Blakeney, Pillowell and Walmore Hill Community Schools' Federation

Curriculum - Religious Education

Introduction to Curriculum

'RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs'

Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus 2017

The Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus 2017-2022 states that "The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living."

National Curriculum Expectations

The Agreed Syllabus for Gloucestershire 2017-2022

Progression of Skills

Religious Education encourages children to challenge questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God , issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

The intent at our schools is to teach R.E in a stimulating and interesting way, allowing the children the opportunity to learn about some of the beliefs and faiths that are held by people within and without the British Isles and to consider core questions relating to faith and belief.

The Reception and Foundation Stage children have the opportunity to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, and to learn how to form positive and respectful relationships. Children are encouraged to talk about and discuss differences between themselves and others in their community and other communities around the British Isles. They celebrate their cultural differences and enjoy finding out about other people's traditions. Through story, shared experiences and role play, the children have opportunities to learn about stories from Christianity and at least one other major world religion (this is mostly Judaism).

At Key Stage 1, children are encouraged to think more deeply and have the opportunity to find out how families of two of the world's major religions, Judaism and Islam practise their religions at home. They continue to consider key questions about faith and belief and begin to draw from their own knowledge and experience, as well as those of others in their class. The Agreed Syllabus 2017-2022 states that 'pupils should develop their knowledge and understanding religions and worldviews recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should use basic subject-specific vocabulary. They should raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about in response to question about their ideas.'

At Key Stage 2, the Agreed Syllabus states that 'pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should be introduced to an extended range of sources and subject-specific vocabulary. They should be encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. Pupils should learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views.'

Within this framework, children begin to build on their understanding of their own beliefs and views, and those of others. They consider deeper questions including comparing views on subjects such as Creation and Evolution. They develop a greater understanding of three of the world's major religion; extending their knowledge and understanding of Judaism and Islam and considering aspects of Hinduism. In Key Stage 2 our intent is that the children also develop their skills at discussion, considering the importance of respect in debate and how to shape a well thought through point or argument.

Children access the RE curriculum through the implementation of three main aspects. This involves:

1. Making sense of beliefs

Identify, describe, explain and analyse beliefs and concepts in the context of living religions, using appropriate vocabulary

  • explain how and why these beliefs are understood in different ways, by individuals and within communities
  • recognise how and why sources of authority (e.g. texts, teachings, traditions, leaders) are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, developing skills of interpretation.

2. Understanding the impact

Examine and explain how and why people express their beliefs in diverse ways

  • recognise and account for ways in which people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, in their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world.

3. Making connections.

Evaluate, reflect on and enquire into key concepts and questions studied, responding thoughtfully and creatively, giving good reasons for their responses

  • challenge the ideas studied, and allow the ideas studied to challenge their own thinking, articulating beliefs, values and commitments clearly in response
  • discern possible connections between the ideas studied and their own ways of understanding the world, expressing their critical responses and personal reflections with increasing clarity and understanding

RE teaches us about beliefs that people have. Whilst we learn about the faiths and beliefs of others, we also have opportunities to consider our own beliefs and ideas, and how we respond to the beliefs and ideas of other people. We believe that learning to listen to and learn from others, to develop an understanding that others may have a different view from us and have the ability to respond respectfully are important skills to learn. Therefore, as well as developing knowledge and analysis, we also aim to build on important life attitudes, including:

  • Self-esteem (so that every child feels valued and significant).
  • Respect (including being sensitive to the beliefs, feelings and values of others).
  • Open-mindedness (being willing to learn and gain new understanding).
  • Appreciation and wonder (developing children's imagination and curiosity).