At Leesland Junior School, Religious Education is given a high priority, especially where we are a Church of England Controlled Federation. The school’s core values of Love, Grace and Respect are woven through lessons as well as throughout the school day and are a shared vision with all of our stakeholders. Religious Education enables children to enquire about concepts and build upon their prior knowledge. It seeks to allow children to communicate their ideas and evaluate and apply a concept around their beliefs. Children are taught in context of a concept across a range of religions to give them a broader understanding of the world we now live in. In EYFS and KS1 children look in depth at Christianity and Hinduism. In Lower Key Stage 2 the children look in depth at Christianity and Judaism. In Upper Key Stage 2 the children look in depth at Christianity and Islam. This enables the children to become reflective, curious and respectful. This links in with developing the children culturally, morally, spiritually and socially. The progression of skills across the year groups is carefully planned for, using the Hampshire Scheme Living Difference IV and alongside the Church schools’ syllabus of Understanding Christianity, to enable children to build on and apply previously learnt skills and knowledge.
RE seeks to introduce children and young people to what a religious way of looking at and existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life, individually and collectively. It recognises and acknowledges that the question as to what it means to lead one’s life with such an orientation can be answered in a number of qualitatively different ways. These include the idea that to live a religious life means to subscribe to certain propositional beliefs (religion as truth); the idea that to live a religious life means to adhere to certain practices (religion as practice); and the idea that to live a religious life is characterised by a particular way of being in and with the world.
Our aims are for all children at Leesland to:
· Understand and appreciate other people’s beliefs
· Communicate their beliefs
· Have enquiring minds
· Be reflective about their understanding and ideas
· Be able to communicate, discuss and share their ideas
We aim to develop, through our teaching of Religious Education, the following attitudes:
· Curiosity and interest;
· Pleasure and thoughtfulness;
· Critical appraisal;
· Respect for other views and cultures;
At Leesland CE Federation, RE is taught and celebrated in a range of ways. It is taught for at least an hour a week in the first half of every term but is blocked before Christmas, Easter and Summer. We aim to plan a range of activities across the curriculum for the children to do within a concept to engage them.
Teachers plan opportunities to allow the children to take part in Art, Drama and English within the Religious concept. The children have an opportunity to write down reflections and work in their own RE books. These books go with the children all the way through the Federation and reflect their RE journey from Year R to Year 6. Any whole class work, discussions, role play and speech bubbles are recorded in the whole class RE big books to allow children to express their opinions openly and freely verbally without worrying about writing them down.
We also encourage links with the wider community and people from other religions talking to the children. We have strong links with St Mary’s and St Faith’s churches in our community. The church come in to speak to the children during Open the Book and key services at Harvest, Easter and Christmas and we are involved in The Christmas Tree festival, with a year group creating ornaments for the trees.
Pupils are assessed on a different part of the cycle every half term, with two half terms being Contextualise which is the Religious part of the cycle. Children are assessed as to whether they are ARE (Age Related), WT (Working Towards), GD (Greater Depth). The subject leader collates evidence for different children every half term, which is kept in an evidence folder.
Some possible activities that are used in Religious Education are:
· Conscience Alley
· Thought and speech bubble comparisons
· Hot seating
· Freeze frames
· Art work
· Diamond of Nine
· Creative Writing; e.g. diary, postcard, letters
· Personal responses
Religious Education has a big impact upon the learners of Leesland CE Federation as it helps to shape them into the people that they are today. They will be able to be spiritually, morally, culturally and socially aware of others. Their learning builds each year so that they can make links and schemas around religions and others beliefs. They will become more confident in expressing themselves and listening to other people’s ideas and beliefs. They will become tolerant to others and accepting of people’s differences. They will learn to challenge what they see around them by asking questions, listening to others and investigating the concept in focus.
Every child will be able to achieve in and access Religious Education because the work will be scaffolded appropriately and it has many different cross curricular activities allowing for all children’s strengths to be shown.