Intent: Introduction, Vision and Philosophy
The purpose of this document is to clarify the how, why, and what of Religious Education teaching at Harris Primary Academy Benson. This is to be used by staff to clarify expectations, highlight the resources that we have at our disposal, and to ensure that a high-quality R.E curriculum is being taught to all.
When studying RE, you need:
- To discuss – debate and conversate about issues that relate to different religions and cultures.
- To be critical – able to identify problems, discrepancies and contradictions relating to people’s faiths.
- To enquire– able to question and ask for justifications.
- To be inquisitive – want to know why, and how things work.
- To be appreciative – able to respect other people’s faiths and cultures.
The UK has a rich heritage of culture and diversity. This is continuing today in an era of globalisation and an increasingly interdependent world. Religion and belief for many people form a crucial part of their culture and identity. Religion and beliefs have become more visible in public life locally, nationally and internationally. The impact of religion on society and public life is constantly brought to public attention through extensive media coverage. The rapid pace of development in scientific and medical technologies and the environmental debate continue to present new issues which raise religious, moral and social questions.
At HPAB, we want all children to be inspired to look at their own faith and share their traditions as well as explore their peers’. Children are taught to understand and respect the beliefs of others. We also want them to learn about the world’s major religions and cultures through tales and facts.
At the end of each unit, a quiz will be taken to ensure that all children have retained the relevant knowledge from the unit taught.
Implementation: What does Religious Education look like at HPAB?
Discovery RE is a set of detailed medium-term plans for RE from EYFS to Years 1/2 to Year 6. It adopts an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given new treatment each year, developing the learning in a progressive way. Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are also covered. The overview grid shows the long-term plan, with choices needing to be made as to which religion to teach alongside Christianity in some year groups. The planning model used in Discovery RE is aligned to that recommended in most agreed syllabi, i.e. a 6-part planning process focusing on a 4-step enquiry. Each enquiry demands the equivalent of 6 lessons but teaching time could be blocked over perhaps 3 half days to enhance learning. Each enquiry has a learning objective which shows the learning over the enquiry and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities are mapped throughout.
R.E builds on the Early Learning Goals for Understanding the World within the EYFS. As R.E is a statutory subject, all classes teach and learn R.E at least once a week. HPAB’s Long-Term Overview for Religious Education is shown below as well as it’s link with the Croydon Agreed Syllabus to show full coverage of the curriculum.
The teaching of R.E at HPAB places enquiry at the heart of learning. Each unit is planned so that it;
- is engaging and sets a purpose.
- allows time for children to draw conclusions and reflect.
- allows time for children to re-consider their opinions and views.
- allows children to justify their views respectfully than simply expressing their personal feelings.
The teaching and learning of R.E also offer children the opportunities to develop their SMSC skills by;
- Gathering insights into the impact of beliefs, practices and values, and whether they might be healthy or unhealthy.
- allowing pupils to explore the value of safety in relation to attitudes to authority, property, relationships and the impact of ideas, and to develop social skills and empathy for others in considering these issues.
- fostering a sense of self-awareness, belonging and identity that manifests itself in positive participation in school and community life.
We use the Discovery R.E scheme of work to plan Medium term plans as well as individual lessons. Discovery R.E implements a four-step enquiry for each of its units; Engagement, Investigation, Evaluation and Expression. The learning question for the enquiry is an attainment target 2 (impersonal) question, needing an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end.
Teachers would adapt and develop plans from the medium term planning into a PowerPoint. Teachers also have the freedom to use interactive resources online to aid them in their planning. Typical lessons may also include having a range of hands-on resources for the children to explore.
Step 1: Engagement (1 lesson)
Share a story (maybe a personal example using a photo of a lost pet/relative) with the children about what happens when we die (alternatively start with seasons, reflecting how nature dies in the Winter and returns to life in the Spring). Reassure children and discuss children’s beliefs, including heaven if that is what they come up with. Talk about how, even if we can’t see the person, we can see them inside our head and in our memories. Questions: Have you ever lost a pet or someone close to you? How do you help yourself remember them? How do you cope with sad feelings? End lesson with happy memories.
Impact: Evidence and Assessment
At Harris Primary Benson children have the opportunity to record their learning in a variety of ways, which is recorded within their RE books. Evidence of the learning is dependent on the lesson outcome, year group and the skills and knowledge being developed. Core knowledge of each unit is supported by a knowledge organiser which details the key learning points, vocabulary and key questions. It is our expectation that the knowledge on our organiser is known by all.
Our teachers rely on a range of assessment tools to provide data on the knowledge and skills pupils have, their progress and their development points.
- assessment for learning
- challenge tasks
- enquiry tasks
- standards of learning in books
- end of unit questions and quizzing
- pupil voice
Recording of learning in teacher books is used to monitor progress and impact. Throughout the course of the lesson the class teacher (and support staff where present) will move around the class, offering support/challenge where needed so that each child is receiving direct feedback during the lesson, with notes recorded to monitor understanding and progress.
Each unit of work will also end with a short quiz to assess the knowledge and understanding of the topic taught, this will be re visited throughout the year so that valuable knowledge is retained.