Curriculum Area: Religious Education
Subject Leader: Miss Southern
At the Gates, the aim of our RE curriculum is to provide our children with a high-quality education which enables them to explore what people of different faiths and religions believe and what difference this makes to how they choose to live their lives. We hope to engage, inspire and encourage pupils, equipping them with the knowledge, understanding and skills to understand the multi-cultural community we live within and an educated voice needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief. Whilst at the Gates, children will follow a spiral curriculum, enabling children to build upon their prior knowledge of a religion, developing a deeper understanding. At the end of each unit, a thematic approach is taken allowing for comparisons to be made between diverse religions and beliefs. The use meaningful cross-curricular links with reading ensure that children are introduced to a range of high-quality reading texts, providing children with secure knowledge and understanding whilst children are also given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with sacred texts from different religions. Specialist vocabulary is taught explicitly within the units taught and effective question is developed to allow children to become active learners in an enquiry approach. In addition to the spiral curriculum, children will have the opportunity to engage valuable educational and stimulating experiences through visits to places of worship. This enriching opportunity encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity whilst becoming responsible, educated citizens of society. Children will gain a genuine experience, putting their classroom learning into a vibrant and living context, building up positive attitudes. In the classroom, children will learn about lived religion and belief through a range of exciting stimulus such as visitors, stories, art, music and architecture. Not only does RE teach children about faiths and beliefs, the key concepts and ideas of the British Values are evident throughout the scheme of work, teaching pupils to develop respect for others and tolerance of faiths and beliefs.
“The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.” Bolton Agreed Syllabus 2020-2025
The teaching and implementation of the RE curriculum at The Gates Primary School is based on the Bolton Agreed Syllabus. There is a clear teaching and learning approach at the heart of the curriculum, whereby all units enable pupils to ‘make sense’ of the religions and non-religious worldviews studied, ‘understand the impact’ of these beliefs in people’s lives, and to ‘make connections’ in their own learning and with their wider experience of the world. These are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning offering a route through each unit. Teaching and learning in the classroom encompasses all three elements allowing for overlap as required. KS1, LKS2 and UKS2 plan coverage on a two year cycle. We predominantly teach 2 faiths followed by a thematic unit in the summer term which allows the children to make comparisons and build on their learning throughout the year.
Pupils encounter and study in depth the religious traditions of the following groups:
KS1: Christians, Jews and Muslims.
KS2: Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus.
Consideration of other religions and non-religious worldviews can occur at any key stage.
In EYFS, children study important festivals from each of the 4 religions studied at The Gates.
At the start of the new topic a knowledge organiser is displayed, this outlines the knowledge and subject specific vocabulary that children must aim to master and apply in lessons. These are displayed in class and accessible throughout the unit.
Whilst many RE lessons are taught discretely, we at The Gates have cross curricular links with both the core and foundation subjects identified on the medium term plans. RE is also well linked to our Big Question curriculum.
Teachers will use school’s medium term plans, supported by the resources provided by Bolton Agreed Syllabus, to develop the substantive and disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding of every child, ensuring that all pupils, including those with SEND, achieve high standards for their ability and make good progress from their starting points. Each new unit will start by recapping prior learning and gaging current knowledge, providing teachers with a sound understanding of children’s starting points. Throughout all RE work, a wide variety of tasks and activities will be undertaken to accommodate the whole spectrum of needs. Where similar tasks are carried out differentiation will be by outcome.
The end of unit outcomes, found in the Bolton Agreed Syllabus (2020), guide assessment along with flexible assessment opportunities linked to the teaching and learning sequence. These link to end of phase outcomes which are used, along with teacher judgments, to assess pupils’ attainment in RE. Formative assessment in on-going, for example through pupils’ verbal questions and answers, class participation, outcomes and teacher feedback. At the end of each half term, children will complete an assessment quiz with questions based on the unit they have covered. This will contribute towards forming a judgement for a child’s attainment. Work will be marked in line with the school marking policy and children will receive feedback each week on their learning. Assessment judgements will be recorded at the end of each unit on an online assessment tracker which tracks progress and attainment in RE across the school.
The Gates knowledge and skill documents provide an overview of the progression across the different key stages. The medium term plans show progression of RE knowledge and skills within each unit. Teachers follow a well thought out spiral curriculum whereby content is revisited to ensure knowledge is substantive and progression is clear.
There is a long term overview in place which ensures children are able to visit a range of different places of worship over their time at The Gates. This alongside workshops, visitors and other enrichment opportunities enables children to gain a deeper understanding of the units being taught.
Right of withdrawal - In the UK, parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE on the grounds that they wish to provide their own religious education. At The Gates we respect the parental right. Parents who wish to withdraw their children, because of personal choice or religious affiliations are permitted to do so, once they have made a formal written request to the school, and this has been agreed by the Headteacher.
Our RE curriculum aims to promote an understanding, tolerance and acceptance of the multi-faith society in which we live. Pupils leave The Gates knowing that they have a purpose in the world and a responsibility towards one another. They will be equipped with the skills to ask questions about the world in which they live, to challenge stereo-types and reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences whilst being able to respect those around them.
R.E in action