Religious Education (R.E)
- To help children acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions and cultures represented in Great Britain.
- To learn from those cultures and religions
- To ask questions about the world and reflect in their own beliefs and values
- Develop a sense of identity and belonging through self awareness and reflection
- Promote respect and open mindedness towards others of different faiths, beliefs, values and lifestyles.
The above should be inclusive and accessible to all children
Cheshire East state that the RE curriculum should reflect that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian while taking into account the teaching and practises of other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Academies are free to follow a local Agreed Syllabus if they choose.
What RE looks like in our school
The units of study are planned so that children can develop their critical thinking and evaluation skills to apply to the big enquiry questions. Children have the freedom to express their own opinions and talk about their own beliefs.
Foundation Stage – Lays the foundations of the key concepts of all religions
Year 1 – Christianity and Judaism
Year 2 – Christianity, Judaism/Islam
Year 3 – Christianity, Sikhism
Year 4 Christianity, Buddhism/Judaism
Year 5 Christianity, Hinduism
Year 6 Christianity, Islam and in the summer a double unit of Islam as topics such as Jihad are
Humanism can be included in many enquiries in each year group.
In all year groups the teaching will include these areas:
- Engagement/questioning: Children think about how religion feels in their own world. Children’s own ideas and experiences (if any) of different religions. In a diverse society there may be a number of different religions/views in one class.
- Enquiry This helps children to deepen their understanding, make secure connections between faiths. It also helpds them to utilise higher level thinking skills, involving sustained learning, gathering information and draw conclusions before reflecting.
- Knowledge base/researching: Develop factual, accurate knowledge of a religion by examining artefacts, answering key questions and listening to members of faith communities to gain a first-hand perspective of what life is like. Visits to explore buildings , to gain first hand experience similar to the practitioners of the faith. This makes the learning more “real” and come alive rather than book/paper based activities. Teaching of key vocabulary. Use of religious texts and stories as a lot of the religious teachings and ideas come from stories related to a particular faith. Use of IT for research
- Evaluation: Children discuss what has been learnt from a religion and their response linked to their own belief s and how they can use that knowledge going forward.
- Expression: Children reflect on differences the study has made to them. Have they changed their views on the aspect studied? Has it made them think more deeply about why/how certain people express their faith?
- Religious vocabulary: Children understand and use the specific and appropriate vocabulary used by all faiths.
- Inclusive: Learning accessible to all.
RE is taught through Discovery RE scheme which provides 59 enquiry modules covering the main faiths in Great Britain, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism, with also additional units on Buddhism and humanism in KS2. Christianity and Judaism are taught in every year group with Christmas and Easter taught each year progressively to develop children’s learning each year, so previous learning is built upon. This reflects and promotes the diversity of our country, our village, our school and individual classes. Using this scheme encourages big questions, enhances critical thinking and evaluation skills, supports spiritual development and equips the children for a world of diversity. The scheme adopts the enquiry approach in line with Ofsted recommendations. By following this scheme and working in this way, the children’s cultural capital will greatly increase.
The Discovery Scheme closely follows the Agreed Syllabus for Cheshire set out by the local SACRE and every locally agreed syllabus must reflect that the religious traditions of Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
RE in EYFS lays the foundations of key concepts of all religions. It links with Understanding of the World and PSE, as well as characteristics of learning and British Values. It starts with the child’s experience. The children learn about special people, celebrations, stories and special places linked to different faiths – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism as well as learning about the specific Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter. The concepts of incarnation and salvation will be taught through the key questions “What makes people special?” “What is Christmas?”” How do people celebrate?” “What is Easter?” “What can we learn from stories?” “What makes places special?” The learning is achieved through story, visits, visitors, role play, small world and activities in taught groups and through continuous provision. Key vocabulary is taught throughout the year.
The two faiths studied are Christianity and Judaism as the local SACRE/ agreed syllabus sets out that it should reflect the main religions of Great Britain which are in the main Christian, which build on the Jewish tradition. Looking at the key concepts of God, creation, incarnation and salvation. These key concepts build on from EYFS focussing on looking after the world, Jesus as a friend, Jesus as king or celebrity on Palm Sunday, and the importance of Shabbat and Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah to Jewish children.
In year 2 the children continue to learn, building on previous learning, about the Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter looking at the key concepts of incarnation and salvation answering the key questions “Why do Christians believe God gave Jesus to the world?” “How important is it to Christians that Jesus came back to life after his crucifixion?”
They learn about the Jewish festival of Passover and Jewish rites of passage. PSHE is included as children answer the key question” Is it possible to be kind to everyone all of the time?”
This year, the children start to look at Islam to extend their knowledge and experience of other world faiths, which are also represented widely in our country, by answering key questions relating to prayer, the mosque (community) and Hajj.
In year 3, the children again build on their knowledge of Christianity but also start to learn about either Sikhism. The key concepts of incarnation and salvation are again covered. The children continue to learn about Christmas and Easter and the key questions they cover are “Has Christmas lost its true meaning?” “What is good about Good Friday?” They also learn about Jesus’s miracles asking the key question “Could Jesus heal people and were these miracles or is there another explanation?” These questions help the children to delve deeper into the beliefs of the Christian faith.
When Sikhism is studied in year 3, the children will learn about the Amrit ceremony and PSE is linked in the unit on community asking the key question “ Sikhs think it is important to share?” They will also learn about Sikh prayer and worship as within our school we have members of the Sikh community.
In year 4, the children continue building on their learning about Christianity and Judaism. Again the key concepts are incarnation and salvation. The key questions covered in Christianity are “What is the most significant part of the nativity story for Christians today?” “Is forgiveness always possible for Christians?” and “Do people need to go to church to show they are Christians?”
Beliefs and practices of the Jewish faith are studied through the key question “How special is the relationship Jewish people have with God?” “How important is it for Jewish people to ask what God asks of them?” “What is the best way for a Jewish person to show commitment to God?”
In year five, the children continue to learn about Christianity and are introduced to Hinduism. The concepts of incarnation and salvation run through the Christianity strand once again.
The three key questions asked in the Christianity strand are “Is the Christmas story true?” “How significant is it for Christians to believe God intended Jesus to die?” “What is the best way for a Christian to show commitment to God?” Here the children are challenged to question and delve deeper into the beliefs of Christians.
The Hinduism strand asks these key questions: “What is the best way for a Hindu to show commitment to God?” “How can Brahman be everywhere and in everything?” “Do beliefs in Karma, Samsara and Moksha help Hindus lead good lives?”
By year 6, the children’s questioning should be well developed as should their critical thinking and evaluation skills enabling them to deal with the key questions from Christianity dealing with the concepts of incarnation, salvation and gospel. They will also be covering deeper questions from Islam related to Jihad which will be covered in a sensitive way.
The key questions for the Christianity strand are “Do Christmas celebrations and traditions help Christians understand who Jesus was and why he was born?” “How significant is it that Mary was Jesus’ mother?”” Is Christianity still a strong religion 2000 years after Jesus was on Earth?” “Is anything ever eternal?” The key questions in the Islam strand being “What is the best way for a Muslim to show commitment to God?” “Does belief in Akhirah (life after death) help Muslims lead good lives?”