Religious Education

 

RE contributes to the aims of the whole school curriculum and has an important part to play as part of a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum to which all pupils are entitled. 

RE helps to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Through RE pupils can develop skills e.g. discernment, critical thinking and reasoning. 

RE gives opportunities for pupils to listen to others, hear and analyse conflicting viewpoints and develop empathy and respect. 

RE, therefore, contributes to the development of the following: 

  • Economic – as pupils develop skills in RE for adult life, employment and lifelong learning 
  • Cultural – as pupils develop understanding of how religious traditions contribute to the cultural heritage in all its diversity 
  • Social – as pupils develop understanding of how religious identity and belonging are expressed, and consider their own participation in groups and communities 
  • Personal – as pupils reflect on their own spiritual and moral ideas and those of others.

Intent

At Hedworthfield, RE is based on 3 main elements: 

  • Knowledge and understanding of religion
  • Critical thinking
  • Personal reflection

Knowledge and understanding of religion

This is about what religion is and the impact it has for individuals and communities. It involves investigation of and enquiry into the nature of religion and beliefs.  

Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of individual religions and distinctive religious traditions, and apply this to considering ways in which religions are similar to and different from each other. Older students will be able to connect significant features of religion together in a coherent pattern. All pupils will enquire into ultimate questions and ethical issues through their study of religious traditions. 

 

Critical Thinking 

Critical thinking requires pupils to use reason to analyse and evaluate the claims that religions make. Through learning in this way pupils have the opportunity to give opinions, support their ideas with reason, consider alternative arguments, weigh up evidence and listen to and respond to the views of others, so developing the ability to articulate their own views and form their own opinions. Critical thinking requires pupils to be open minded and to value different types of reasoning including intuition e.g. the many differing reasons why people might hold onto a religious faith.  

 

Personal Reflection 

This develops pupils’ ability to reflect on religion in relation to their own beliefs, values and experiences and the influence of these on their daily life, attitudes and actions. Personal evaluation is introspective, subjective and private. Pupils can make personal progress through reflection, empathy, developing respect and appreciation of others.

 

Implementation

At Hedworthfield, we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in South Tyneside (2013).  The RE syllabus provides for a developmental approach to RE. Continuity and progression is achieved by building on the knowledge, understanding and skills that pupils gain across and between key stages.  

The key focus for each key stage helps teachers to plan work that is appropriate for the age and ability of their pupils. The key focus for learning at each key stage is indicated through the three elements: 

∙ Knowledge and Understanding of Religion

∙ Critical Thinking

∙ Personal Reflection 

Each element builds on knowledge and skills from the previous key stage. For example, the table below shows the key words of progression across the key stages for Knowledge and Understanding of Religion: 

 

Key focus of learning for Knowledge and Understanding of Religion KS1 Lower KS2 Upper KS2
identify describe understand

 

Teachers can use the key focus to build on previous knowledge and skills developed through the three elements, so enabling pupils to make progress.

 

Coverage

Cycle 1 RE Coverage 

Autumn 1 Autumn2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Nursery Harvest Diwali

Christmas

Chinese New Year Easter
Reception Harvest Diwali

Christmas

Chinese New Year Easter
Year 1 What does it mean to belong? (Christianity)  Why are gifts given at Christmas? Why is the Bible special to Christians? What is the Easter Story? How and why is the home important in Jewish life? Why is Moses special to Jewish people?
Year2 How and why do Jews celebrate Hanukkah? How and why is light

important at

Christmas?

Why is the Bible special to Christians? How do Christians celebrate Easter? What does it mean to belong in Christianity? What can we learn from visiting a synagogue?

What can we learn

from The Venerable

Bede?

Year3 Why do Christians call Jesus the light of the world?

How and why do religious people show care for others?

What do Christians remember on Palm Sunday? What do Christians believe about Jesus and God?
Year4 Why do Christians call Jesus the light of the world?

How and why do religious people show care for others?

What do Christians remember on Palm Sunday? What do Christians believe about Jesus and God?
Year5 Sikhism Themes of Christmas The Bible and why it is important to Christians The importance of the Last Supper to Christians. What can we learn about Christians by studying the Northern Saints? What can we find out about religious communities in our area?  
Year6 Why do people have ceremonies and use rituals in their lives?  What do the gospels tell us about the birth of Jesus? Why should people with religious faith care about the environment? Why are Good Friday and Easter Day the most important day for Christians? So what do we know about Christianity?  (Transition Unit)
ARB1 How and why do Jews celebrate Hanukkah? How and why is light

important at

Christmas?

Why is the Bible special to Christians? How do Christians celebrate Easter? What does it mean to belong in Christianity? What can we learn from visiting a synagogue?

What can we learn

from The Venerable

Bede?

ARB2 Why do Christians call Jesus the light of the world?

How and why do religious people show care for others?

What do Christians remember on Palm Sunday? What do Christians believe about Jesus and God?

 

Cycle 2 RE Coverage

 

Autumn 1 Autumn2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Nursery Harvest Diwali

Christmas

Chinese New Year Easter
Reception Harvest Diwali

Christmas

Chinese New Year Easter
Year 1 What can we learn from visiting a church?  Why are gifts given at Christmas? Why is the Bible special to Christians? What is the Easter Story? How and why is the home important in Jewish life? Why is Moses special to Jewish people?
Year2 What can we learn from visiting a church?  Why are gifts given at Christmas? Why is the Bible special to Christians? What is the Easter Story? How and why is the home important in Jewish life? Why is Moses special to Jewish people?
Year3 How and why is Advent important to Christians?

What can we learn about Christian symbols and beliefs by visiting churches?

Why is Lent such an important period for Christians? Hinduism 
Year4 How and why is Advent important to Christians?

What can we learn about Christian symbols and beliefs by visiting churches?

Why is Lent such an important period for Christians? Hinduism 
Year5 Why do people have ceremonies and use rituals in their lives? What do the gospels tell us about the birth of Jesus? Why should people with religious faith care about the environment? Why are Good Friday and Easter Day the most important day for Christians? So what do we know about Christianity (Transition unit) So what do we know about Christianity (Transition unit)
Year6 Why do people have ceremonies and use rituals in their lives? What do the gospels tell us about the birth of Jesus? Why should people with religious faith care about the environment? Why are Good Friday and Easter Day the most important day for Christians? So what do we know about Christianity (Transition unit) So what do we know about Christianity (Transition unit)
ARB1 What can we learn from visiting a Church?

Harvest

Why are gifts given at Christmas? Why is Jesus special to Christians? What is the Easter story? How and Why is the home important in Jewish life? Why is Moses special to Jewish people?
ARB2 How and why is Advent important to Christians?

What can we learn about Christian symbols and beliefs by visiting churches?

Why is Lent such an important period for Christians? Hinduism 

 

Impact

Teaching staff and support staff use a wide range of formative assessment tools during the lesson to judge the impact that the teaching is having on the children’s learning. Where it is evident that children have not developed a deep understanding of a concept, they will receive immediate intervention and/or verbal feedback.  

At the end of a unit of work, teaching staff use their professional judgement to decide whether each pupil has achieved the level of knowledge, understanding and critical thinking required for the particular topic. The following table assists them in making this judgement: 

Level Knowledge & Understanding of Religion through the four concepts and developing the skills of investigation & enquiry, application & synthesis Critical Thinking developing the skills of analysis, evaluation, interpretation and expression Personal Reflection developing the skills of reflection & response and empathy
1 Pupils can recognise and name features of religious life and practice. They can recall religious stories, and recognise symbols, and other verbal and visual forms of religious expression. Pupils talk about, what they find interesting or puzzling and what is of value and concern to themselves and to others. Pupils reflect on their own feelings, ideas and values.
2 Pupils identify some beliefs and features of religion and their importance for some people. They begin to show awareness of similarities in religions. Pupils retell religious stories and suggest meanings for religious actions and symbols. They identify how religion is expressed in different ways. In response to the religious material they learn about, children are able to express their views and give simple reasons to support these. Pupils recognise that some questions cause people to wonder and are difficult to answer. In relation to the religious material studied children are able to reflect on their own feelings, ideas and values and be aware of the experiences and feelings of others.
3 Pupils describe some of the beliefs and features of religion, recognising similarities and differences. They make links between beliefs and sources, including religious stories and sacred texts. They begin to identify the impact religion has on believers’ lives. They describe some forms of religious expression. In response to the religious material they learn about, pupils are able to express their views and support them using a plausible reason or reasons. They show some awareness of other people’s views. Pupils ask important questions about religion and beliefs. n relation to religious material studied pupils are able to reflect on their own feelings, ideas and values and appreciate that not all people think, feel and believe the same. They reflect on what influences them, making links between aspects of their own and others’ experiences.
4 Pupils can demonstrate understanding of some of the beliefs and features of religion through the RE concepts and make some links between them. They can describe some similarities and differences both within and between religions. They describe the impact of religions on people’s lives. They suggest meanings for range of forms of religious expression. In response to the religious material they learn about, pupils can express their own views using sound reasons. They show understanding of differing views and can give reasons to support an opposing view (i.e. they can see both sides of an argument). In relation to religious material studied pupils can reflect on their own beliefs, ideas, feelings and values and develop empathy for people with differing beliefs and experiences.

 

Pupils are expected to achieve the following levels by the end of each key stage:

Pitch and key focus KS1 Lower KS2 Upper KS2
Expected level for most pupils by end of key stage: 2 3 4