At Peter Gladwin Primary we deliver a Religious Education curriculum that aims to enable our children to have the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to comprehend the nature of religion, different beliefs and practices and to teach the core values of kindness, respect, responsibility and tolerance in an increasingly diverse world. We believe that we must have both knowledge and understanding to make sense of what is happening, and also to appreciate how the past has shaped the present and helps us learn lessons for the future. Our RE programme of study will enable our children to become caring, courageous and independent citizens who are not afraid to explore big questions about life.
Our children have opportunities to learn about and from religions and world views, including secular ethics, in national and global contexts. They will be equipped with systematic knowledge and understanding, enabling them to discover, explore and consider different answers to related questions in a clear, critical and logical way, enabling them to develop their own ideas, values and identities. Our RE curriculum follows the agreed Brighton and Hove syllabus for RE (click for link), in line with the National Curriculum. Our learning sequences focus on religions that reflect our school community.
In the Early Years, children are introduced to Religious Education through festivals and celebrations, similarities and differences between themselves and other people in the community, religious stories, changing and growing and special places. Children have opportunities to retell stories through role-play and small world play within the classroom. Early Years practitioners use observation and conversation to assess the children’s understanding of these areas of learning and how they are linked to their own experiences.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, we provide a robust RE curriculum that follows the Brighton and Hove enquiry cycle model, encouraging pupils to deepen their understanding, make connections and use higher level thinking skills through the five steps of engage, enquire, explore, evaluate and express.
We explore six themes over the school year: Beliefs, Teaching and Sources; Practices and Ways of Life; Expressing Meaning; Identity, Diversity and Belonging; Meaning, Purpose and Truth, and Values and Commitments.
Each theme or topic poses a key question for enquiry which demands an answer that weighs up ‘evidence’ (subject knowledge) and reaches a conclusion based on this. This requires the children to use their subject knowledge, rather than this knowledge being an end in itself. It requires critical thinking skills, personal reflection, growing subject knowledge and nurturing spiritual development.
Teachers creatively use artefacts, works of art, websites and texts to bring learning alive and make it practical and contextual.
Pupils are assessed on ‘making sense of beliefs’, ‘understanding the impact of beliefs’ and ‘making connections to religions and beliefs’ as set out in the eight levels of attainment as developed by the RE council. The ‘Eight Steps Up’ approach provides clear steps which can be used to track pupils’ progress. The majority of pupils are expected to work at Steps 1-3 in Key Stage 1 and at Steps 2-5 at Key Stage 2. The expected attainment for the majority of pupils would be Step 2 at age 7, Step 4 at age 11.
RE subject leaders review ways to assess pupil knowledge and understanding, ensuring continuity and progression as well as using pupil conferencing to assess learning and understanding.
Our Religious Education curriculum should ensure that children leave Peter Gladwin Primary:
- able to describe and make connections about different religions and worldviews.
- able to describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of different communities.
- open to exploring different beliefs, symbols and actions.
- able to observe and understand varied examples of religions and world views.
- understanding the challenges of commitment to a community of faith.
- able to identify similarities and differences between beliefs and practices of the religions studied.
- able to discuss and present thoughtfully their own views.
- able to consider how diverse communities can live together.
- able to demonstrate their new knowledge, skills and understanding.