Religious Education

We aim at Thurlbear Primary School to provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which will promote the moral, spiritual, cultural, mental and physical development of our pupils. In our aim for this, and recognising both the Christian Foundation of the school and the legal requirements of teaching RE, our teaching is based on the Church of England resource ‘Understanding Christianity’ and the Somerset Agreed Syllabus for RE “Awareness Mystery and Value 2011.”

Intent: “Know the Way”

At Thurlbear we believe that the learning of Religious Education can assist pupils in learning about and understanding the nature of religion and also in aiding their quest for meaning and purpose. It can help children to understand what it means to take a religion seriously. Whilst providing positive nurture, religious education helps children to develop their own beliefs, attitudes and values. Religious Education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.  It develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief including Christianity, principal religions, other religious traditions and world views, in the context of a diverse society.

RE offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development.  It enables children to flourish individually, within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community.  RE has an important role in preparing children for adult life, employment and lifelong learning.  It enables them to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, and enables children to challenge prejudice.  In these ways it contributes to children’s wellbeing and promotes ways in which communities can live and work together.

Implementation: “Show the Way”

To support teaching and learning of Christianity, we follow the theological concepts and guidance set out in the Church of England’s resource, “Understanding Christianity” ensuring there is knowledge of Christianity as a living world faith. We also follow the programmes of study and curriculum guidance set out in the agreed syllabus “Awareness, Mystery and Value.” At KS1, children study Christianity, and Judaism. At KS2, children study Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, with some reference to other faiths such as Judaism, Sikhism and Humanism. Within these units, children have the opportunity to have a go at the core learning as well as digging deeper. These are all set out in the curriculum overview and curriculum progression document.

Progression in our Religious Education involves developing knowledge and understanding through:

•     Understanding Christianity identifies eight core concepts at the heart of mainstream Christian belief, which are taught as a spiral curriculum. Each unit takes a core concept and gives a key question through which to explore the concept. The unit identifies the knowledge ‘building blocks’ and focussed outcomes that are expected of pupils by the end of teaching.

•     Understanding Christianity sets out some knowledge ‘building blocks’, to clarify what pupils should know and understand about these concepts at each school phase. It provides a teaching and learning approach to unpack these concepts and their impact in the lives of Christians in the UK and the world today, making connections with the world of the pupils and their wider understanding.

•     Understanding Christianity’s approach to teaching about Christianity builds up pupils’ encounters with these core concepts through biblical texts, placing the texts and concepts within the wider Bible story. Each unit addresses a concept, through some key questions, exploring core Bible texts, their impact for Christians, and possible implications for pupils.

Each unit incorporates the three elements below:

•     Making sense of the text: developing pupils’ skills of reading and interpretation; understanding how Christians interpret, handle and use biblical texts; making sense of the meanings of texts for Christians.

•     Understanding the impact: examining ways in which Christians respond to biblical texts and teachings, and how they put their beliefs into action in diverse ways within the Christian community and in the world.

•     Making connections: evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the texts and concepts studied, and discerning possible connections between these and pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the world.

Religious Education is planned to engage children through a range of differentiated activities suitable for those of different ages, abilities and backgrounds, to include those with Special Educational Needs and more able pupils. Pupils will be engaged in a variety of activities which will be structured to allow opportunity for reflection, exploration of beliefs and values, questioning and enquiry, investigation and personal response.

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

Opportunity for on-going assessment will be identified through planning and teaching and will be a continuing, integral part of learning. Pupils will also have the opportunity for self-assessment linked to the core beliefs for each religion. A portfolio of work will be collated as an on-going record of progression and achievement in RE in RE books. Assessment against statutory Somerset Agreed Statements will be made using our schools agreed assessment process, dot sheets, after the unit has been taught.

Impact: “Grow the Way”

Leaving Thurlbear children who have studied RE will:

1) Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:

• describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals;

• identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews;

• appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.

2) Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:

• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;

• express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues;

• appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion or a worldview.

3) Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:

• find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively;

• enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all;

• articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives

Coming Soon…