Religious Education

RE@Barnehurst

 

 

Subject Intent

 

DiagramDescription automatically generatedOur RE curriculum at Barnehurst aims to inform, explore and understand the differing ways people express belief in God. We follow the Bexley SACRE 2021-2026 syllabus, and in delivering this deeply engaging curriculum, our goal is to move away from retrieval of knowledge as a typical RE lesson, and deliver an immersive and active approach to RE. RE is not just a subject to be taught and learned about, but to be experienced, debated, and reasoned about. Our RE lessons are designed to promote curiosity, understanding and respect as well as to gain knowledge. By providing knowledge organisers, we support children with the scaffolding needed to access the facts which enable them to discuss world faiths from a position of knowledge and gain access to the necessary vocabulary. Through the engaging and active lessons we provide, we create an environment where children can freely engage in respectful discussions about faith, and the role it plays in their own lives, the community and the wider world.  Our understanding of each others’ faiths, as well as recognition of non-religious world views forms a crucial foundation for building a diverse and rich school culture, one in which the values of kindness and respect are embedded. Our aim is to provide children with the necessary skills and resilience to ask (and be asked) challenging questions, and to enjoy learning together while doing so.  

 

RE and SMSC co-exist and there are many areas of mutual learning to be explored. A person’s faith, or certainty about their own beliefs, underpins all four aspects. Our children are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make these links:

 

Spiritual:  Own belief in a faith, or developing an understanding of another person’s belief.

 

Moral: How concepts of right and wrong are universal and yet each faith has different stories and texts which exemplify these.

 

Social: Adherence to a shared set of rules which govern daily life.

 

Cultural: Practices within a community or faith that form part of an identity.

 

Our Global Citizenship links:

 

Through exploring a range of faiths, beliefs, and ways of looking at the world, we explore our place in a Global, ever-expanding society. We aim to achieve this through encompassing the Knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes of our Global curriculum. RE allows us to safely explore identity and diversity. We aim to increase and validate pupils’ self-esteem while at the same time showing respect for the rights of others, especially human rights. Through the chance to explore, discuss and evaluate these issues in the context of being a global citizen, pupils’ will be equipped with the skills needed to show a commitment to participation and inclusion.

 

We are enabling children to experience a broad and balanced curriculum which will: 

  • Promote deep thinking and encourage respectful attitudes towards others.   
  • Embrace diversity and tolerance through a secure understanding of different faiths. 
  • Ensure religious literacy and broaden subject knowledge.  

 

By the end of KS2, children will have:

  • Encountered the 6 major world faiths in a variety of ways. E.g. visitors, workshops, handling artefacts, reading stories and independent research.
  • Engaged with a wide range of faith stories and songs as well as celebrations and festivals.
  • Developed an understanding of their own position with regards to faith.
  • Developed the ability to ask thoughtful and appropriate questions as well as listen to the opinions of others.
  • Offer carefully considered contributions to debates about philosophical and religious topics, challenging and respecting the opinions of others.

 

In order for all our children to achieve this, the school community will:

  • Teach RE lessons which provide knowledge and understanding about all world faiths.
  • Provide variety within lessons to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles, e.g. story-telling, drama, art and craft activities, and debates as well as written tasks.
  • Develop experience days where children can question and engage with members of a particular faith.
  • Organise visits to places of worship and engagement with the local community.
  • Call upon the diversity and experience of the school community to assist with enriching the children’s access to world faiths.

CPD will be ongoing to ensure all staff are confident with delivering engaging lessons which provide opportunities for deeper thinking and discussions.

 

Subject Implementation

 

At Barnehurst, our curriculum is based on enquiry-based learning. Each unit of work is headed by a ‘big question’. Teachers plan lessons using ‘smaller’ questions to help children investigate and explore the answers to those big questions. For example, the upper key stage two unit entitled What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain Today? has a sequence of lessons which enable children to answer the big question by exploring a series of questions such as Why is life like a journey? and Why do Muslims pray? Lessons are engaging and active, relying on children to explore, discuss and analyse through experiential learning, as well as make links to their own experiences and other faiths/people of no faith. This enquiry-based approach is an essential part of the RE curriculum and lesson design.

 

A variety of ways are planned for children to express their learning, from art and crafts, through to poetry and drama, as well as handling objects and tasting foods. Teachers will plan opportunities for children to visit places of worship and encounter visitors to the classroom too. In addition, we have an amazing resource called Lyfta, which enables children to access real-life situations and events linked to beliefs and cultures around the world.

 

Units have been selected to allow for depth of learning and understanding.

 

 

Each unit is broken down into smaller steps, which teachers use to plan their lessons and develop assessment opportunities. These are organised by key concepts and curriculum connectors:  

 

   

Smaller steps, which cross over many units, are then used to plan and assess the activities. At the end of each term, teachers complete an assessment document linked to these, using this information to inform further teaching and assessment opportunities.

At the end of each key-stage, there are statements which (throughout each key-stage) teachers need to ensure they have progressively planned opportunities for children to demonstrate their capacity to meet.

 

 

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We have curriculum ambassadors who work closely with subject leaders to ensure that the children in our community have an opportunity to feedback what is working well and what is really helping    

 

children to enjoy RE in our school. Pupils are regularly asked for their feedback and opinions in order to help us evolve and improve the way we teach the Bexley Approved Syllabus.
 

  

 

RE in EYFS is facilitated through discussion, story-telling and “curiosity cubes”, which are changed regularly to reflect the calendar and seasonal events. Continuous provision means children can freely engage with artefacts, images and texts, while inputs and discussions take place in the afternoons. As part of Understanding the World, children can access stories, songs and poems which help them to make sense of their own and others’ beliefs, as well as beginning to recognise cultures within our community. Children are encouraged to express their thoughts and opinions, as well as listen to and respect the opinions of others.