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Religious Education

Intent

At Wanstead Church School, our RE curriculum offers children opportunities to consider life’s big questions, to marvel at the wonder of the world, and to explore their own faith and spirituality.

 

We develop Wisdom, Compassion and Strength in our RE curriculum:

 

Wisdom: Our RE curriculum provides children with a systematic knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions and world views which give life value. Children explore and respond to challenging questions raised by religion and world views and they articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.

 

Compassion: Our RE curriculum enables children to enquire what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all. Children learn to express their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, showing respect for the point of view of others. They analyse beliefs and practices, recognising and respecting the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals.

 

Strength: Our RE curriculum empowers children to become religiously and theologically literate so they can engage in life in a diverse society. Children are assisted in gaining shared human understanding, developing personal identity and searching for meaning in the context of evaluating different viewpoints.

 

Implementation

At Wanstead Church School we follow the Redbridge Agreed Syllabus from Foundation Stage to the end of Key Stage 2, which is based around a key question approach, where the questions open up the content to be studied. The syllabus gives some example key questions with detailed planning outlines for each question. These are not statutory but are designed to support the delivery of high-quality RE that enables coherence and progression. The planning outlines give structured support in end of key stage knowledge and understanding outcomes for the religions to be taught, learning outcomes for the unit question and suggested content, to enable good planning and progression.

 

The Agreed Syllabus forms the basis of our curriculum overview, ensuring consistent practice and progressive curriculum coverage throughout the school. We continue to embed and enhance our enquiry-based RE curriculum across the school which reflects our local and global faiths and beliefs. There is a good balance between Christian teaching and the teaching of other faiths. Children are encouraged to articulate clearly how their learning helps them in their everyday lives. The teaching of RE involves some direct teaching and whole class, group, paired or individual activities. Through a range of strategies, such as: enquiry, exploration, discussion, asking and answering questions, artefacts, visits and visitors of faith and belief, children are actively engaged in learning.

 

Carefully chosen educational visits are undertaken relating to a range of faiths and beliefs. Our teaching of RE across the school is further enhanced by an additional termly focus - ‘Look, Think, Wonder’ about a picture. The ‘Picturing Christianity’ resource or other suitable pictures are used to stimulate children’s thinking and questioning skills. Also, we use ‘Understanding Christianity’, as an enrichment resource, focusing on three agreed units: Creation, Incarnation and Salvation.

 

There are Prayer Corners in each classroom and in communal areas, where children can go and reflect. They are encouraged to ask questions and to write their own prayers. It is an interactive space. Elements of the RE syllabus are also reinforced through Collective Worship within the school.

 

In order to deliver the aims and expected standards of the syllabus effectively, there is an expectation of a minimum allocation of 5% of the curriculum time for RE:        

 

  • 4-5 year olds - 36 hours of RE, 50 minutes a week or some short sessions implemented through continuous provision.
  • 5-7 year olds - 36 hours of tuition per year, 50 minutes a week
  • 7-11 year olds - 45 hours of tuition per year, an hour a week

 

RE is delivered flexibly. It can be taught discretely during weekly lessons. Learning can be blocked which allows children to get a deeper and more continuous experience of RE or an RE themed day or week can be organised.

 

Impact

There is good evidence of progress in the sophistication of children’ responses and their ability to reflect on learning and to make interesting links between faith, nature and the world.  

 

Assessment is seen in its broadest sense. The learning outcomes on each key question outline help teachers to assess what individual children know and can do and to devise appropriate learning activities to enable children to secure their understanding and skills. We use ‘I can’ statements linked to teaching and learning and have an agreed approach to making consistent judgements, including the use of photos, observations and children’s engagement during their RE learning. Through activities, for example, discussion with children, group activities, marking and guiding their work, observing, asking and answering questions, teachers are continually finding out about their children’ achievements. This allows teachers to track the progress of children in relation to each key question or area of learning.

 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

 

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  • Summative assessment of child discussions about their learning.
  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • Interviewing the children about their learning (child voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings where child’s books are reviewed and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Marking of written work in books.
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