Our RE curriculum works with the SACRE agreed syllabus and challenges children to learn about a range of religions and non-religious world views. Religious Education encourages the children to consider searching questions and discover a rich knowledge of the world around them, whilst developing an important sense of what it means to be human. Children explore questions within each religion and formulate their own questions as they make sense of religion and spiritual concepts, developing their sense of belonging in a diverse world. An example is considering the similarities and differences between families during celebrations and appreciating the uniqueness that diversity encourages. Family members visit classrooms to support knowledge development of religious education and enable rich interactions, which develop the children’s philosophical view of traditions. Children are strongly encouraged to formulate their own questions during visits to places of worship. An example of this is when Year 5 visits Warrington Mosque, where they reflect and develop a sense of purpose as they learn about ritual objects and religious ceremonies.
Art, music, dance, drama and active sessions enable children to make comparisons across religions. We use floor books to capture the children’s creative journey, from brainstorming and questioning the topics, to discovering answers independently and collaboratively through discussion based enquiry. A visiting Reverend supports work in class and often leads celebrations in assembly, and the children enjoy supporting local community festivals each year.
In Religious Education, our children work together to develop a collective sense of caring and excellence, driven by an absolute respect of diversity. Through carefully planned lessons, they reflect on each other’s lives and the world around them, developing aspirations through the role models they meet and embracing the differences and changes within religions.
We believe that all children should...
What do we do to make Religious Education special?Our pupils and staff enjoy Religious Education and we work hard to promote Religious Education at Grappenhall Heys. Teaching and learning styles will include the use of stories, artefacts, videos, role-play, written work, visiting speakers and visits to places of worship. Class RE books record the experiences, thinking and learning of the children. The school has developed valuable links with Reverend Alan Jewell at St Matthew's Church Stretton who regularly visits school to deliver assemblies and support curriculum development, and also supports the school with community events such as our annual Carol Concert.
The fundamental skills, knowledge and concepts of the subject are set out in the Warrington and Lancashire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Fifty percent of the curriculum focuses on Christianity, with the other fifty percent of the curriculum focusing on the other principal religions represented in Great Britain (here regarded as Buddhism, Hindu Dharma, Islam, Judaism and Sikh Dharam). Through units of work based on Key Questions, the overall question of 'What does it mean to be human?' is examined.
National Curriculum Outline
In Early Years, the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Curriculum and Development Matters document are used to plan and assess from. As part of the Prime Area of 'Personal, Social and Emotional Development' and the Specific Area of 'Understanding the World', pupils experience a wide range of activities linked to Religious Education, with activities planned for children to play, explore, actively learn and develop their thinking skills through the celebration of a variety of religious festivals, stories and activities through focused, continuous and enhanced provision.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, in line with the Warrington and Lancashire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, lessons are planned and taught to ensure coverage of two attainment targets:
AT1 Learning ABOUT Religion and Belief
Enquiring into, investigating and understanding religion and beliefs (this includes discovering, thinking about and interpreting religious beliefs, teaching, sources, practices, ways of expressing meaning with reference to the specific beliefs and religions studied).
AT2 Learning FROM Religion and Belief
Questioning, reflecting upon and interpreting human experience in the light of religions and beliefs studied (this includes investigating, communicating reflections, responses and evaluations about questions of identity, belonging, diversity, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments, making increasingly insightful links to the specific religions studied).
At the heart of Religious Education lessons is the question 'What does it mean to be human?'. This is then explored through the following four areas:
1. Shared Human Experience - the nature of human being.
2. Living Religious Tradition - principal religious traditions encountered in the world.
3. Beliefs and Values - which lie at the heart of these traditions.
4. The Search for Personal Meaning - a life-long quest for understanding.
Why is Religious Education so important?
At Grappenhall Heys, we believe Religious Education makes an important contribution to pupils learning and development by enabling them to reflect upon themselves as whole people, experiencing the world through not only their physical but also through their moral and spiritual 'senses'. It influences all aspects of their development, and encourages respect and understanding for the wide variety of religious views in contemporary society. As they mature, pupils will be encouraged to reflect on events, stories or actions to formulate their own views.
We also recognise the importance of the Religious Education curriculum in promoting the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
Why is Collective Worship so important?
We believe that collective worship both supports and strengthens what we aim to do in every aspect of school life. Our caring ethos and the value which we place on the development of the whole child spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and intellectually is reflected in our worship. We value this special time for the space it gives children to develop a reflective approach to life and the ability to express their reflections in traditionally religious ways or any other appropriate manner. The faith background of both the staff and the child's family is respected at all times.
How is my child assessed?
Assessment of pupils' attainment in Religious Education is a continuous process and is integral to the teaching and learning cycle.
Alongside regular informal assessments, the children are assessed half-termly through a range of activities, both orally and in written form, against 'Key Learning' statements specified in planning.
In EYFS, on-going assessment is used. Children are assessed through observations of child-initiated, directed and spontaneous learning. Evidence may take the form of anecdotal conversations, photographs or written observations and progress marked on children's individual trackers.
How does the school meet my child’s needs in Religious Education?
All pupils are given full and equal access to the Religious Education curriculum. All lessons are structured to take account of individual children's knowledge, skills and confidence in the subject. Support or challenge for children is given as appropriate to meet individual need. Faith backgrounds of individual families are respected at all times.
Parents have the legal right to withdraw their child from Religious Education if they wish, although parents are encouraged to discuss this with the Headteacher first.
How can I support my child at home?
We welcome parental support to secure Religious Education knowledge and skills in our pupils. Though simple discussion at home, your child can be supported to develop their understanding of other beliefs and cultures, develop values such as tolerance and respect for others and encourage development of personal skills such as reflection and resilience. Open and honest conversations with your child will help them in developing the life-long skills of understanding and respect for different cultural values and tradition, thereby preparing your child for life in a multi-cultural society.