At Christ Church and Holy Trinity schools we aim to provide high quality religious education, reflecting our Christian vision and enabling all our children to flourish.
Taken from the Religious Education in Church of England Schools – A Statement of Entitlement, the aims and objectives of Religious Education in our schools are:
- To know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text. To consider the connection that Christianity has on Britain’s cultural heritage and the lives of people worldwide.
- To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religious and worldviews appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews studied.
- To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
- To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking.
The intent of our RE curriculum :
- To enable all children to become religiously literate.
- To ensure RE enables all children to live life in all its fullness – vision for Education (Church of England)
- To offer a systematic enquiry- based approach to the teaching of RE so that the following skills in children can be developed:
Ability to be critical thinkers
Ability to engage critically with texts
Ability to ask deep and meaningful questions
Ability to make connections within and across religions and worldviews
Ability to reflect, respond and express their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions
- To enable children to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, belief systems, values and practices.
To include RE units of learning that:
- Are rooted in theological concepts, strong subject knowledge and content.
- Offer a balanced curriculum which enquires into religions and worldviews through theology, philosophy and the human and social sciences.
- Offer sequential learning both in terms of knowledge and skills throughout their time at primary school.
- Offer motivating, engaging and creative lessons for all children.
- Provide opportunities for children to develop empathy towards people of similar or differing religious or worldviews to their own.
- Include core concepts that are re-visited throughout the curriculum, giving children the opportunity to build on prior knowledge, learn new knowledge and be given the opportunity to apply the knowledge to different contexts and material
- Provide carefully differentiated teaching to ensure that children with Special Needs can access as much of the Religious Education as possible.
- Use a variety of teaching and learning styles in lessons including engaging with key theological concepts and texts, drama, looking at artefacts and use of film, art and music etc.
- To ensure there are many opportunities in lesson for discussion and reflection, and that every child’s contribution is valued.
Implementation of the RE Curriculum:
- 2/3 of the RE curriculum is based on the teaching of Christianity.
- Each unit of learning addresses an aspect of Christian theology/philosophy/human/social science, addressing a core concept at an age appropriate level. The core concepts have been mapped out, using the same core concepts as identified in the Understanding Christianity Resource.
- In addition in each class from Reception class upwards, there are 2 six-week units for each world faith which explore the main teachings and beliefs of the Faith, beliefs and practices and the impact they have on the life of the believer and how key festivals within the Faith are celebrated within the Faith community.
- Judaism and Islam are taught in KS1 and Year 3 providing all children with a firm foundation of the Abrahamic faiths.
- Islam and Hinduism are taught before Sikhism, providing children with the prior knowledge required to understand how Sikhism evolved and how Islam and Hinduism are viewed when looking through the lens of a believer from the Sikh faith.
- Two thematic units are included in year 5 and year 6 to allow room for children to apply their knowledge and understanding of all the religions and worldviews, to key concepts and to make connections within and across the Faiths.
- The RE curriculum includes many visits to places of worship or a museum linked to their study of Christianity or another Faith, as well as visits from speakers and our clergy.
- In Reception Class a member of the Clergy comes into school once a week to read and discuss stories from the Bible with the children.
How the units of learning are organised:
- 6 six-week units of learning (Including units for Christmas and Easter)
- 2 Christmas units of learning
- 2 Easter units of learning
- 4 six-week units of learning to include 1 unit on Judaism and one unit on Islam
- 4 two-week units of learning
- 4 Christmas units of learning
- 4 Easter units of learning
- 6 six-week units of learning – to include:
- Year 3 – I unit of Judaism and I unit of Buddhism
- Year 4 – 2 units of Hinduism
- Year 5 – 2 units of Sikhism and a thematic unit
- Year 6 – 1 unit of Buddhism and a thematic unit
- 8 two-week units of learning
Visits to Places of Worship
Every year each class, from YR upwards, visits a place of worship related to the other major religions they study alongside Christianity in the Spring and Summer Terms. These include:
Hinduism – Neasden Hindu Temple
Buddhism – Battersea Park Buddhist Temple
Judaism – The West London Synagogue and the Jewish Museum
Sikhism – South London Gurdwara
Islam – London Central Mosque, Regents Park
During RE Week (usually in March) the children also visit Christian Places of Worship which include:
- St Luke’s YR and Y1
- St Pauls Y2
- Southwark Cathedral Y3
- Westminster Cathedral Y4
- Westminster Abbey Y5
- St Barts Y6
During the Year children also visit Christ Church, St Luke’s or Holy Trinity Churches as part of their learning about Christianity, and members of the clergy from our churches are regularly invited into school to teach the children about a particular topic.
Assessment in RE
This is both informal and formative – through general observation of children – their involvement in activities – their contribution to discussion, individual books, Photographs, Records of class discussions/debates (flip charts), Group outcomes, Class displays, Teacher’s evaluations of their planning – and a formal/summative assessment at the end of each topic and the end of each term. These assessment records are passed onto the next teacher, at the end of the academic year. Teachers also hand on specific notes to the next class teacher which can give relevant comments on a child’s approach and response to RE and their ability to take on core values.
Marking RE books is sensitive to the children’s understanding and development. Children regard their RE books as special books and teacher’s feedback marking reflects this in their comments. They ask further questions where appropriate and these are discussed verbally or responded to by the children in green pen. Progress in RE is reported annually to parents in the end of year report.
The teaching of RE supports and enhances:
- The Christian vision of the school.
- Contributes significantly to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children.
- Helps children to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith through the exploration of core theological concepts and engagement with texts.
- Enables all pupils to develop knowledge and understanding of other major world religions and world views and their impact on society and culture.
- RE lessons give pupils a safe space to critically reflect on, respond and express their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions.
- Children’s ability to hold a balanced and well-informed conversation about religion and worldviews and use basic subject specific vocabulary. (Religious literacy)
- Children to make good or better academic progress from their starting points as a result of a rich and engaging RE curriculum.
- Children’s ability to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, belief systems, values and practices.
- Children’s understanding of what it means to live life in all its fullness.