At St Clement’s & St John’s Infant School, the aim of our Religious Education is to help our children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and to provide them an opportunity to learn about some other principal religions represented in Great Britain. We aim for all children to develop an understanding of the way in which religious beliefs can shape our lives and behaviour and we support every child in developing an ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues.
As a school with a high proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language and some who have social, emotional or behavioural challenges, we believe that RE has an important part to play in developing self-esteem, acceptance and a knowledge of being known and valued by a loving God.
‘I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord, ‘plans to give you a future and a hope’.
Alongside this, stand our school values that are the bedrock of our RE, Christian Collective Worship and school community. Religious Education is taught throughout our 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, alongside all other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of our children.
The aim of teaching RE at our school is:
- To develop pupils’ confidence in reasoning and expressing their own developing beliefs and exploring those held by others.
- To find many opportunities to be able to show compassion as Jesus did, both individually and collaboratively.
- To develop an appreciation of the natural world with its wonder and complexity, and explore their own creativity in relation to this.
- To help pupils’ deepen their own curiosity to understand the breath and diversity of the Christian religion and other beliefs. To foster a sense of reflection and begin to ask and explore the ‘Big Questions’ in life.
At St Clement’s & St John’s Infant School, the Early Years Framework and the Agreed Syllabus is the core of our RE curriculum and the following religions have been selected for study:
- Christianity – through the Diocese project ‘Understanding Christianity’ which focuses on core theological concepts, that are revisited and built upon as the children move up through the school.
- Judaism (Year 1)
- Islam (Year 2)
With our foundations rooted in the Anglican Church and very strong links to our local church, Christianity is the main faith studied, with two thirds of our RE curriculum devoted to it. However, all children will learn about at least two other major world faiths across Key Stage 1. These faiths are Judaism and Islam which have been selected due to the strong links between the three faiths studied across EYFS and KS1. There are also numerous opportunities within each year group to celebrate the multicultural nature of our school.
RE is usually a discreet subject taught weekly although sometimes blocked to ensure a deeper learning experience. Aspects of our RE curriculum linked to Christianity are also taught within our daily Worship sessions. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which are, and can be made between home, school, and a faith community. We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry and first-hand experiences wherever possible for both staff and children.
Our curriculum taught in a progressive manner throughout our school and aims to develop children’s skills and knowledge through challenge and careful differentiation. Each topic will contain elements of;
- Making sense of the text
- Understanding the impact
- Making connections
We aim for all children to recognise that God, Creation, Incarnation and Salvation are all part of a ‘big story’ - the bible. We want our children to be able to tell stories from the bible, having an idea of the different types of text (e.g. parables) and linking to Christian concepts. We want children to be able to give examples of how Christians use the texts to guide their beliefs and lifestyle both as individuals and as part of the church and we want children to understand how Christians express their beliefs in church worship. Children will be able to discuss, giving reasons for their thinking, how the text has something to say to them.
Our RE teaching will promote inquisitive minds, respect, tolerance and an understanding of themselves and those around them in their wider community and globally.
The outcomes of the teaching of RE across the school can be seen within the children’s Class RE book in EYFS and in individual RE books through the rest of the school. The assessment of RE in KS1 is ongoing. The teachers regularly assess through marking, using the RE Marking code and post it’s to signpost the pupil ideas and discussions. This information then informs the teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation.
Assessments are recorded at the end of each term regarding the children’s knowledge, skills and attitudes and not on their own religious beliefs or spiritual development.