At Birchwood our teaching objectives in Religious Education (RE) are to learn about beliefs and teachings of the six faiths. This includes learning about rituals, ceremonies, lifestyles and how beliefs are expressed by various religions. We encourage our children to link basic religious concepts to practices of everyday living and to reflect on the values each of the faiths can teach.
RE lessons at Birchwood aim to provide a broad and rich RE curriculum designed to enable children to explore religions and cultures. We follow the Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus. Children are encouraged to develop positive attitudes and values which allow them to reflect on and relate their learning in RE lessons to their own experiences.
Visitors from different religious and cultural communities are invited into our school to share their experiences with the children and we make a visit each year, per year group, to a religious place of worship to further engage the children with their learning. By the end of their primary school career, children will have visited a place of worship, at least once, which is significant to each of the three faiths we predominantly learn about (Christianity, Islam and Hinduism).
Within our school, we promote diversity and develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the six major faiths. The curriculum map ensures a build-up of knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Children’s learning, about each faith, is built upon what has been learnt in their previous year at school through revisiting / recalling work in their RE file regularly. RE lessons build upon prior knowledge preparing children for future learning and encouraging progression.
We teach RE explicitly and our RE curriculum, from Reception to Year 6, is planned with the support of the Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus.
Within our Early Years practice we recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways. Our children are given opportunities to learn about these celebrations throughout the Early Years curriculum at appropriate times of the year.
Throughout key stage one and two we the children focus on Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, however by the end of their school career children will also have knowledge of Buddhism, Judaism and Sikhism. Coverage of each of the six faiths is detailed on our curriculum map and it ensures that children progress by growing their substantive, knowledge, acquire more disciplinary knowledge and become more able to reflect on their own beliefs. The curriculum map has been designed to ensure children throughout our school learn about the same faith at the same time.
Across school, RE is taught as a combination of weekly lessons and RE days, however it is also included in other areas of school life, where appropriate. In RE lessons, children are engaged through a variety of sources, such as artefacts, video clips and religious stories. Lessons are delivered through a mixture of whole class teaching, group activities and independent work. By working as individuals and as part of a group children are given the opportunity to develop their own knowledge through the sharing of experiences with others.
Our RE curriculum is carefully planned using the Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus to provide children with the knowledge, skills and the opportunity to be challenged in their thinking to prepare them for their next stage of learning.
We measure the impact of our RE curriculum in the following ways:
- Discussions and interviews with children about their learning.
- Evidence of pupils work in their RE folders.
By the time our children leave Birchwood we would like them to be…
Theologians by exploring - Understand where beliefs come from and how they have changed, over time and question what we listen to and read.
Philosophers by engaging – To be able to discuss how and whether things make sense. To be able to consider their own personal responses and debate respectfully as to whether beliefs are right or wrong.
Human and Social Scientists by reflecting – Understand and have knowledge of different ways in which people practise their beliefs and how it impacts and compares on their life, community and to their beliefs.
We want our children to have the ability to hold balanced and informed conversations about religions and world views which is achieved by ensuring the above three elements are constantly interacting with one another within our curriculum.
Ultimately, we want to provide our children with the academic opportunities which enable them to gain the knowledge and skills to become, free thinking critically aware, compassionate adults.