Learning about different religions can help students to find purpose within their own lives, provides the opportunity to explore different religions and find meaning in things that they may not have found meaning in before. Religious Education is an essential part of the curriculum for our pupils as it opens minds to the different beliefs and mindsets of people and cultures around the world. It is extremely important for students to understand that their world-view is one of many and that it is important to have respect and tolerance for other views.
Our intent is to deliver Religious Education which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child, so that they know more, remember more and understand more. Lessons offer a broad and balanced RE curriculum which allows children to develop a variety of ways to explore religions, their community, personal development and wellbeing. Through each unit of inquiry, children will know about and understand a range of religions and world views. They will be able to identify, investigate and respond to a variety of issues. Our intent is to make sure that children understand the relevance of Religious Education in today’s modern world and how it affects our lives.
We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society which is reflected in our PYP approach. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community. Our RE curriculum and wider provision will ensure that children will be equipped to support their decision making in regards to their knowledge of other religions. Children will start their journey treating each other with kindness and respect.
The RE curriculum document states the ways a well-designed syllabus will benefit children, help children to grow and understand their world:
- Pupils develop understanding of concepts and mastery of skills to make sense of religion and belief, at an appropriate level of challenge for their age.
- The Religious Education curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to develop positive attitudes and values and to reflect and relate their learning in Religious Education to their own experience.
- Building on the statutory requirements, there is a wide ranging study of religion and belief across the key stages as a whole.
- All religions are studied in a way that is coherent and promotes progression.
Pupils have the opportunity to learn that there are people who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives, and subject matter facilitates integration and promotion of shared values.The study of religion is based on the legal requirements and provides an appropriate balance between and within Christianity, other principal religions, and, where appropriate other religious traditions and worldviews, across the key stages as a whole, making appropriate links with other parts of the curriculum and its cross-curricular dimensions.
The Religious Education curriculum uses the inquiry based key question approach as planned in the KENT SACRE Agreed Syllabus and, where possible, is taught within the six key transdisciplinary themes of the Primary Years Programme. EYFS and Key Stage One provides pupils with 36 hours of teaching time through direct sessions, continuous provision and festival experience days. Key Stage Two covers 45 hours of teaching time through hourly sessions, longer immersion sessions and festival experience days. The teaching of skills is progressive and promotes inquiry- based, open-ended learning that encourages questioning, making comparisons, explaining, expressing, discussing, exploring religious stories and vocabulary, developing insight, knowledge, empathy and respect. Our embedded whole school vision to nurture children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development supports them to foster good relationships in line with the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
Our PYP approach allows children to build upon their understanding of British Values in an age appropriate way, in order for them to become positive citizens in a forever changing community and ultimately preparing them for life and work in the modern world. Teachers have access to a comprehensive programme of lessons for each year group, which will offer inquiry, structure and narrative but are by no means to be used exclusively, rather to be used to support planning. In line with the most recent census for religious demography for Maidstone, pupils predominantly study Christianity but also study Muslims, Hindus and Humanists.
In KS1, children begin to look at other religions, focusing on celebrations and rituals. In KS2, we offer a wider range of learning opportunities about the world’s religions including deeper understanding of the origin of those religions and their key stories and teachings. Within school many festival are marked which include Harvest, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid, Chinese New Year and in addition, pupils experience aspects of some Sikh, Jewish and Buddhist festivals.
The progressive teaching of RE skills will enable children to know and understand about a range of religions and worldviews, express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and world views and gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with them. Religious Education fulfils a vital role within the curriculum and is relevant to all pupils, regardless of their religious (or non- religious) background. It introduces them to a world beyond their own experience of culture and belief, enabling them to make links between their own lives and that of those in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures, reasons for being and ways of life. As such, Religious Education is invaluable in a rapidly changing world and it will allow all children, including those that are disadvantaged and pupils with SEND, to acquire the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.