Religious Education in our school
As a Church of England School, our distinctively Christian vision and values are at the heart of everything we do. The vision and values were agreed following a series of consultations involving stakeholders from the school, including pupils, parents, staff, governors and Church representatives.
We are a school built on Christian foundations where every individual is celebrated as unique. We aspire to be curious, compassionate, tolerant and active in a diverse world. We gather together to build a community that finds each person’s gifts and nurtures them that their light may shine. We hold a vision of success for all.
‘Let Your Light Shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.’ Matthew 5:16
Our vision underpins all we do and our teaching in RE provides opportunities for pupils to further explore how this relates to our everyday lives.
At Icklesham CE Primary School, Religious Education plays an important role, along with all other curriculum areas, particularly PSHE and the teaching of British Values, in promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children. Therefore, we endeavour to ensure that Religious Education consists of well-planned lessons providing varied, high-quality and engaging activities to inspire children and enable them to explore religious key questions, reflect critically upon their learning and to develop skills to analyse, interpret and apply Biblical text.
As a result of an excellent RE curriculum, we aspire for our children to leave school as well-rounded individuals with respect and appreciation for religion, beliefs and morals – both their own and that of others, creating a deeper understanding of the world and their place within it.
We want our children to understand Christianity as a global, multi-cultural faith and to understand God’s Salvation Plan (the Big Story), including the big ideas (or concepts) in Christianity: creation, fall, people of God, incarnation, gospel, salvation and kingdom of God.
Our children will be encouraged to become courageous advocates and to champion causes which are special and meaningful to them, be it global issues or matters far more personal and closer to home.
Through strengthening children’s understanding of our distinctively Christian values of Joy, Forgiveness, Justice, Service and love, we aim to empower children to make positive choices and develop themselves as unique, curious, confident and compassionate individuals.
The implementation of our intent is carefully planned by staff using the East Sussex Agreed Syllabus curriculum (2017). In accordance with The Church of England’s RE Statement of Entitlement (Education Office 2016), a minimum of 5% of class teaching time over the course of a year will be dedicated to the teaching of RE (equal to 36 hours in KS1 and 45 hours in KS2). The school has adopted a 50/50 approach for teaching Christianity using the Understanding Christianity resources, with the remaining time focussing on the teaching of non-Christian faiths and world views, predominantly Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Humanism, through the Emmanuel Project resources.
We recognise children need to hear first-hand experiences from a wide range of people talking about their faith, so as well as working closely with All Saints and St Nicholas Church and ensuring children are given the opportunity to visit the church regularly, both for services and as part of their RE lessons, we also welcome visitors from all faiths. Indeed, there are no presumptions made as to the religious backgrounds, beliefs and values of children or staff and we strive to create an atmosphere of respect and understanding so that all individuals are able to share their own experiences freely.
Both Understanding Christianity and The Emmanuel Project take children on a journey of exploration as within each unit, they investigate a series of key questions in response to different religious ideas. As they work alongside their classmates using a variety of teaching and learning activities, children reflect upon, evaluate and reach their own decisions in response to these key questions.
During RE lessons, pupils may record work in individual RE books and / or whole class books to facilitate the intent that children will learn through a variety of activities and teaching methods.
Much emphasis at Icklesham is based on vocabulary development and this continues in RE lessons. Key vocabulary is displayed in each classroom and children regularly re-visit new words that have been introduced during a unit to support their understanding and retention.
Teachers carry out regular assessments of achievement in able to further challenge and support pupils’ learning, ensuring pupils are able to access RE at a suitable level, whilst at the same time, providing appropriate challenge.
As a result of RE teaching at Icklesham we aim to enable pupils to:
· talk with passion about their RE learning, showing that they enjoy and are inspired by their RE lessons.
· demonstrate an understanding of the school’s Christian Values, to know what these look like in practice and to apply this understanding to help make everyday choices.
· know about and understand Christianity as a living, global faith that influences (and has influenced) the lives of people worldwide.
· feel able to talk openly about their beliefs and values in lessons and to grow in their faith.
· talk with understanding about God’s Salvation Plan and develop a sense of chronology when talking about the Bible.
· develop a respect and understanding for the other major world religions and world views, allowing them to celebrate the diversity of our multicultural world.
· develop religious vocabulary enabling them to express their thoughts and beliefs as well as exploring the beliefs of others with respect.
· develop their understanding of the idea of advocacy, to know how they can challenge injustice and how they can help to make the world a better place.
· reflect upon their own learning, identifying successes and aspects they would like to find out more about.
· progress appropriately in their knowledge and understanding of Christianity. In most cases this would be children working at or above the expected level for their age.
· mature spiritually, academically, emotionally and morally to enable them to become well-rounded successful citizens in future life and have a positive impact on their friends, family, local and wider community.
We follow the East Sussex agreed syllabus for Religious Education and use Understanding Christianity and The Emanuel Project to deliver our lessons.