‘RE is like an iceberg. As you unpack ideas, you come to understand deeper meaning.’
Religious Education (RE) has a contribution to make to the personal development and well-being of every pupil. The ability to explain our own values and beliefs and to understand more about the beliefs and values of others is more important than ever.
At Wintringham Primary Academy believe that Religious Education plays an important part in the broad-based curriculum provided for our children. It supports the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children as well as areas such as Personal and Social Development and Creative Development.
What does the National Curriculum say about RE?
Whilst it's compulsory for all maintained schools to provide RE, it's not part of the National Curriculum. This means that the Government doesn't dictate what is taught, and there are no mandatory assessments in the subject at primary or secondary level. At Wintringham, we follow the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Click on the link below to look in closer detail at the syllabus:
How we teach RE:
Aims & Objectives
Following the Cambridgeshire scheme of work we aim to enable pupils to develop positive attitudes to their learning and to the beliefs and values of others through the development of four attitudes which are essential for good learning in religious education:
• respect for all
• appreciation and wonder.
Teaching & Learning
We deliver our RE lessons through collapsed curriculum days and whole class lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in RE through these sessions, and we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in order to achieve this. The use of collapsed curriculum days, in Year 1 to 4, provide the children with a rich and immersive learning environment, in which they are fully engaged by the topic that they are studying. This in turn creates a love of learning within the children.
We believe children learn best when:
- They are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively
- They are encouraged to ask as well as answer questions
- They visit places of interest, when applicable
- They have access to secondary sources such as books and photographs
- Visitors talk about personal experiences of religious beliefs, when applicable
- They listen to and interact with religious stories
- They are shown, or use independently, resources from the internet and videos
- They are able to use non-fiction books for research
We recognise the fact that we have a wide range of children within our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by offering a variety of differentiated activities for pupils, including:
- Providing children with both taught religious education sessions and the opportunity to explore through role-play and more independent activities is, we believe, integral to the teaching of RE.
- Encouraging pupils to engage in class discussions, including giving them the opportunity to ask and answer questions.
- Initiating RE activities which give pupils the opportunity to independently reflect upon previous discussions and learning.
- Offering opportunities for the children to carry out independent learning, and to ask questions linking to specific religions and RE topics.
- Ensuring that expectations of work within RE sessions are suitably high and this is explicitly taught to all pupils.
- Specifying success criteria that underpin the required learning to help children when completing activities to a good standard.
Teaching & Learning within the EYFS
RE, although not taught explicitly within the Early Years classroom, is evident in many of the different EYFS topics. Through a combination of exploratory play and class discussion, children start to develop their understanding of other's individual beliefs. Teachers and teaching assistants will provide opportunity for class discussions and will encourage conversations that require children to develop their understanding and empathetic skills.
The assessment of pupil progress within RE is on-going by the class teacher and is part of formative assessment. Children are given opportunities to write at length on RE-related topics: this provides an opportunity to assess their knowledge and understanding of RE, and also provides them with additional opportunities to write for a purpose.
Collective Worship and Reflection
All children at Wintringham are given regular opportunities to participate in acts of collective reflection. Some of these assemblies are of a religious nature. Regularly, guest speakers, including ACTIOS members and the local pastor, lead assemblies based on stories from Christianity.
Parents/Guardians have the right to withdraw their child from any religious education teaching or collective worship. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Headteacher.
Useful Website Links
Below are links to the BBC Bitesize RE pages for KS1 and KS2, which offer different learning opportunities for the children to access and engage with. Explore and enjoy!
Virtual Tours of Religious Spaces
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLce9i2Ci5w - tour of a mosque
http://e4education.uk-virtualtours.co.uk/temple/ - 3D virtual tour of a gurdwara
http://www.samrohn.com/360-panorama/central-synagogue-new-york-city/ - 3D virtual tour of a synagogue
https://www.google.com/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/angkor/ - virtual tour of Angkhor Wat, largest Hindu temple complex in the world
https://buddhisttemple.ca/our-temple/virtual-tour/ - virtual tour of Buddhist temple