Our RE curriculum at Park House is based on the Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (2020-2025). It provides the legal framework for a syllabus for Religious Education for Derby City and Derbyshire schools. We agree with the aims within the syllabus and all of our RE lessons follow the broad aims:
(Based on Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (2020-2025))
We feel that to do all of these things the children need to have confidence in themselves and the belief that what they have to say is important. Alongside this is the importance of listening to other people’s viewpoints and recognising the importance of them to others without feeling it must be followed, We believe these are life skills for children especially in today’s modern world.
Although spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) is at the heart of all of our teaching, we do recognise that RE lessons offer more opportunity to develop children’s SMSC development than other subjects.
We ensure our curriculum is sequenced from Early Years through to Key Stage Two as we have based our overview on the units of study in the syllabus. Our units are based on the key questions in the syllabus which are all covered throughout school. Each unit begins by listing the units from other years that are in the same thread. The three main threads are believing(beliefs, teaching and questions), expressing (forms of expressions, identity and diversity), living (religious practices and ways of living). By knowing which units have gone before and which are coming next we can, as teachers, ensure the vocabulary being used is appropriate and what is reinforcement and where the thread is going next. These three threads are covered in all year groups in at least one unit.
We believe every pupil can achieve and benefit from RE lessons whatever their ability. RE is a statutory part of the core curriculum for all pupils, including those with learning difficulties. Good RE lessons include a multi sensory approach (e.g. through story, music, calm and peaceful space) and is based on individual beliefs and communities of believers. RE can enable pupils with the most complex of needs to develop awareness of themselves, their feelings, their emotions and their senses. It can also can enable pupils to develop their relationships with other people and their understanding of other people’s needs.
We strongly believe that RE as a subject is a key part of a child’s education as when taught well it encourages key life skills such as identity, belonging, diversity, empathy, questioning, etc. These skills can then be transferred across all areas of the curriculum as well as throughout life. This is a passion I have as RE coordinator but also share with other members of staff through staff meetings, overview of the curriculum, support with planning, informal chats.
We follow the Derbyshire and Derby agreed syllabus for RE 2020-2025, and have purchased the plans produced by RE Today Services. These are based on key questions which all come under the three strands of Believing, Expressing and Living. The syllabus allows flexibility in RE provision and allows schools to decide how RE should be delivered, whilst ensuring that there is continuity and progression in learning across key stages.
Where possible, we teach RE within cross curricular topics which bring together a number of subject areas. However to ensure all objectives of the agreed syllabus are met this is not always possible so then we would timetable RE as a separate subject.
Progression and continuity is the development of knowledge and understanding, skills, concepts and attitudes in a key stage and in relation to previous and subsequent key stages. It is achieved through building on earlier learning. It is not just about accumulation of knowledge but concerns a developing ability to deepen understanding by making use of reflective, interpretative and evaluative skills. Pupils should increasingly be challenged to discover the underlying messages of the teaching behind religious traditions, stories, artefacts and ceremonies.
(From Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus for RE 2020-2025)
Progression and continuity is achieved at Park House as our planning started from the agreed syllabus and plans produced by RE Today, who had a key role in developing the syllabus. We then met as a staff to decide on a school overview, looking at class topics, times of the year and most importantly the progression of knowledge, skills and understanding.
As well as the syllabus being based around three key strands, the key questions ensure continuity and deepening understanding. The questions looked at in Foundation stage are all based around the idea of discovering, in KS1 the questions are based around the idea of exploring, at Lower KS2 connecting and the Upper KS2 questions, connecting.
Planned opportunities are given to each year group for children to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to investigate and find out. This informs the planning and ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. In Reception this is done through Persona Dolls who represent children from different faith communities and who are an important part of our RE lessons. Children are given the opportunity to practise skills in a variety of ways and each lesson builds upon the previous skills, allowing them time to embed it. Different skills are recapped throughout and across the years, each time they are being built upon; allowing children to know more and remember more.
Throughout the year a large proportion of whole school assemblies include key RE principals and when visitors are allowed in school, we have assemblies led by the local vicar.
The class teacher records the assessments on the school’s foundation subject assessment sheet at the end of each term. This is done in 3 columns, emerging, expected, exceeding and therefore does not create unnecessary workload for staff. This data is passed through school to inform planning and support children appropriately. These are based on the learning outcomes from the syllabus and take into account the religious knowledge and skills which the child has acquired over a period of time.
At Park House we aim for our children to encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects, by visiting places of worship and through stories. They are encouraged to use all of their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. 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. We develop these skills from FS2 through to Y6. All of the units in the scheme include a variety of the above and teachers select the most appropriate for their children.
The EYFS units are based on the characteristics of learning as well as the early learning goals, especially PSED and UTW.
The primary objective of applying key literacy and numeracy conventions to RE is to enable our pupils to achieve more and better in RE. To this end we ensure that high standards of literacy and numeracy are applied to RE whilst not letting these be a barrier to children’s RE.
By the time our pupils leave Y6 they will have:
Outcomes in RE books, where appropriate, evidence a broad and balanced RE curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children review the agreed successes at the end of every session which are based on the learning outcomes that relate to the end of key stage outcomes.
D2 A progression overview: outcomes
Aims in RE: A progression grid
At the end of KS1 most pupils will be able to:
At the end of key stage 2 most pupils will be able to:
Know about & Understand
A1. Describe, explain and analyse beliefs, and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities;
Recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worship, rituals and ways of life, in order to find out about the meanings behind them;
Describe and make connections between different features of the religions and world views they study, discovering more about celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark important points in life in order to reflect thoughtfully on their ideas;
now about & Understand
A2. Identify, investigate and respond to questions posed by, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and world views;
Retell and suggest meanings to some religious and moral stories, exploring and discussing sacred writings and sources of wisdom and recognising the communities from which they come;
Describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of the communities they are investigating, responding thoughtfully to a range of sources of wisdom and to beliefs and teachings that arise from them in different communities;
Know about & Understand
A3. Appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning;
Recognise some different symbols and actions which express a community’s way of life, appreciating some similarities between communities;
Explore and describe a range of beliefs, symbols and actions so that they can understand different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning;
Express and Communicate
B1. Explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;
Ask and respond to questions about what communities do, and why, so that they can identify what difference belonging to a community might make;
Observe and understand varied examples of religions and world views so that they can explain, with reasons, their meanings and significance to individuals and communities;
Express and Communicate
B2. Express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value;
Observe and recount different ways of expressing identity and belonging, responding sensitively for themselves;
Understand the challenges of commitment to a community of faith or belief, suggesting why belonging to a community may be valuable, both in the diverse communities being studied and in their own lives;
Express and communicate
B3. Appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion;
Notice and respond sensitively to some similarities between different religions and world views;
Observe and consider different dimensions of religion, so that they can explore and show understanding of similarities and differences between different religions and world views;
Gain & deploy skills:
C1. Find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively;
Explore questions about belonging, meaning and truth so that they can express their own ideas and opinions in response using words, music, art or poetry;
Discuss and present thoughtfully their own and others’ views on challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, applying ideas of their own thoughtfully in different forms including (e.g.) reasoning, music, art and poetry;
Gain & deploy skills:
C2. Enquire into what enables different communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all;
Find out about and respond with ideas to examples of co-operation between people who are different;
Consider and apply ideas about ways in which diverse communities can live together for the well-being of all, responding thoughtfully to ideas about community, values and respect;
Gain & deploy skills:
C3. Articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain reasons why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
Find out about questions of right and wrong and begin to express their ideas and opinions in response.
Discuss and apply their own and others’ ideas about ethical questions, including ideas about what is right and wrong and what is just and fair, and express their own ideas clearly in response.
From Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus for RE, 2020–2025
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods;