In the South Hams Federation, RE take a multidisciplinary approach in which all of our children have the opportunity, by the end of their time at school, to study RE through different ‘lenses’ such as; psychology, philosophy, sociology and theology.
At Stokenham Area Primary School, we believe that the teaching of Religious Education is vital for the development of each child as an individual. RE allows children to revisit and develop core concepts; further empowering them to become tolerant, understanding citizens of society, who live out the British Values and who are spiritually, morally, socially and culturally literate. Children will appreciate the way that religious and non-religious world views shape life and behaviour, develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements and enhance their SMSC development.
In essence, we are aiming to help our children develop respect and sensitivity by giving them the opportunity to study a range of world religions and non-religious world views. All of our children will be given a range of opportunities to ask big questions about religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
Religious education provokes challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
Our curriculum is based on the Devon and Torbay agreed syllabus we aim:
- To provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging.
- To provide learners with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions and beliefs represented in Great Britain.
- To develop an understanding in key beliefs, teachings and worldviews in religion and consider ethical, moral and individual values.
- To encourage pupils to explore their own beliefs (religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses.
- To enable pupils to acquire and develop a specialist vocabulary so that they can communicate their ideas with clarity.
- To develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
- To nurture each child’s own spiritual development.
Religious Education will be taught through a spiralling curriculum supported by Devon and Torbay agreed Syllabus for RE. The agreed syllabus requires that pupils develop understanding of Christianity in each key stage. In addition, the pupils will develop understanding of the principle religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. These are Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
Being part of The South Hams Federation, gives subject leaders the opportunity to reflect on and share current CPD across the schools. Each school has a subject leader to support staff with gaps in subject knowledge and continually update and drive the RE curriculum forward.
Leaders seek expertise from external providers such as cultural champions, involvement of our church links and by providing artefacts and topic boxes. This provides children with a diverse range of support and scaffolds to ensure that all children, no matter their starting point or ability, are active participants.
Subject leaders monitor the effectiveness of RE through lesson observations, planning and book looks to ensure consistency, progress and to enable them to plan future CPD.
As a school, we have developed our understanding of research-based and other pedagogical approaches that focus on how children learn. We believe that these approaches enhance and develop our mastery approach. We understand that with retrieval practice, regularly visiting areas already learnt before, helps to connect new ideas to ones that are already known.
Talk in RE is encouraged in all lessons through the use of higher order questions to articulate children’s thinking, develop their own viewpoints and create an open and honest environment where they can safely challenge and debate.
Teachers will build opportunity for AFL into lessons and will use regular opportunities for discussion and use strategies to check and deepen a pupil’s understanding. We track individual pupils' progress by starting each unit with an elicitation task to establish prior learning and adapt planning to build upon this. We use the end of unit and phase outcomes from the Devon agreed syllabus to form our assessments. All the children’s learning, along with an end of unit assessment piece, is used to form teacher judgements and track progress.
The most effective way to find out what pupils understand about world religions will be to talk to them. The majority of lessons are heavily discussion based, which will allow children to develop their own thoughts and opinions on matters and debate this further as they go through school. Through conversations with pupils, we are also able to understand how they learn and if they are able to connect prior learning to the learning they are undertaking.
Effective monitoring and evaluation as well as informed and adaptable planning ensure progress is evident in all books for all learners. Timely ‘book looks’, cross federation moderation and learning walks review progress in relation to the progression of skills for each year group and guarantee consistency and high expectations are maintained.
The learning environment seeks to challenge, inspire and aid all learners at Stokenham Area Primary School. The working walls in each class showcase the curriculum being taught and the planned sequence of learning for the unit. The work on display celebrates the achievements of the learners and the progress they are making.
Due to the spiralling curriculum and all staff following the MTP, children revisit different religions as they grow from Foundation to Year 6 to add layers and understanding of these matters. This also enables discussions and opinions to develop and grow as they move through school, so our children develop respect and sensitivity for all people and understand more about the importance of religion in today’s world which they can talk about in other subjects such as PSHE.