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St Mary's Bryanston Square C E Primary School

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Religious Education

Religious Education is taught as a core classroom subject in which children learn about the Christian faith of St Mary’s church, a variety of religious themes and ideas, and about different world faiths. Children are also given the opportunity to reflect upon different religious teaching and concepts, and develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding. There are two aspects to RE learning: Learning about Religions (what people believe, and what they do) and Learning from Religions (reflecting upon our own beliefs and practices). We try to make sure we provide a balance of both aspects within our teaching.

 

Children learn RE for 1 hour in KS1 and 1 hour 20 minutes in KS2. In the Early Years, children learn about religions and cultures through ‘Understanding the World’ activities, as well as weekly RE sessions.

 

 

SMBS - RE Curriculum Overview 2020

We use the London Diocese (LDBS) scheme of work, which enables our pupils to explore the Christian faith in detail and learn about other world faiths, 

 

Our aims for RE are:

  1. Nurturing children’s Spiritual Development
  2. Developing children’s Religious Literacy
  3. Securing a Theological understanding of Christianity, as practised at St Mary’s Church 
  4. Fostering an enjoyment of exploring faith, beliefs and ideas

The intent of the LDBS syllabus:

  • To enable all children to become religiously literate.
  • To ensure RE enables all children to live life in all its fullness – vision for Education (Church of England)
  • To offer a systematic enquiry- based approach to the teaching of RE so that the following skills in children can be developed:
  • Ability to be critical thinkers
  • Ability to engage critically with texts
  • Ability to ask deep and meaningful questions
  • Ability to make connections within and across religions and world views
  • Ability to reflect, respond and express their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions
  • Ability to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and world views, belief systems, values and practices.

 

To offer units of learning that:

  • Are rooted in theological concepts, strong subject knowledge and content.
  • Offer a balanced curriculum which enquires into religions and world views through theology, philosophy and the human and social sciences.
  • Offer sequential learning both in terms of knowledge and skills across the primary age range.
  • Offer motivating, engaging and creative lessons for all children.
  • Provide opportunities for children to develop empathy towards people of similar or differing religious or world views to their own.

 

To ensure the teaching of RE supports and enhances:

  • The Christian vision of the school.
  • Contributes significantly to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children.
  • Takes note of the Religious Education Church of England Schools – Statement of Entitlement.
  • The Church of England’s vision for Education – every person deserves to live a ‘life in all its fullness.’

 

The syllabus has taken note of the 2013 national curriculum framework for RE, taking into consideration the following:

 

Three strands for RE learning:

A:  know about and understand a range of religions and world views.

B:  express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and world views.

C:  gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and world views.

 

Six key areas of enquiry:

  • beliefs, teachings, sources of wisdom and authority
  • ways of living
  • ways of expressing meaning
  • questions of identity, diversity and belonging
  • questions of meaning, purpose and truth
  • questions of values and commitments

 

How the units of learning have been planned:

Units of learning consist of either one of the following:

  • Six weeks’ worth of lessons (the majority of units)
  • Four weeks’ worth of lessons (Christmas and Easter units)
  • 2 weeks’ worth of lessons (exploring a key Christian concept)

 

Implementation of the LDBS syllabus

Within every unit of learning the following steps take place as part of the learning process:

 

Enquire: Engage with a big and subsidiary questions which focuses on theology.  What are the big theological questions you are exploring?

 

Investigate/explore:  What is the religious content and context being explored?  How deep can we go?  This ‘explore’ stage of the enquiry is where children will be primarily learning about religion and belief.  In order for this to be effective there are some strategies that can be used to ‘deepen’ learning:

  • Interpreting and analysing sacred texts
  • Using challenging and controversial questions
  • Extended pieces of writing
  • Discussion which continually asks ‘Have we gone deep enough yet?
  • Children engage with authentic religious believers (face to face, via webcams, podcasts, video, skype etc)
  • Grapple with complex theological concepts, questions and issues

 

Evaluate/communicate:  What is our understanding of the concept?  What impact does the concept have on the lives of believers?  What difference does this belief/practice make?  The aim of this part of the enquiry is to encourage dialogue about the learning.  Children should use skills of analysis and evaluation.  The focus should be on the impact of the belief or practice on the religious or belief community being studied.

 

Reflect on/express:  What is our understanding and response to the enquiry question when considered from the perspective of the faith and belief traditions that have been encountered? What is our personal response?   It should be always based on knowledge and understanding, not values or SMSC development. 

 

Year Group:

Title of unit:

End of unit expectations:

                                         

  • Identify the key learning objectives you wish to cover within the unit.
  • Ensure objectives link to end of unit assessment criteria.

Key concept being explored:

  • Identify key concepts to be explored.

Key religious vocabulary

  • Identify the key religious vocabulary to be taught within the unit.

Final outcome

  • Decide what the final outcome of the unit is going to be.

Things to consider:

  • Does the final outcome allow children to reflect and express their understanding based on knowledge and understanding from the faith and belief perspective?
  • How do you plan to differentiate the final outcome to ensure children can demonstrate good or better progress?
  • Does the final outcome challenge the more able child?
  • Is the final outcome creative, engaging and motivating for your class?

Enquire:

 

What is the big theological question you are exploring

  • Decide on the big theological question you are going to explore?

Things to consider:

  • Who is providing the theological question – the teacher or child?
  • What stimuli can be used to enable children to create and own the big question?  (text, visit, artefact, music, sacred art etc)
  • Is the ‘big question’ open ended enough and provide room for further in-depth exploration?

Enquire:

 

Subsidiary enquiry questions

 

  • Decide on the subsidiary questions that will be explored and how do they link to the ‘big theological question?’

Things to consider:

  • How do the subsidiary questions link together?
  • Is there a big question for each lesson?
  • How do you plan to evaluate the children’s learning against the big question?

Investigate/explore

 

  • Decide on what religious content and context you are going to use to explore the big theological question.

Things to consider:

  • Select carefully to ensure the content chosen allows for engaging and motivating teaching and learning.
  • Select carefully to ensure the content chosen allows for deep theological enquiry and deep discussion and dialogue.

Evaluate/communicate

 

  • Decide on what active learning opportunities and investigations you are going to set that will allow children to achieve the learning objectives identified for the unit of learning.

Things to consider:

  • What knowledge and understanding do you want the children to learn?
  • What skills do you wish children to learn within the course of a unit of learning?
  • Ensure the activities you set allow for children to practise these skills.
  • Can links be made with other subject areas?

The aim of this part of the enquiry is to encourage dialogue about the learning.  Children should use skills of analysis and evaluation.  The focus should be on the impact of the belief or practice on the religious or belief community being studied.

Reflect/express

 

 

 

                                              

  • This part of the enquiry is the opportunity for children to demonstrate their understanding and personal response to the enquiry question when considered from the perspective of the faith and belief traditions that have been encountered and their own personal view point.

 

Things to consider:

Ongoing assessment opportunities

  • Decide where in the unit of learning, formative assessment can take place.

Things to consider:

  • Turn the learning objectives into child friendly language – I can… you can…
  • Ensure that learning objectives are specific to the content you are teaching.  This will help you know just what it is that you want pupils to be able to understand and do as a result of their learning.
  • Ensure that assessment is ongoing and formative to avoid having to do a separate end of unit assessment.

 

Impact of the LDBS syllabus:

  • Children will be able to hold a balanced and well-informed conversation about religion and world views.  (Religious literacy)
  • Children will make good or better academic progress from their starting points.
  • Children will be able to reflect, respond and express their own religious, spiritual and/or philosophical convictions.
  • Children will be able to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and world views, belief systems, values and practices.
  • Children will have developed a deeper understanding of what it means to live life in all its fullness.
  •  

How the units of learning have been organised:

Christianity:

To ensure that 2/3 of the RE curriculum is based on the teaching of Christianity the following number of units have been written.

 

EYFS:

  • 6 six-week units of learning (Including units for Christmas and Easter)

 

K.S 1:

  • 2 Christmas units of learning
  • 2 Easter units of learning
  • 4 six-week units of learning
  • 4 two-week units of learning

 

K.S 2:

  • 4 Christmas units of learning
  • 4 Easter units of learning
  • 6 six-week units of learning
  • 8 two-week units of learning

 

Each unit addresses an aspect of Christian theology; addressing a theological concept at an age appropriate level.  The theological concepts have been mapped out, using the same theological concepts as identified in the Understanding Christianity Project so as to offer schools a consistency in the theological language used, if they choose to use both resources.

 

Judaism:

K.S 1:

  • 2 six-week units of learning

 

K.S 2:

  • 1 six-week unit of learning

 

Islam/Hinduism/Sikhism/Buddhism:

 

2 six-week units have been written for each world faith.   Within the units the following topics are explored:

  • The main teachings and beliefs of the Faith
  • Beliefs and practices and the impact they have on the life of the believer.
  • How key festivals within the Faith are celebrated within the Faith community.

 

It is up to the school to map out in which year group each faith is taught.

 

K.S 1:  Christianity, Judaism and one other faith to be taught.

K.S 2:  Christianity, Judaism and all other faiths not addressed in K.S 1 to be taught.

 

Thematic units:

 

Three thematic units have been written to be used in upper key stage 2.  Teachers are encouraged to teach these units in such a way that allows room for children to apply their knowledge and understanding of all the religions and world views to key concepts and to make connections within and across the Faiths.

 

Unit of learning titles:

 

  • The journey of life and death
  • Understanding faith in……
  • Bridging unit to be taught in year 6:  Who decides?  (Version A or B)

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