Fulfilling our God-given potential

Introduction
At Sibertswold CE school pupils and their families can expect a high quality religious education (RE) curriculum that is challenging, rich and varied, enabling learners to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of a range of faiths and world views. As a church school, the teaching of Christianity is at the heart of our RE curriculum. Through the Understanding Christianity resource, the use of an enquiry approach engages with significant theological concepts and the pupil’s own understanding of the world as part of their wider religious literacy. Using the Kent Agreed Syllabus we learn about other religions and world views, fostering respect for them. Links with our Christian values and vision, and support for pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development are intrinsic to our RE curriculum and have a significant impact on learners. We provide a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the range of faiths and world views studied.

Aims
As stated in the Church of England Religious Education Statement of Entitlement, religious education in this school aims

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.
  • To enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.
  • To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.

Objectives
As stated in the Church of England Religious Education Statement of Entitlement, the following objectives are age appropriate at the end of our pupils’ education in school. The expectation is that all pupils are religiously literate and as a minimum pupils are able to:

  • Give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith.
  • Show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and world views in their search for God and meaning.
  • Engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none.
  • Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.

Teaching and learning
RE has a high profile within our school curriculum and is comparable with other core curriculum areas. Quality teaching in RE helps generate respect for different views and interpretations where real dialogue takes place. Learners develop and use a wide range of higher level skills such as enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection to deepen their understanding of the impact of religion and world views as lived by believers. Key cross-curricular skills such as reading, writing, observation, and discussion are practised. Rigorous assessment based on knowledge and understanding of core religious concepts shows that attainment is high and progress significant in developing an understanding of Christianity and a range of other world religions and on other world views as appropriate.

RE offers a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences, understanding that pupils learn best in different ways. Pupils will experience opportunities to learn and express themselves through an enquiry based style of learning by:

  • Listening to the teacher and each other.
  • Ask and discuss ‘big’ questions
  • Reading of texts.
  • Seeking information for themselves in libraries and on computers.
  • Discussion with the teacher and other pupils.
  • Pair and group work.
  • Using a range of media such as artefacts, pictures, photographs, music and drama.
  • Visits and visitors.
  • Artwork.
  • Outdoor learning.
  • Time for reflection.

Differentiation and Special Educational Needs
Policy and practice in religious education reflects whole school policy and encompasses the full range and ability of all pupils. All pupils’ contributions are valued in RE as they draw on their own experiences and beliefs. A range of teaching and learning strategies to achieve differentiated learning are used including task, outcome, resource, support and pupil grouping. There is particular concern to ensure that all tasks are challenging and sufficiently demanding to stimulate and engage all pupils whilst extending the most able.

Breadth and balance
Although work on Christianity will predominate, there will be in-depth work on the major world religions and on other world views as appropriate. Teaching will seek to bring about a deeper knowledge and understanding of religious traditions but also to develop a range of skills such as the ability to empathise and evaluate attitudes, and develop respect for diversity.

Equal Opportunities
Religious education will challenge stereotypes, misinformation and misconceptions about race, gender and religion. It seeks to present religions and world views in all their richness and diversity in terms of beliefs, traditions, customs and lifestyle in a sensitive and accurate way in order to encourage a positive attitude towards diversity. All questions, views, and opinions will be treated with sensitivity and respect.

Relevance
Teachers will establish clear links between elements of religious belief and practice and aspects of the children’s own lives. Teaching will enable pupils to gain something of personal value from their study of religious belief and practice, for example, the way that they might apply insights gained from religious stories to their own lives. This will be done through engaging pupils in an enquiry based style of learning and by posing challenging questions to and by pupils.

Cross-curricular links
Religious education supports the development of general educational abilities such as literacy, empathy and the ability to express thoughts, feelings and personal beliefs. RE also makes a major contribution to pupils’ SMSC development. It addresses issues which arise in a range of subjects, such as English, drama and history, geography, computing, music as well as personal, social and emotional education and citizenship.

RE Progression of Knowledge and Skills Document Download