RE Curriculum 2020-21
Religions and beliefs to be studied
Walsall is a microcosm of the wider world, as Walsall is a vibrant and diverse Borough. Our local population includes significant communities of Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs and small groups of significant faith communities including Jews, Jains, Buddhists and members of the Baha’i faith. Many children in Walsall come from families that hold non- religious life stances. This rich diversity influences the religions and beliefs to be taught in our RE curriculum in order to promote understanding between all people.
- Christianity is covered in every year group including EYFS
- Mayor world faiths represented in Great Britain (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism) are taught at least once in each year key stage.
- Secular philosophies at the end of key stage 2.
Intent of study
The intent of our RE Curriculum is to encourage all learners to be thoughtful about their own beliefs and worldviews in the light of the religions and beliefs we study. They will acquire and develop knowledge and understanding throughout the school of Christianity, a range of identified religions and a consideration for secular life stances. Growing up in the 21st Century an understanding of different faiths and beliefs has never been more relevant, which is why we aim to provide a broad and balanced R.E. curriculum which enables the development of knowledge and understanding of subject specific concepts/fundamentals along side the development of key skills and attitudes to become positive active citizens in a diverse local community and wider world. This is underpinned through exploration of aspects of British Values linked to religion and worldviews and aims to support the governments ‘Prevent strategy’ in addition at nurturing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The following Key threads run through our whole school Religious Education curriculum to ensure the progression of knowledge, skills and vocabulary.
Places of Worship Holy books, and stories
Our EYFS and Key stage 1 encounter religions through special places, objects and stories. They will listen to and talk about a variety of religious stories, including but not limited to: creations stories; The Christmas story; Noah’s Ark; The story of Muhammad; The Good Samaritan; Moses; The Monkey king, Siddhartha Gautama and Knapper the Hunter. Many of these stories are revisited throughout key stage 2 in order to deepen knowledge, explore and consider many different answers to questions about human identity, meaning and value.
With every religion studied and revisited we explore and learn about associated Holy Books and the practices and traditions observed.
A real life context is added through visits to places of worship during our Faith walks in years 2 and 5. The study of Holy Buildings and Sacred Spaces continue within the classroom with our youngest children exploring Churches, temples and mosques. With our older children building upon this by comparing the features of Churches, Synagogue, Mandir, temples and Mosques within the same region and between different regions, as well as gaining knowledge in different congregations, worships and rituals practices.
Rites of passage
In key stage 1 our children learn about what fundamentally Rites of passages are, as an event that marks an important stage in someone’s life. Applying this to five Christian rites of passage Birth, Baptism, Confirmation and Communion, Marriage and Death. As the children progress through our R.E. Curriculum they deepen their knowledge of these Christian Sacraments and wider their understand of Rites of passages across other regions including Naming Ceremony (Jewish Rite), Hajj (Islam Rite) and Chudakarana (Hindu Rite) and doing a in-depth study of Sikh and Islamic Rites of passages.
Festivals and Celebrations
Our Early years children spend lots of time exploring familiar celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, Diwali and Eid. Which lays the fountains for key stage one to study individually what Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs celebrate. Key stage 2 wider the scope of celebrations and festivals studied across all of the regions we cover as a school, they explore practices and traditions and we teach their importance and significance within a religion and community.
Similarities and differences within and between religions
Throughout the school we plan for units of study with specific cross religion and worldview themes such as ‘Our Wonderful World’ ‘Leaders and teachers’ and ‘Special objects’ in key stage one and building on this by making comparisons under the following themes in key stage 2 ‘Signs and symbols’ and ‘Beliefs in our community’. In addition to these units of study key stage two children in particular are expected to use/apply their knowledge and vocabulary to identify similarities and differences within and between religions throughout their RE curriculum, for example identifying common stories and differences of fundamental beliefs (Buddhists do not worship one all-powerful creator god, or supreme deity. This makes Buddhism quite different to Christianity or Islam).
Share their own beliefs, viewpoints and ideas
We equip our children with the knowledge, vocabulary, skills, respect and confidence to share their own beliefs, viewpoints and ideas. We do this by giving all children throughout each R.E. lesson opportunities for discussions as a whole class and within small peer groups. British Values underpin our school curriculum, which promotes respect and tolerance of differences, which support productive discussions and a willingness to learn about the religious practices, beliefs and traditions of others. Our older children study more complex themes such as ‘Identity and belonging’ and ‘What happens when we die?’ which gives them another more challenging platform for personal reflection and debates.
R.E is taught as a discrete lesson weekly, which is a clear and comprehensive scheme of work in line with National Curriculum objectives.
Teachers are provided with support for subject leaders to plan their curriculum. As part of this planning process, teachers need to plan the following:
- Key treads underpins R.E. Curriculum in each year group.
- Follow the high level plans set out by the subject leader and use planning support (planningbee) to plan for teaching and learning that shows progression across all key stages within the strands of R.E.
- Link fundamental British Values to R.E. Lessons.
- Use the whole school curriculum knowledge and skills overview to ensure all children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings in order to understand and readily apply to their work in R.E. and across the wider curriculum.
- Use discussion throughout each lesson to allow children to discussion and share own beliefs, views and ideas.
- Regular knowledge checks to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory.
- Educational trips and visitors where applicable links to places of worship will be made to develop the children’s learning experiences.
- A means to display and celebrate the pupils’ R.E. in their class and around our school.
Our R.E. Curriculum is high quality, reflects are local community. It is well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression in both knowledge and skills, with key threads running throughout.
If our children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
– A reflection on standards achieved against the planned knowledge outcomes;
– Learning for each unit of study within their R.E. books, which demonstrates progression across the school;
– Tracking of gains through knowledge checks;
– Pupil discussions about their learning.