As a Church of England Primary school, Christian values permeate everything we do.
Our values of respect, love and honesty guide us daily in our mission to see that all pupils reach their God-given potential.
Our R.E. (Religious Education) lessons are an important part of this work.
The whole school follows the ‘Understanding Christianity’ scheme of work developed by the Church of England.
During an academic year, your child will study the concepts of God, Creation, Incarnation and Salvation. The depth of these areas of study increases from EYFS to Year 6, ensuring that pupils build on prior knowledge and skills. From Year 1, pupils also study the Gospels.
Lessons are a mixture of theology (often starting with a Bible text), the impact the concept has on how Christians behave and the connections to the wider world. A range of activities are used to engage pupils and deepen their understanding, from role play to artwork, mindmaps to posters, as well as written work.
We have six terms in the school year and four of them focus on learning about and from Christianity. The remaining two terms look at gaining and understanding into other world faiths. This starts with stories from other cultures for our youngest pupils before looking at Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Buddhism further up the school. Studying how other people worship allows us an opportunity to develop respect and supports the British Value of tolerance.
We use the worship buildings in the local area to support our learning about faiths, not only our local Christian churches, but also the Gurdwara and Mosque.
At the end of each unit of work the teacher assesses the pupil’s knowledge and skill set in a similar way to other teacher assessed subject.
Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School is committed to providing a God-centred education for all our pupils. Excellent learning opportunities, that are ambitious, academically robust and socially inclusive, are at the core of our R.E. provision. Pupils are taught to respect and accept those of all faiths and those of no faith equally.
Our pupils will develop religious literacy across a range of major world faiths, being able to express their thoughts and ideas through discourse with their peers. They will use theological texts as source material, linking these to artworks, music and film, where possible to enrich the learning experience.
The common ‘golden threads’ of all faiths will be explored, with an understanding of how each faith expresses their beliefs. This equips our pupils for living in a diverse and multi-cultural community: understanding the beliefs of others encourages respect and acceptance.
Pupils will understand and explore how the concepts from different faiths can be exhibited by all, regardless of their faith background. For example: the concepts of love and forgiveness are universal and relevant to all people. Pupils will be given the space to explore how concepts affect their own lives and how they reflect these concepts in their day to day activities.
R.E. allows pupils to explore, and ask, challenging questions. This is actively encouraged in our curriculum, with pupils regularly debating ‘big questions’ such as: ‘Can slavery ever be justified?’ or ‘How can science and religion exist comfortably together?’
We teach using the Church of England’s ‘Understanding Christianity’ scheme of work for two –thirds of the academic year. This is centered around a ‘big frieze’ that tells the ‘big story’ of the Bible and pupils often access this artwork at the start of a new unit of work. Each unit of work is linked to one of the ‘big concepts’: God, Creation, People of God, Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation and Kingdom of God. This concept is identified at the start of a new unit.
By the end of each unit of work pupils will be able to answer the ‘big question’ that is the unit title. During their studies pupils examine the theological texts that underpin the concept, explore how Christians’ lives are shaped by this concept and how all people, regardless of faith, can exhibit this concept in their lives.
Pupils access R.E. learning in a variety of ways: using artworks, role play and artefacts to understand the concept, often using questioning, debate and discussion to deepen their understanding, before responding in writing, drawing, poetry, posters or play scripts amongst a variety of creative outcomes.
Pupils with English as an additional language are given access to Biblical texts in their home language to allow them access to the lessons. Pupils who would benefit from a simplified English version of the Bible are given that opportunity, again, allowing access for all our pupils. Those pupils who are operating above their peer group are able to work from the ‘digging deeper’ parts of ‘Understanding Christianity’, whilst the majority of pupils will use ‘core learning’.
Pupils will also study other faiths for one-third of the year:
- Year 1 study stories from a number of world faiths and link the concepts to their own actions.
- Year 2 study the Jewish faith.
- Year 3 study the Sikh faith.
- Year 4 study the Hindu faith.
- Year 5 study the Muslim faith.
- Year 6 study the Buddhist faith.
Whilst each of these world faiths is very different, they all have common ‘golden threads’ that link them: community, God and identity.
Where possible, we enrich our other faith knowledge with artefacts, visitors of that faith or visits to the relevant place of worship.
The desired outcome of the curriculum is that pupils are theologically literate: that they are able to hold a balanced and informed, appropriate conversation about faith.
We monitor the impact of our teaching of R.E. regularly throughout the year through:
- Weekly oral and written feedback with pupils
- Year group, whole school, Trust wide and Diocesan book moderations
- Detailed quality assurance by R.E. lead/senior leaders three times a year, incorporating book moderations, lesson observations and pupil conferencing
- Regular lesson drop-ins by the R.E. lead
- Governor monitoring visits