Religious Education (RE)
We follow a two year rolling programme in RE. Please follow the links below to see an overview of our RE curriculum and progression in this subject.
Our RE curriculum is based on an enquiry-model where children have the opportunity to ask and answer key questions that develop their critical thinking skills. An enquiry-model increases pupils' motivation to learn as well as their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise. This approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place.
Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development. We encourage children to think about their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics studied in the RE curriculum.
RE can help pupils to listen well and respond respectfully and sensitively when encountering people from different faiths and beliefs. Attitudes such as respect, care, curiosity and concern should be promoted through all areas of school life. In this way, religious education contributes to our whole school ethos.
Our RE curriculum is based on the 'Discovery RE' scheme of work. This programme, (supplemented with some additional discrete teaching of key objectives) meets the requirements of Somerset LEA’s Agreed Syllabus 2019 (AMV syllabus, written by SACRE).
The Education Act states that the RE syllabus should reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian and that it should, at the same time, take account of the teachings and practices of other major religions.
Discovery RE advocates an enquiry model (recommended by Ofsted in “Religious education: realising the potential”, 2013) with a 4-step approach as the basis for implementation. Every unit (enquiry) is based around a key question. The key question for the enquiry is such that it demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This necessitates children using their subject knowledge and applying it to the enquiry question, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. Discovery RE focuses on critical thinking skills, on personal reflection into the child’s own thoughts and feelings, on growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development.
The children start from their own experience to ensure understanding of the concept being studied then move into investigating that concept in depth from the point of view of the chosen religion. This continues over three lessons of investigation and discussion throughout Step 2, which embeds subject knowledge. These lessons not only support the children with embedding their RE knowledge, but also contribute to their oracy and critical thinking skills. Exposure to and analysis of religious texts can also enhance their reading, comprehension and inference skills.
In Step 3, they complete an assessment activity to evaluate the question again in light of their new knowledge, and have further opportunities to embed their own reflections on the learning in Step 4.
The recommended Discovery RE model for Key Stages 1 and 2, of studying Christianity plus one other religion in each year group, means both religions have multiple enquiries (or 6 week units) per year. This ensures that the children revisit prior learning for both religions throughout the year to build on the previous enquiries, and Christmas and Easter enquiries are built on year-on-year throughout the child’s primary school journey.
In addition to this, the medium-term nature of the Discovery RE planning allows teachers the freedom to plan with detail and attention to their individual children. Learners can be scaffolded, and any individual needs can be supported where necessary. Discovery RE includes creative ideas coupled with appropriately challenging higher-order-thinking questions and discussion activities to support teachers in meeting the needs of pupils working at 'greater depth'.
Children have opportunities to visit local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and talk to the children. Children study particular religious faiths and compare the religious views of different faith groups on topics such as rites of passage or festivals. Children discuss religious and moral issues during whole class discussions.
Our RE curriculum opens our pupils' minds to the different beliefs and mindsets that different people and cultures have around the world, helping them to value and appreciate diversity and difference.
Learning about different religions can help our children to find purpose within their own lives, and can provide the opportunity to explore different religions and find meaning in things that they may not have found meaning in before.
Our curriculum enables pupils to develop the understanding and skills they need to make sense of religion and belief at an age appropriate level. It promotes important attitudes and shared values and encourages children to reflect and relate their learning in RE to their own experience.