At Knowle CE Primary Academy, we aim to deliver excellence in education and want the very best outcomes for our pupils so that they can achieve their fullest potential in all aspects of their life. More specifically, as a Church school, our vision is deeply Christian and rooted in the teachings of Jesus who promised us ‘life in all its fullness’. If it is our belief that an outstanding and distinctive education for our pupils must promote ‘life in all its fullness’; it then follows that the same principles should be applied to the teaching of the Religious Education curriculum. Through learning about religion, children are encouraged to develop their own values and identities. Teaching is structured to promote an on-going dialogue where pupils are equipped with skills to communicate, apply, enquire, contextualise and evaluate, with a view to articulating their personal beliefs, values and experiences.
At its heart, Knowle CE Primary Academy has “a belief that all children are loved by God,” and is committed to providing quality religious education which:
- Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils;
- Equips pupils with a systematic, accurate knowledge and understanding of a range of world religions;
- Teaches tolerance, respect and understanding, as pupils build their personal values; and
- Prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Our curriculum intent – the knowledge and skills we expect our pupils to learn – can be found in our Curriculum Maps (see below)
Our RE curriculum is based upon the Statement of Entitlement from the Church of England Education Office and the overarching school aim: to promote “life in all its fullness”. The curriculum aims to capture the diversity and complexity of religion within the World, UK and local community. At the heart of our RE Statement of Intent, is a belief and commitment to all pupils receiving a well-rounded, high quality and accurate teaching of RE. Incorporated within this are research skills, that allow pupils to gain a deeper understanding of the religions studied, further enabling them to confidently use these in the wider world. We aim to educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together1.
The long-term plan we have created, maps out the focus for each half term of our pupils from Nursery to Year 6. Two well respected and complex schemes have informed our long-term planning to ensure a depth of knowledge and understanding: Understanding Christianity and The Emmanuel Project. Within the long-term plan Christianity is represented for 2/3 of each year. Focus on other world religions, are taught for a third of the year, this allows for deep dives into these religions. In EYFS, the cohort is the driver for the other faiths content, whereas in Key Stage 2 some faiths are repeated to acknowledge their importance within our local community. A cumulative and repetitive approach within the long-term plan allows pupils to build their meaning of complex religious ideas; key concepts are revisited in each phase.
Well-thought-out medium-term plans enable teachers to build on what has already been taught, as well as engage children in new enquiry questions. At the start of each unit, pupils are explicitly aware of the enquiry question. There are current classroom displays with the key question and key vocabulary shown for each half-term block. Within the medium-term plans, research skills are embedded throughout each phase; providing pupils with the opportunity to continuously develop their ability to use research skills in RE. Accurate key religious knowledge and language is re-visited frequently, in order to help pupils, retain and use this language and knowledge effectively.
Children record their learning in using their RE books, alongside RE Journals in EYFS. These methods of recording allow revisiting previous concepts and knowledge to be easily accessible to pupils. We use writing in RE as an opportunity for children to showcase what they have learnt, pose questions and embed their knowledge. Teachers use questioning and provide a safe, open-minded environment for discussions, reflection and enquiry to support the understanding of concepts, alongside the development of each pupil’s personal values. Throughout the school, the Big Frieze is exhibited, in order to support pupils with sequencing and understanding the timeline of the Bible, it is also used as a tool in many RE lessons. We support learning with trips, visitors and artefacts to inspire our children and widen their cultural experiences. For instance, every Phase visits a place of worship and also has the opportunity to encounter people of faith.
When preparing each individual lesson (Short-term plans) and in order to facilitate pupil’s personal exploration of RE, the teacher differentiates appropriately for their class, in line with whole school ethos. They ensure that learning is engaging, accessible and memorable for all, through a plethora of teaching styles and recording opportunities. When planning, teachers are encouraged to use a range of resources such as videos, art work, music, texts, photographs and artefacts during lessons to create an immersive learning experience. As appropriate, teachers take the opportunity to create connections between concepts of religion that help solidify, make connections about Faith and support learning.
1 Statement of Entitlement 2019 Church of England Education Office