At St Michael’s Primary School, we believe that it is important for all our children to learn from and about religion in accordance to the Pan-Berkshire Locally Agreed Syllabus 2018-2023, so that they can have a better understanding of the world around them.
The aim of Religious Education in our school is:
To learn about religion by:
acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions represented in Great Britain
developing an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.
enquiring into, and investigating the nature of religion, its beliefs, teachings and ways of life, sources, practices and forms of expression. It includes the skills of interpretation, analysis and explanation.
Learn from religion by:
developing a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own and towards living in a society of diverse religions
developing the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues with reference to the teachings of the principal religions represented in Great Britain
enhancing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
developing awareness of the fundamental questions of life raised by human experiences, and how religious teachings can relate to them
responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and to their understanding and experience
reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study.
Implementation (Organisation across the school including EYFS)
At St Michael’s Primary School, we follow the Discovery RE schemes of work to deliver the Pan-Berkshire Locally Agreed Syllabus and, in accordance, across all year groups, Religious Education will:
adopt an enquiry- based approach beginning with the children’s own life experience before moving into learning about and from religion.
provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging.
encourage children to explore their own beliefs (religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses.
enable children to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.
teach children to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice.
prompt children to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
nurture children’s own spiritual development
Each year group will study two different faiths, one of which is Christianity with Christmas and Easter given new treatment each year and as such developing learning in a progressive way. This progressive enquiry model enables children to be introduced to new faiths and ideas together with building on existing knowledge (knowing more and remembering more) and deepening understanding on key beliefs.
In Foundation stage, currently the curriculum is based upon 15-minute small play-based teaching lessons, which are then supported and strengthen through a wider variety of play activities with a themed approach. This will help the children respond to a key learning question about the chosen world faith. These themes are Special People, Christmas, Celebrations, Easter, Story Time and Special Places.
In Key Stage 1 children will study Christianity in both year groups, and will be introduced to Judaism in Year 1 and Islam in Year 2.
In Key Stage 2, children will study key concepts of Christianity each year and will also study Hinduism (Year 3), Buddhism (Year 4), Sikhism (Year 5) and Islam (Year 6).
The Discovery RE units of work follow an enquiry-based learning model. Teaching strategies are varied and mindful of preferred learning styles including the need to vary and adapt lessons according to children’s needs.
Each religious enquiry follows a set of steps to enhance learning opportunities:
Across the year, children will receive the equivalent of between 45 minutes to an hour of teaching and learning each week.
Enrichment and Resources
At St Michaels we provide our children with lots of real life experience to bring the learning to life by inviting visitors in to our school to share their beliefs with the children and also taking children to visit places of worship so they can really see how people of different faiths worship. We have very good links with the St Michael's Church and often visit the church during the autumn and spring terms to learn more about Christmas and Easter. Often the vicar will also come in to school and lead assemblies, sharing knowledge about the Christian faith and showing children the importance of symbols in Christianity.
Alongside visits to the church, each year group studies a second faith through the year and will go to visit the relevant places of worship.
As a school, we have visited Abu Bakr Masjid and saw how Muslim's pray, we got to see what the inside of a mosque looks like and the Imam gave us some insight to the Muslim faith.
Similarly when studying Hinduism, children have visited a Hindu temple and witnessed some rituals and been offered a talk by the Hindu leader.
We often have visitors from other faiths, parents who are willing to come in and talk about their faith and most importantly children in our own classes who feel comfortable and confident sharing religious traditions at home, inform and educate their peers.
Impact (Assessment, Recording and Reporting)
Through our Religious Education curriculum, we believe that we encourage children to develop positive attitudes about learning and respecting the religious and non-religious beliefs, faiths and values of others. It provides the means to celebrate the diversity of the school community and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history.
It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances children’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
The importance of Religious Education is that it encourages children to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community.
Religious Education has an important role in preparing children for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables children to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables children to combat prejudice.
Inclusion and Differentiation
At St Michael’s, we encourage full participation from all children as the aim of the RE lesson is usually to get children to reflect the lessons that they have learnt back to their own lives. However, we respect parent’s rights to withdraw their children from any lessons that they do not wish their child to partake in. All lessons are designed so that they are accessible by all. There is lots of discussion, reflection and writing involved within the lessons.