The RE curriculum is organised to support the development of children’s knowledge of religious and non-religious beliefs and worldviews, practices and ways of life and enable children to make links between these. It also develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the different members of our rich and diverse community. Knowledge and skills are supported by first-hand experiences, including visits to local places of worship and visits from faith communities (using the Plymouth Centre for Cultural Diversity).
Knowledge and skills are mapped supports children’s develop children’s understanding of religion and faith and to promote positive attitudes and values, with the ability to reflect and relate learning in RE to their own experience. Children learn that there are those who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives, as part of its commitment to ensure mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths.
We aim to deliver learning which ignites children’s curiosity and makes them involved with their learning. We want them to encourage them to ask their own questions and work out how to find and discuss the answers. Children are given opportunities for the new vocabulary and concepts to be applied to their learning and can use previous learning and relate this to and build upon current learning.
We follow the Plymouth Agreed Syllabus 2019-2024.
Every child has an entitlement to religious education and schools have a statutory responsibility to deliver this to all pupils. In order to deliver the aims and expected standards of the syllabus effectively, it is recommended that curriculum time is as follows:
4-5 year olds 36 hours of RE (50 minutes a week or some short sessions implemented through continuous provision.
5-7 year olds 36 hours of tuition per year (an hour a week or less than an hour a week plus a series of RE days).
7-11 year olds 45 hours of tuition per year (an hour a week or a series of RE days or weeks amounting to 45+ hours of RE).
Curriculum time for RE is distinct from the time spent on collective worship or school assembly.
Progress in RE involves the application of general educational sills and processes in handling the subject knowledge. This in turn strengthens the skills and deepens understanding and knowledge. This RE syllabus develops the skills of investigating, reflecting, expressing, interpreting, empathising, applying, discerning, applying, synthesising and evaluating.
The curriculum is spiral and builds upon knowledge already learned. Pupils study in depth the religious traditions of the following groups:
4-5s Foundation: Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place in it.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, alongside other world views children are taught:
KS1: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
KS2: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Humanism.
The teaching and learning approach has three core elements, which are woven together and allow for overlap between elements as suits the religion, concept and question being explored.
The three elements are:-
Making sense of beliefs - Identifying and making sense of religious and non-religious beliefs and concepts; understanding what these beliefs mean within their traditions; recognising how and why sources of authority (such as texts) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways and developing skills of interpretation.
Making connections - Examining how and why people put their beliefs into practice in diverse ways, within their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world.
Understanding the impact - Evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the beliefs and practices studied; allowing pupils to challenge ideas studied and the ideas studied to challenge pupils’ thinking; discerning possible connections between these and pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the world.
The Plymouth syllabus is embedded across the school with regular enrichment activities to bring the subject to life e.g. PCFCD visits. Children enjoy and are interested RE lessons and want to learn more. There are a lot of oracy opportunities taking place and children can talk about different religions. Learning in books and on display, show children are developing a good understanding of the concepts covered. There is a clear progression of skills with links across the curriculum.
Due to the nature of the spiral curriculum and the revisiting of themes and concepts, children can ask increasingly deep and complex questions about religion and identify thoughtfully with other peoples from a range of communities, religions and stances from their own and talk about why people choose/do not choose a religious way of life.
Alongside a whole school approach to celebrating different religious and cultural celebrations, the RE curriculum provides the means to celebrate the diversity of the school community and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history. It ensures that children develop spiritually, academically, emotionally and morally to promote and realise a better understanding of themselves and others and to equip with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world.
As well as outcomes of work in children’s books, children’s understanding of religion and the ability to respond creatively to religious themes is evidenced previously in our RE/ART week based upon NATRE’s spirited arts competition.