At Kensington Community Primary School, we follow SACRE, the Liverpool agreed syllabus for Religious Education. Our school, is home to a range of religions, cultures and nationalities, each celebrated for their diversity. Our aim is to create an inclusive environment for all our children, as a school we believe that RE provides opportunities to celebrate our diversity. RE is a subject for all pupils, whatever their own family background and personal beliefs and practices.
‘The principal aim of RE is to explore the big questions about life, to discover what people believe and how this impacts the way they live. This allows pupils to make sense of religion, reflect on their own and others ideas and different ways of living.’
The curriculum is then designed to ensure pupils:
Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so they can:
- Describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices.
- Identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered.
- Appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so they can:
- Explain, using reasoned arguments, their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities.
- Express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues.
- Appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so they can:
- Investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively.
- Enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all.
- Articulate clearly beliefs, values and commitments in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
In addition to the aims outlined, we also understand the importance of children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. As a school, we see the enormous contribution that RE makes to SMSC development. At Kensington Community Primary School this will be linked to developing the broad range of human capabilities and responsibilities set out in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner profile.
Furthermore, we recognise the key contribution RE makes to promoting and exploring British values, pupils are given opportunities to explore different religions and beliefs. In turn, this enables pupils to move beyond attitudes of tolerance towards increasing respect, so that they can celebrate diversity.
Our RE curriculum is based around a key question approach, where the questions open up the content to be studied. Each of the key questions are designed to ensure that RE is engaging and encourages enquiry. Teachers ensure that RE continues to meet the principal aim outlined in the curriculum intent.
Within each Key Stage pupils will cover a range of religions and worldviews through the various key questions. Each key question focuses on one or more of the religions outlined below. The key questions also ensure equal coverage of the three strands of believing, expressing and living across the different key stages.
Religions and worldviews
Pupils in Foundation stage should encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They should listen to and talk about stories. They ask questions and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1, pupils will study three of the principal religions of the UK in-depth, Christians, Muslims and Jewish people. While pupils will encounter other religions and worldviews through the curriculum, we recognise that depth of fewer religions is more important than breadth.
Key Stage 2
Pupils entering Key Stage 2 will build on prior knowledge and skills from previous religions and worldviews. Pupils will then begin to study the remaining principal religions of Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, pupils will also learn about non-religious worldviews.
Each of the key questions are structured around one of the three strands that run through the syllabus (believing, expressing and living). Each year group’s key questions have been chosen to enable pupils to have adequate exploration of each of these three strands. This will guarantee that there is not over-emphasis or exclusion of any of these strands. Below is an outline of each of the strands pupils will encounter.
- Believing, which incorporates beliefs, teachings, sources of authority, and questions of meaning, purpose and truth.
- Expressing, which incorporates religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity
- Living, which incorporates religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments
Pupils build upon each strand allowing for progression and building of knowledge and skills across the key stage.
Within each unit, teachers are able to highlight previous learning through question threads, the threads identify what pupils have previously studied within that specific strand, and also where they will go next. This allows for teachers to build on prior learning, as well as conduct retrieval practices and activities.
In addition, units are clearly identified as either systematic (one religion) or thematic (more than one religion). Teachers can also use this to check and build upon previous learning. In most year groups thematic units are studied later in the year, this enables pupils to build on previous learning.
Units of work
Each year group’s key questions open up the content to be studied. Teachers have been provided with detailed units of work that supports them in delivering high-quality RE, which in turn enables coherence and progression in pupil’s learning.
Teachers will use the learning outcomes selected to inform their planning and choose appropriate and engaging learning activities to meet the needs of all pupils. Lessons will be differentiated based on the needs of classes and individuals to ensure the curriculum is inclusive and pupils can achieve their full potential. In doing so pupils can work to securing the key knowledge and skills. Learning outcomes from each of the key questions will lead pupils to the end of key stage outcomes.
Staff are encouraged to develop active learning opportunities, use engaging stimuli, whether artefacts, WOW visits or visitors. Lessons may include chances for the pupils to use creative skills, such as drama, music and art. Throughout the curriculum pupils will be provided with opportunities to read a range of religious and non-religious texts to develop their vocabulary. Through well planned and dynamic lessons, we believe pupils will be supported in achieving the learning outcomes.
At Kensington Community Primary School we see the importance in developing skills such as investigation, reflection, expression and empathy. Teachers will plan to enable pupils to make progress with skills such as these by developing a variety of engaging and stimulating activities.
At Kensington Community Primary School, pupil’s progress will be tracked using the learning outcomes identified in each of the key questions. Pupils will be assessed at the end of each unit as either working toward, working at or working at greater depth. This will be done using teacher friendly ‘You can statements’. Assessment requires teachers to know what individual pupils know and can do, therefore, the learning outcomes for each key question will help teachers to judge this.
At the end of each key stage, teachers in years two and six will use previous assessment and judgement to determine whether a pupil has met the end of key stage outcomes against the schools knowledge and skills progression chart and previous teacher assessments.
Progress in RE involves the application of general educational skills and processes in handling subject knowledge. This, in turn, strengthens the skills and deepens understanding and knowledge. There are a number of skills that are reflected the RE curriculum, as well as many other subjects across our school curriculum. It is important to recognise the impact skills such as investigating, reflecting, expressing, interpreting and empathising have upon pupil’s personal development.
As a school we feel that personal development is a key aspect to a child’s time in school. It enables pupils to understand their spiritual identity, to adhere to moral values and to learn to play their role in promoting community cohesion and inclusion in our increasingly diverse society.