Religious Education (RE)
“We need to promote greater tolerance and understanding among the peoples of the world. Nothing can be more dangerous to our efforts to build peace and development than a world divided along religious, ethnic or cultural lines. In each nation, and among all nations, we must work to promote unity based on our shared humanity.” ~ Kofi Annan
At Greengate Lane Academy we expect the highest aspirations for our pupils. We want all children to learn and make academic progress no matter their starting points. We have a clear vision for what we want pupils to achieve during their time at Greengate Lane and have designed our curriculum to give all pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need in their future years.
Purpose of Education for RE
At Greengate Lane Academy the purpose of religious education (RE) is to enable each pupil to gain knowledge and understanding of their own and other religions and worldviews. They will to learn to show respect for and build bridges between different beliefs and practices, people of different faiths and life stances, and to contribute towards their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Religious education plays an important and unique role in each child’s and young person’s education, enabling them to understand their spiritual identity, to adhere to moral values and to learn to play their role in promoting community cohesion and inclusion in our increasingly diverse society. We intend for our pupils to:
- build positive relationships with each other and all members of the school and wider community;
- develop an understanding of, and respect for, differences between people;
- be confident in who they are as individuals, believe in themselves and make the most of their abilities;
- play an active, positive role as citizens in a democratic society;
- promote fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
- promote tolerance and respect of all faiths and beliefs, cultures and lifestyles through effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
- be confident to ask challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, moral choices, and the spiritual dimensions of life and death, therefore developing their knowledge and understanding of principal religions, other religions and worldviews;
- investigate both their own religious belief system (or none) and those of others. They will therefore learn to express personal views and develop an understanding of the impact these may have on others;
- build a sense of identity and belonging as an individual, within their communities and as part of humankind;
- challenge prejudice, including that based on religious background, race, culture or gender and to show respect to all;
- develop understanding of moral virtues such as truthfulness, honesty, empathy, generosity and compassion and explore how they can positively contribute to living within the local and global community.
Religious Education at Greengate Lane underpins the vision and core values of our school. In its simplest form, ‘Individually we grow, together we thrive’ is achieved when pupils are confident in who they are on an individual level but respect the similarities and differences in the cultures, beliefs and values of our school and wider community so that they are able to live and work alongside each other in harmony.
Our belief is that the Greengate Lane school values are weaved throughout our curriculum to support our pupils and our school community, our RE lessons are structured as follows:
- SCHOLARSHIP: our RE curriculum allows our children to be scholarly, they are taught the subject in depth, progressively building on prior knowledge, resulting in children remembering more and being able to articulate what that have learnt.
- CURIOUSITY: pupils learn that they and other people are different and therefore have different strengths and talents, they are encouraged to ask questions and be curious.
- TENACITY: the RE curriculum encourages pupil to overcome challenges and approach their learning with resilience, persistence, perseverance, grit and self-regulation, we encourage our learners to discuss and explore challenging themes. We believe that this enables our children to be better equipped to achieve success in school and beyond.
- ASPIRATIONAL: pupils learn about how people have overcome difficulties and challenges through history by having belief in their faith, and about people who have led and inspired others to do great things.
- KINDNESS: lessons are structured so that children learn skills together, they learn about diversity and are taught to be tolerant and kind to those with different beliefs and cultures to themselves.
Our curriculum drivers (vocabulary acquisition, SMSC, cultural awareness) are at the heart of all our RE lessons.
We follow Discovery RE for the core of our Religious Education curriculum having adapted it to suit the needs and interests of our learning community. The key threshold concepts (‘big ideas’) that shape what pupils will explore are:
- Understanding beliefs, teachings and sources
- Understanding practices and ways of life
- Understanding forms of expressing meaning
- Understanding identity, diversity, belonging
- Understanding meaning, purpose and truth
- Understanding values and commitments
Our curriculum focuses on Christianity, Judaism and Islam in depth in key stage one. In lower key stage two, pupils learn key information about Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism – the religions we study in depth – as a foundation for future study of faiths and beliefs in upper key stage two. Collective worship covers aspects of religions and beliefs across the year.
Content is determined by subject leaders to enable our progression of knowledge and skills model. Teachers are responsible for retrieval practice for previously learned content and planning visits to local places of worship.
Impact of the Curriculum
In the daily life of the school there is a continuous process of identifying the development of each pupil’s learning and understanding by engaging in discussion, helping pupils to make sense of what they are learning and on the reinforcing what has been learnt during formal lessons.
In addition, we measure impact through:
- Lesson Observations – how well children are contributing to discussions and how they articulate ideas about relevant themes;
- Learning Walks – how well the curriculum intent is embedded
- Book Looks – as part of triangulation with learning walks and assessments
- Pupil Voice – enables us to listen to pupils’ views about their learning and how well curriculum content is taught and understood;
To monitor impact, we will use the following impact statements to evaluate how effective our RE curriculum is:
- Pupils will develop and articulate their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences, whilst respecting the right of others to differ
- Pupils will learn to value family, community and the environment. They will make positive contributions to the life of the school and those around them.