RE at Overleigh St Mary’s C of E Primary School
Through the RE curriculum, we strive for all children to learn the essential knowledge of Christianity and a range of other religions and worldviews. Through the teaching of RE, we endeavour to develop children’s skills and attitudes, increasing their empathy and critical thinking. This understanding of others’ world views is an essential first step to enabling each pupil to understand, reflect on and develop their own personal world view, which is one of the core tasks of education.
At Overleigh, we are guided by the Cheshire West and Chester Agreed Syllabus. The Cheshire West and Chester Agreed Syllabus for RE aims ensure that all pupils develop both spiritually and morally.
Religious Education provides opportunities to promote spiritual development through:
- finding meaning and purpose when looking at the world; discussing and reflecting on key questions of meaning and truth such as the origins of the universe, life after death, good and evil, beliefs about God and values such as justice, honesty and truth.
- puzzling over ‘ultimate questions of the meaning of life’ e.g. life and death;
- considering how religions and other world views perceive the value of human beings, and their relationships with one another, with the natural world and with God.
- valuing relationships and developing a sense of belonging and self-awareness.
- developing their own views and ideas on religious and spiritual issues.
- learning about and reflecting on important concepts, experiences and beliefs that are at the heart of religious and world views.
- considering how beliefs and concepts in religion may be expressed through the creative and expressive arts.
- reflecting on personal beliefs and values which form a perspective of life with respect to different religions and world views.
Religious Education provides opportunities to promote moral development through:
- enhancing the values identified within the National Curriculum, particularly valuing diversity and engaging in issues of truth, justice and trust.
- exploring the influence of family, friends and media on moral choices and how society is influenced by beliefs, teachings, sacred texts and guidance from religious leaders and world views.
- considering what is of ultimate value to pupils and believers through studying the key beliefs and teachings from religion and philosophy about values and ethical codes of practice and in so doing understanding and appreciating the viewpoints of others.
- studying a range of ethical issues, including those that focus on justice, to promote racial and religious tolerance and personal integrity and in so doing respect the civil and criminal law of England
- gaining an understanding of and respect for the range of religious and world views and developing an opinion.
- We intend for our children to have real life experiences and learn about RE in an active and creative way and therefore visitors, trips and cross-curricular links form a fundamental part of our curriculum.
In RE, children will be provided with opportunities and experiences to reach the desired national curriculum expectations by the end of Key Stage 2. They will achieve this through the developmental progression in their knowledge, skills and understanding on a termly and yearly basis. In the Foundation Stage, R.E. is an integral part of Knowledge and Understanding of the World and the program focuses on Christianity and also explores Judaism, Hinduism and Islam.
KS1 focuses on Christianity, Islam and Judaism; KS2 focuses on Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Humanism. All planning is based upon the concepts of beliefs, practices and values of the religions studied. Children are given the opportunity to explore themes which develop their awareness and understanding of spiritual, moral and religious issues. Children encounter religion through a variety of strategies, such as reading, discussion, stillness and reflection, looking at pictures, handling artefacts, drama, hearing stories, personal research (e.g. the internet).
Children respond by finding out more, personal reflection, evaluation, sharing ideas, role play and art. The children have first-hand experiences from visitors and visits to places of Worship.
We implement our curriculum using planning that prioritises the Religious Education in Church of England Schools – Statement of Entitlement:
- 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 gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
- To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
- To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
- To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways living, believing and thinking.
Our RE Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to ensure progression. Our teachers measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A knowledge check at the beginning of each unit to see what the children already know
- Link each of our core strands to previous learning, to compare and contrast and to review understanding
- Start lessons with a recap of key knowledge and understanding from the previous session
- Provide opportunities each lesson to use the key vocabulary
- Provide opportunities for open-ended tasks, to allow the more able to demonstrate their greater knowledge
- Assess children at the end of the unit against key knowledge and learning
The leadership team check that this impact is being secured through monitoring the subject on a regular and frequent basis. The method of monitoring supports the ongoing development of the curriculum. This includes:
- Staff subject knowledge, which is audited each year to ensure knowledge is secure, and additional support provided if necessary
- Frequent staff meetings and updates to discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of topics with the subject leaders. From this, medium term planning is amended and adapted to ensure the curriculum remains relevant for the children
- A ‘pupil voice’, to allow pupils to contribute to their curriculum content
- Monitoring of work against the medium-term plans, so that inconsistencies can be addressed
- Tracking of content against the long-term plan of the school, to ensure the full breadth of the curriculum is met.
The impact of this is to ensure that children at Overleigh are equipped morally and spiritually, in addition to good knowledge and understanding of a wide range of faiths, which will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.