Religious Education is an essential part of our school’s curriculum which contributes to each pupil’s overall development, both individually and socially. Religious Education allows pupils to develop an open, sensitive and reflective approach to understanding people’s varied religious experience, practices, values and beliefs, and to help them relate these to basic questions of everyday life. At our school, pupils will:
- Develop, through a variety of experiences and activities, the necessary concepts, skills and attitudes for a continuing exploration of religion
- Encounter religion through study of its characteristic features and dimensions
- Develop a sensitive and informed understanding of Christianity and other major world faiths as coherent and distinct traditions
- Develop respect, tolerance and empathy for other people’s faiths and beliefs
- Learn to challenge stereotypes and promote a positive and inclusive community
- Explore and celebrate diversity of our local community, the UK and the global community
- Develop their own values and beliefs
The North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education is followed throughout the school. The scheme of work is thoughtful and stimulating and develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religions and world views, enables them to express and communicate their ideas and gain the skills needed for the study of RE. The curriculum is divided into three strands:
- Believing – religious beliefs, teachings, sources; questions about meaning, purpose and truth
- Expressing – religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity
- Living – religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments
The overall aims of the curriculum at each Key Stage are:
- EYFS – Discovering RE
- Key Stage 1 – Exploring RE
- Key Stage 2 – Connecting RE
The EYFS Curriculum for Understanding the World is taught in a variety of ways through adult-led, adult-supported and child-initiated learning in well-resourced areas of provision. Pupils are taught the knowledge and skills for ‘People and Communities’ and ‘The World’ using a thematic approach which ensures progression as pupils move from EYFS to Key Stage 1. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the school’s long term plan maps out the North Yorkshire agreed syllabus for RE, ensuring appropriate coverage over a 2-year cycle which is well-sequenced with clear progression of knowledge and skills. The RE curriculum is delivered through discrete lessons focusing on specific skills and knowledge appropriate to each phase of learning. Where appropriate, links may be made between RE and other curriculum areas. Learning is clearly sequenced so that pupils revisit and recall previously learned knowledge which is then applied to new learning. Pupils use a range of resources, artefacts and sources of information to support their learning, which is further enriched through educational visits and visitors. Our RE curriculum is integral to the development of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education as well as the promotion of Fundamental British Values.
Pupils are assessed according to the criteria set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage and North Yorkshire agreed syllabus for RE. In EYFS, regular observations and assessments of learning are recorded using Learning Journeys and the school’s Early Years online monitoring system. Pupils are assessed at the end of EYFS using the Early Years outcomes for ‘People and Communities’ and ‘The World’. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the school’s Religious Education Progression Grid is used for planning, tracking and assessment, and provides clear progression through the skills and knowledge needed in each year group. Pupils have individual RE books to record their learning which contribute towards formative assessment of skills and knowledge. Summative assessment is tracked on the school’s electronic tracking system and used to measure pupil progress. Monitoring of the subject is carried out by the RE Leader and the Head Teacher.
Each day includes a meeting together which may include discussion and reflection of an important issue, pupils’ achievements, singing or prayer. This is a time for sharing when we can emphasise the care we should have for each other within the school, the local community and the wider world. Annual seasonal events are developed and explained to the pupils from a Christian point of view. Our Assembly themes encourage a cross-curricular approach which involves all pupils. We are supported by visits from representatives and clergy of the local churches who regularly visit school to lead assemblies. The church in Appleton Wiske is visited throughout the year, particularly during important events such as Harvest, Remembrance and Christmas.
Our pupils receive a good quality Religious Education curriculum which enables them to deepen their understanding of world religions, whilst considering their own views and developing an appreciation of other people’s beliefs. Progression of skills is clearly sequenced and cumulative, ensuring pupils build on prior learning so that they understand and can apply this to future learning.
Under the 1944 Education Act, parents have the right to withdraw pupils from RE and collective acts of worship; such requests should be made in writing.