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Although Religious Education is not a statutory part of the National Curriculum, it is important that Waterfield Primary School should provide the children with a curriculum to promote their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development and prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Our key aim in our Religious Education is to teach the children tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. This is outlined in our PSHCCE Policy.
At Waterfield, we want our pupils:
To explore their own beliefs;
To build their sense of identity and belonging;
To encourage critical thinking and ask challenging questions;
To consider their responsibilities at school, at home and in the world around them;
To learn that there are those who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives which we should respect;
To be able to identify, investigate and respond to a variety of issues.
SMSC, personal growth and community cohesion are featured throughout our teaching and are there to ensure opportunities for children to develop positive attitudes and values and to reflect on and relate their learning in RE to their own personal experiences. Our intent is to ensure that the children understand the relevance of RE in today’s modern world and how it affects our lives both in a local and global context.
At Waterfield, we are follow the progressive scheme of work: Discovery RE. Complimenting the enquiry approach set forth in our Vehicle for Learning, Discovery RE requires children to think about concepts, build knowledge subsequently applying it to the ‘big question’ using their own critical thinking skills.
Each blocked enquiry addresses an aspect of Christian theology, laying foundations of experience and understanding for future life. However, other major World Faiths are also explored in depth at different times by different year groups. The principle behind the enquiry is so that children form their own opinions and reflect on how others beliefs are similar or different to their own, thus rooting the children in a culture that reflects the modern day British Values of tolerance and inclusion whilst complimenting our own School Community Values of Kindess, Respect and Hard Work.
Samples of Enquiries can be explored on the Discovery RE Website HERE.
The Discovery RE allows teachers to assess the outcomes of enquiry sessions, combining these where appropriate with the ‘Milestones’ from the ‘Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum’, giving rise to all children experiencing a progression of concepts and skills aligned to their Year Group.
The Discovery RE curriculum is based on three aspects of learning:
Personal resonance with or reflection on the subject
Knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of that enquiry (subject knowledge)
Skills of evaluation and critical thinking in relation to the big enquiry question
It is also important that we reflect our own wonderfully diverse community, therefore teachers are always looking to personalise the RE Curriculum to celebrate Faith events and cultural experiences that the children and their families bring with them to our school.
In Early Years children will celebrate a wide variety of festivals from around the world as part of their Learning Journeys. Stories from a multitude of cultures are experienced, whilst the friendly Owls from Discovery RE set key questions to be discussed in Circle Times.
In Key Stage One children predominantly study aspects of Christianity and Judasim, whilst further developing their understanding of larger festivals such as Diwali.
In Key Stage Two focus broadens – alongside Christianity children learn about Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.
Christmas and Easter are given focus in each year group – aligned to progressive understanding of these festivals and what they mean around the world. Aspects of Humanism are also discussed as part of each Enquiry.
Full Thematic/Enquiry Coverage can be explored on the Foundation Subject Overviews under our Curriculum Tab.
At Waterfield, there are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds, beliefs and values of the children, parents and the staff. As a diverse, multicultural school, we value the religious background of all members of our school community and encourage individuals to share their experiences and beliefs with others openly and in a positive, respectful environment. We acknowledge that each religion studied can contribute to the education of all our pupils, offering first-hand experiences wherever possible, making RE a meaningful and relevant subject to the world our community lives within.