RE and the whole child.
High quality Religious Education, in our Primary campuses, is about enabling all children to flourish in a diverse world, full of people of faith and of none. RE ensures our children have a wider understanding of the world around them and of themselves. All pupils of different faiths and no faith are equally part of our Trust family. In an ever challenging world, RE aims to inspire and unlock aspirations as well as uphold goodness, respect and freedom.
Learning about faith and belief is creative, fun and reflective, happens in the classroom and on visits to local places of worship and centres of faith. Christianity is central to the syllabus as is our Christian ethos and LIGHT values of Love, Inclusivity, Goodness, Hope and Truth. Moral, spiritual, emotional and ethical development is threaded through this area of learning.
Learning in RE.
At Bishop’s Primary we base Religious Education on the Newcastle Diocese Religious Education Syllabus and have now introduced the new Understanding Christianity Project curriculum (UCP), which begins in Early Years and runs through to KS3. Christianity is central but children also explore Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and other non-religious world views. Currently RE follows UCP and, for non-Christians religious world-views, our own unique syllabus developed from the ongoing great practice across school.
Knowing and understanding religious stories and their impact is important from the earliest years. This is now anchored in establishing understanding of the ‘Big Picture’ in Christianity (through the UCP). This includes tackling the concepts of Creation, Incarnation and Salvation. As learning becomes broader, other concepts such as the ‘People of God’ and the ‘Kingdom of God’ are unpacked. Further learning focusses on describing, explaining, analysing and evaluating practices across the religions studied, exploring the impact that faith might have on a person and how they live their life today. We look at how beliefs are similar and different within and across religions .
Our enquiry based approach to RE
Opportunities are given to respond to ‘wow’ moments, question the ‘difficult to understand’ bits and develop their understanding of faith and the local, regional, national and wider world. ‘What inspires people of faith to make sacrifices for others?’ ‘How can prayer be very powerful for some? ‘Why would someone have a faith when it can be so challenging?’ Big questions encourage children to be inquisitive about RE and to identify their own values, sense of belonging, influences, wonder and truth.
By developing reflective and critical thinking, learners can ask meaningful questions and search for answers. They can compare and contrast religious and non-religious life and make sense of things they are learning in the context of their own experiences. Children continue explore themes of belonging, commitment and values, meaning, purpose and truth.
Bishop’s Primary also enjoys strong links with local churches, the Diocese and religious organisations such as Barnabas in Schools, Fischy Music and RE Today. Educational visits and events open up real experiences and ICT is used for virtual learning. Creative learning styles are promoted where children can explore real artefacts, debate and discuss the importance and impact of symbols. They are encouraged to be curious and share opinions. Questions with and without answers are welcome. Literacy and Thinking Skills are integral to this subject.
Assessment for progress and attainment in RE is embedded in knowledge of the children and their learning. Methods for assessment in RE have been developed in line with national guidance for Primary and are being woven into whole Primary Academy strategies. Assessment relates to how well children have reached the learning outcomes set out in the planning, and how far the building blocks are embedded for each child.