Subject Leader – Mrs K Triner
Subject Support – Mr J Hyder
Religious Education explores big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that people can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
The intent of the Religious Education curriculum at Sneyd Academy is to help pupils to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. It appreciates the way that religious beliefs can shape our life and behaviour and develops the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues. It provides rich opportunities for pupils to learn about things that matter in the lives of local people and the wider world and is structured so that they can explore a range of creative, challenging and thoughtful responses to questions of identity, meaning, purpose, values and commitments. In the process they can examine and reflect upon their own ideas and values which promotes and enhances pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. At a time when religious beliefs guide the lives of billions of people worldwide, understanding people’s views can be a first step to recognising and appreciating diversity. This is particularly important at a time of global tensions.
I am Mrs Triner, Reception class teacher and Religious Education curriculum leader here at Sneyd Academy. It is my responsibility to oversee the planning and delivery of the subject within the school from Early Years to Year 6, ensuring our children are provided with diverse experiences and are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in the community and the wider world. With this in mind, it is my passion for our children to experience wonder and joy through learning about and from stories, celebrations, rituals and different expressions of religion and worldviews during their time with us. As a school, we believe in using the wealth of knowledge and expertise of our growing percentage of religious families to provide opportunities to share their religious beliefs and values with our children and we welcome them into our classrooms.
It is paramount that as curriculum leader I endeavour to keep abreast with any changes to the curriculum and relay this back to staff. By attending Primary RE Network meetings with other professionals demonstrates my commitment and passion for the subject ensuring that it is high profile and led by example. Learning walks, book scrutiny, monitoring planning and conducting pupil voice, to gain an understanding of the views of our learners, ensures the teaching and learning of RE at Sneyd Academy is robust and that every child makes progress.
Within Sneyd Academy, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and skills-based learning opportunities. Our Religious Education curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the key question approach in EYFS, KS1 and KS2.
Please see the link at the bottom for the Skills Progression for Year 1 to Year 6.
The aims of teaching Religious Education in our school are threefold. They are taken from the National Curriculum (2014) whereby schools must provide a balanced and broadly-based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils.
1: Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that pupils can:
a. Describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals.
b. Identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews.
c. 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 pupils can:
a. Explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities.
b. Express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues.
c. Appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
3: Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that pupils can:
a. Find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively.
b. Enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all.
c. Articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
At Sneyd Academy it has been agreed that having considered the requirements and guidelines presented in the Stoke-on-Trent Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2016-2021, the following religions have been selected for study: Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. All pupils will learn from Christianity in each year group. There are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds and beliefs and values of the pupils and the staff. We value the religious background of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely. All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links, which are, and can be made between home, school and a faith community. We acknowledge that each religion studied can contribute to the education of all our pupils. We promote teaching in Religious Education that stresses open enquiry and first-hand experiences wherever possible for both staff and pupils. To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Religious Education, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. All pupils will have access to their Religious Education learning journey enabling them to remember what they have been taught previously and where their learning will take them next. Learning is based around a key question approach with each year group following a long-term plan which stipulates what is to be taught every half or full term in EYFS, KS1 and KS2. A wide variety of teaching approaches are used in lessons to ensure pupils make good progress, and all learning styles are catered for. Class teachers ensure there is a good balance of individual, whole class, group and mixed ability work, role play as well as allowing time for discussion and reflection.
EYFS and KS1’s Learning Journey and KS2’s Learning Journey can be found at the bottom of the page.
RE Links with Other Curriculum Subjects
In order for our children to make the best possible progress in RE at Sneyd Academy, it is important that links are made between subjects to ensure that they are able to build on and master their learning. It is taught throughout the school in such a way as to reflect the overall aims, values, and philosophy of our school. For example, ICT, Art and Design which enable all pupils to apply and embed the skills they have learnt in a purposeful and meaningful context and PSHE, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of our pupils. End points allow all pupils to use what they have learnt in Religious Education and link this creatively within other subjects, in particular using drama to hot seat a Christian visitor from the Boys Brigade or another Christian community group. In addition, it incorporates the British Values that the school adheres to which enables learner’s opportunities to ask big questions, seek answers and develop ideas to discover more about their own identity and that of others. Within their learning of RE, pupils develop attitudes that are open, reflective and critical which allows them to empathise, be curious, imagine, question and to explore and develop their moral compass.
Please see the bottom of the page for the RE Long Term Plan.
Assessment for Learning
Class teachers assess pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding in Religious Education against the objectives taught at the end of every term using an online colour-coded assessment tool (tracker) using evidence from work completed including end points, observations and teacher judgement.
Right of Withdrawal
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the teaching of Religious Education on the grounds that they wish to provide their own. This will be the parents’ responsibility. In this situation, the class teacher and/or principal will discuss with the parent, prior to any learning taking place, to ensure that they fully understand the aims and values of what Religious Education is being taught before honouring this right.
All children will receive Quality First Teaching in Religious Education. Through the teaching of REall staff will endeavour to achieve maximum inclusion of all pupils (including SEND, Pupil Premium, EAL and higher attainers) whilst meeting their individual needs. Differentiated learning opportunities will be provided, suitable learning challenges set and appropriate materials provided to support pupil’s interests, abilities and learning needs. The identification of potential barriers to learning and assessment, and strategies put in place to overcome these, will enable pupils to have a full access to the RE curriculum. High expectations for all will enable pupils to reach their individual potential.
Collective Worship/Assemblies and Whole School Prayer
These are carried out on a regular basis on a chosen theme and are led either by a member of staff or a visitor to our school. Assemblies at important and significant times of the year are carried out by Rev. James and Sarah Baker and other visitors to our school which enables all pupils to engage in current celebrations that are happening in the local community and wider world. Our whole school prayer which is based on our school values is practised daily within classes from Nursery to Year 6 and also at the end of assemblies by the lead person.
Children have the opportunity to be involved in visits and visitors to provide first hand experiences for all pupils to support and develop their learning. For example, visits to local places of worship, visitors into school from a specific faith to share their skills/culture and visitors from a local food bank. A yearly themed Religious Education day for KS1 and KS2 children will provide WOW learning experiences for all pupils which will excite and enthuse their love of learning in this subject. Each year, Mrs Triner takes a group of Year 5 children to attend the RE and Pupil Conference where they learn from one another through shared experiences and dialogue alongside other schools. A variety of themes are explored on this day and the children feed back to the rest of the school on their return. At special times, children are invited to St. Andrew’s church to take part in services, for example Easter and Christingle.
“It makes me able to understand what other people think and believe in”
“It helps to show what great people we have in the world and how they helped us”
“It’s really interesting to learn about and the teacher’s do a good job teaching it”
“It helps me understand why they have these beliefs and what they believe in”
“That it is really fun and you learn about different religions”
“I ask questions when I don’t understand and when I want to know more”
“It helps us be kind to others”
“I don’t like RE – I love it!”