Learning about religion and learning from religion ...
At Rode Heath Primary School we recognise from an early start, how important it is for young people to acquire a greater understanding of the role that religions play in today’s world. We understand that Religious Education contributes dynamically to children’s education by provoking challenging questions about the meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of life and death and issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. We believe that it is vital for all our pupils to learn about and from religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts and to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
The intent of our RE curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and allows our pupils to become accepting, resilient, mindful and inquisitive learners. Our RE curriculum is broad and balanced and like all our subjects at Rode Heath it allows for creativity. Our RE curriculum continually evolves to reflect a world that is constantly changing.
Our teaching equips our pupils with the knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews and allows our children to understand the relevance of RE in today’s modern world and how it affects our lives. We want our pupils to develop their knowledge of the world faiths, and their understanding and awareness of the beliefs, values and traditions of other individuals, societies, communities and cultures. We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world and to reflect and to articulate clearly and coherently their own personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ. Our RE curriculum also seeks to promote positive attitudes and personal qualities such as enthusiasm, curiosity, reflection, respect and tolerance which are essential for effective learning. We believe Religious Education provides an opportunity to celebrate and show an awareness of differences within our school and the wider world; it is a subject that celebrates diversity and challenges stereotypes.
We use the Cheshire East Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (2016-2021) as the basis for our curriculum. Our Religious Education is taught discretely across the school, though it may impact on other curriculum areas and there are opportunities through our thematic planning to include some of our units of work into our termly topics and residential visits.
Our planning follows the guidance from Cheshire East and covers all the statutory elements for our locally agreed syllabus in Cheshire Schools. Our long term and medium term plans ensure there is progression and depth throughout the school and that pupils are building upon knowledge learnt in previous years. Our curriculum allows pupils to see similarities within the major religions and make connections between these. Our curriculum is designed so that pupils develop knowledge and understanding of the principal religions in Great Britain and Christianity is taught as a core religion in both key stages.
Having taken into account the requirements and guidelines presented in our locally Agreed Syllabus, the following religions have been selected for study:
- Free choice of enquiry which could include; Buddhism, Sikhism or Humanism (non-religious worldview)
Our curriculum gives some amount of flexibility through a half or full term of free choice enquiry. This leads way for teachers to make links to other curriculum areas or to thematically plan RE into their termly topic. For Key stage 2 a free choice enquiry allows pupils to study a topic of significant importance in the current climate, it also allows for pure study of areas within an individual religion or worldview which may come to light within a topic or class text.
We recognise that within classes, there is a wide variety of abilities therefore we provide suitable learning opportunities that are matched to the needs of all children. This is done through providing support, differentiating activities and using a range of teaching and learning styles within lessons. Where possible, teaching and learning will be enhanced with first-hand experiences such as trips to places of worship or visiting experts from different religious communities. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which are, and can be made between home, school, and a faith community.
We are also extremely fortunate that members of our local churches regularly visit our school to lead assemblies and in turn welcome us and the school community into their churches for annual events which only enhances these experiences further.
We follow the Cheshire East Agreed Syllabus as the basis of our RE curriculum and believe that the impact of this will be that our pupils will have a greater understanding of the religions that make up the UK landscape and how they can learn from and work alongside each other to create community cohesion. All pupils will be more informed about their position in the world and the decisions they can make that influence their future. Our pupils will be able to talk confidently about their well-being, moral and cultural development for the society in which they live. We want our pupils to feel valued as individuals and that their beliefs are valued and celebrated. We want our pupils to leave school with a sense of belonging to a community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.