. The Understanding Christianity resource uses three further key elements to explore a Christian concept – ‘making sense of the text,’ ‘understanding the impact,’ and ‘making connection.’ These compliment the believing, expressing and living strands.

In addition to the units on the long term plan, teachers ensure that in the run-up to Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter the children explore these celebrations – often through developing links with other subjects such art, music and drama.

Parents have the right to request that their son or daughter be excused from all or part of the RE provided at school.

Religious Education is taught on a weekly basis from Year 2- Year 6 and as a block of learning in EYFS – Year 1. 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 R.E books.

IMPACT

Religious Education at Hunton & Arrathorne develops pupils’…

  • knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions, other religious traditions and world views;
  • understanding and respect for different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances), through exploring issues within and between faiths;
  • understanding of the influence of faith and belief on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
  • skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy;
  • skills of reflection, expression, application, analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.

Religious Education at Hunton & Arrathorne encourages pupils to…

  • consider challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life; beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human;
  • understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures;
  • learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
  • learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed responses to religious, moral and social issues;
  • develop their sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for life as citizens in a plural, global society;
  • develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.

Religious Education at Hunton & Arrathorne enhances pupils’…

  • awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression;
  • ability to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.

Religious Education at Hunton & Arrathorne offers…

  • opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.

Pupils’ progress in RE is based on the expected outcomes outlined in the Agreed Syllabus and in Understanding Christianity, 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. Pupil attainment and progress is reported to parents through parental discussions and in the end of year report.