The aim of Religious Education is to help children to acquire and develop religious literacy with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions and world views represented in the United Kingdom; to develop an understanding of the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures and develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; to develop attitudes of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own; to develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious issues, with reference to the principal religions and world views represented locally and in the United Kingdom.
Religious Education is taught throughout Victoria Primary in such a way as to reflect the overall aims, values, and philosophy. Religious Education plays an important role, along with all other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of our children at Victoria Primary Academy.
It is an enquiry-based approach to learning and pupils should have a sound knowledge and understanding of a variety of religious traditions and cultures as well as those of people with no-faith.
Religions deal with some of the most profound and difficult questions in human life, questions such as:
- What is the purpose of life?
- How should people treat each other?
- How do we explain and cope with death and suffering?
Religions approach these issues in complex ways, in ways of life, culture and action, as well as ritual, tradition, story, symbol and belief. Religious Education must take account of this depth and complexity, helping pupils to an understanding appropriate to their age and aptitude.
To do this RE at Victoria Primary needs:
- to develop pupils' skills;
- to enable them to ask questions;
- to discover information, to approach new material with empathy;
- to reflect on their learning. Pupils should not only acquire knowledge but also be able to use their knowledge to understand their world, build community, and develop their personal position.
Throughout the RE curriculum pupils should be encouraged to explore religions, engage with their knowledge, and reflect on their learning and their lives.
Teaching a Broad and Balanced curriculum for educational recovery DfE June 2021 states:
Religious education remains compulsory for pupils in all year groups, in all local authority maintained schools and in academies.
If pupils develop thorough knowledge of a particular religion, its origins, settings, cultures, stories, sights and sounds, they will gain not only a secure sense of what a religion is but will also have a strong foundation for studying other religions. Teachers should therefore retain breadth of study within a religion. Otherwise, pupils may develop misconceptions about what it means to be religious and non-religious.
It may therefore be appropriate to concentrate teaching on two religions, in depth. Schools will find it useful to choose two contrasting religions, such as one Abrahamic and one Dharmic faith, to ensure pupils have a sense of the diversity of religions, as well as non-religious worldviews such as Humanism.
Pupils should be secure in basic ideas, teachings, stories and practices critical to religious and non-religious content. Specific examples might be ideas such as ‘dharma’, ‘sacred’ or ‘interpretation’.
It is more useful to prioritise subject-specific content than generic skills, since pupils require that content for more complex tasks, activities and discussions.
Focusing on curriculum content that emphasises connections between concepts supports pupils to make links.
At key stage 1, concepts may be relatively few, with a greater range at key stages 2, 3 and 4. Rich stories, texts and accounts from within different traditions can support pupils’ understanding of such concepts. For example: at key stage 1, stories such as the parable of the Good Shepherd can help pupils to make links between ideas of ‘Christ’, ‘community’, ‘disciple’ and ‘rescue’ in Christian traditions.
At Victoria Primary Academy:
- The focus of R.E is on what we can learn from other religions.
- The questions of enquiry are used in all lessons and included on planning.
- 1 hour of RE is taught a week although this can be blocked as long as the correct number of hours are still taught.
- R.E is primarily taught by the class teacher.
- At least one unit in each year group have a visiting speaker or a trip.
- The RE command words are used in lessons and discussed with the children. Children understand what they mean and are able to use them when discussing R.E.
- Command words relevant to the unit are taught and referred to throughout the unit.
- The coverage is representative of the diversity of cultures and religions in our community and pupils are encouraged to share their beliefs and culture.
- Pupils with additional needs are supported so that they can access the learning at an appropriate level for them. Children may benefit from having picture prompts to help them understand certain religious stories. They will be supported and prompted to answer the questions for enquiry such as ‘What would you like to ask?’
For more information, please contact the RE Subject Leader:
Mrs L Giles