Religious Education (RE)
Strong links are made with our school Vision and Ethos of Learn, Grow, Love. This is underpinned by Jesus’ Mustard Seed Parable “from the smallest seeds grow the greatest shrubs” (Mt13v31-32) alongside the 6 values that are the foundation of our Christian belief in school.
At Rowde Church of England Primary Academy, the aim of Religious Education is to help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. We aim to understand the way that religious beliefs shape our lives and our behaviour, develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance our spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
It is our intent for the Religious Education curriculum to be equally ambitious for every child in order to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions, explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions and develop understanding of the numerous religious traditions, beliefs and practices that are followed in our multi-cultural society.
At Rowde C of E Primary Academy, Religious Education is taught throughout the school in such a way as to reflect the overall aims, values, and philosophy of the school. As a Church of England school, Religious Education plays an important role, along with other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE and the teaching of British Values, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of our children. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection.
The key aims for religious education are reflected in the two attainment targets.
Attainment Target 1 - Learning about region and belief
Attainment target 2- Learning from religion and belief
The development of knowledge, skills and understanding focuses on these two key aspects of learning in Religious Education.
Religious Education is a statutory subject of the curriculum for all pupils in each year group and ‘should be provided for all registered pupils except those withdrawn at the request of their parents.’ We ensure that we comply with the legal requirements by following the Wiltshire agreed syllabus for Religious Education 2016-21 and Understanding Christianity.
It has been agreed that having taken into account the requirements and guidelines presented in the Agreed Syllabus, the following religions have been selected for study: Christianity – through ‘Understanding Christianity’. As Christianity is the main faith, 50% of the RE teaching time is dedicated to this area. We use Discovery RE to support out teaching and learning in: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
Our RE curriculum is successfully adapted, designed and developed for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities by the teacher as necessary. It is a curriculum that is broad, balanced and inclusive for all pupils. Religious Education is taught as a discrete subject on a weekly basis, but is sometimes delivered through a class or whole school RE day. As a core subject, it is taught by the class teacher in the morning, as it is important that the whole school community values it as such. Teachers may develop their own key questions linked to the themes in the syllabus, allowing connections to other subject areas where appropriate. Interactive, practical activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions.
The children at Rowde Church of England Primary Academy enjoy learning about other religions and why people choose to, or choose not to, follow a religion. Through their R.E. learning, they are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. Through R.E, our children are developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life and worship, which they are then able to communicate to the wider community. At Rowde, our children develop their skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy; skills of reflection, expression, application, analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.
Religious Education at Rowde encourages pupils to consider challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life; beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality; issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. Our children understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
Teachers are eager to ensure children are making progress with their learning throughout their RE. Therefore, each enquiry within Discovery and Understanding Christianity has built-in assessment. These tasks provide formal opportunities for teacher assessment of the children’s knowledge of that religion, depth of critical thinking, and ability to answer the enquiry question. This stand-alone evidence is used in conjunction with other evidence such as records of discussions and annotations from other lessons within the enquiry to assist the teacher in reaching a best-fit ‘level’ (Below, Meeting or above Age Related Expectations). Teacher assessments are an overall judgement based not only on written responses to the focus question, but also observations on how children contribute in class, the confidence and willingness with which they answer questions and share their own ideas, their use of appropriate vocabulary and their recall of appropriate links from previous learning.
Staff update the tracking document termly with their assessments so that the Subject Leader can assess the effectiveness of learning experiences provided. The Subject Leader also conducts termly pupil interviews. The link governor joins the Subject Leader on learning walks and looks at books at least once a year. This enables an informed discussion and review of the subject within the school. This helps the children by enabling the Subject Leader to make informed decisions about necessary changes to any aspect of the planning, implementation and assessment of RE within the school and to update the Action