At St Mark’s Church of England Primary School, our Religious Education (R.E.) curriculum strongly contributes to each pupil’s development empowering them to become tolerant, resilient and understanding citizens within our school and local community. R.E. teaching is underpinned by our school vision of ‘loving God’ and ‘serving others.’ We aim to support and challenge pupils to reflect upon, develop and affirm their own beliefs, values and attitudes. We strive to inspire children, through music, liturgy, stories and reflection. Both our curriculum and Collective Worships provide opportunities for spiritual development and personal reflection for pupils and staff.
Aims of RE at St. Mark's C.E. Primary School:
At St. Mark’s, the agreed main aims of Religious Education are:
- To provoke challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life and beliefs about God.
- To develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, exploring core theological concepts and those of other principal religions and religious traditions.
- To encourage the pupils to develop a sense of community, identity and belonging.
- To encourage pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions.
- To offer opportunities for personal reflection and to nurture children’s own spiritual development.
- To develop respect for and empathy with others, especially whose faith may be different from their own.
Religious Education (R.E.) is regarded as a Core subject at St Mark's, alongside English, Maths and Science. To support our R.E. teaching, we follow the Understanding Christianity scheme of work, alongside Discovery R.E. resources. R.E. is delivered as part of a weekly lesson scheduled into the timetable. Lessons are carefully planned and sequenced to ensure progression of skills. Children in KS1 and KS2 have a separate R.E book to record all their learning and assessments. Pupils will participate in activities which promote knowledge and understanding of religions and world views recognising their local, national and global context.
R.E learning is enriched through celebration of Christian festivals and nativities. In addition to this, it is further enriched through visits, such as Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, Bournemouth Islamic Centre and St Mark’s Church. Recommended visitors are used to explore faiths and world views in more depth. For example, the Vicar and Children’s worker, speakers from religious Charities and speakers from Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim communities. We do respect parents' rights to withdraw their child from R.E. and worship; this is always through open discussion with parents.
Each year group benefits from two half term units on the same world religion and the other four units are Christian based. This enables pupils to gain a coherent, deepening understanding of belief and practices of major world religions.
Each Understanding Christianity unit incorporates the three elements:
-Making sense of the text – Developing skills of reading and interpretation; understanding how Christians interpret, handle and use Biblical texts; making sense of the meanings of texts for Christians
-Understanding the impact – Examining ways in which Christians respond to Biblical texts and teachings, and how they put their beliefs into action in diverse ways within the Christian community and in the world
-Making connections – Evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the texts and concepts studied, and discerning possible connections between these and pupils own lives and ways of understanding the world.
Each Understanding Christianity unit begins with a ‘way in’ and then offers teaching and learning ideas for each element. The teacher chooses how to weave together the elements, from making sense of the text, through looking at the impact on the world of Christianity, and helping to make connections with the world of the pupil, in order to achieve the outcomes.
Four of the principal religions in Britain are taught by the end of KS2: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, with the greater emphasis and time allocation on Christianity. Our curriculum is fully inclusive and aspirational for all, including SEND.
The pupils at St Mark’s Church of England Primary make progress in their R.E. learning through high levels of engagement and enjoyment. We use a range of techniques to evaluate the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs.
- Discussions and children’s contributions
- Accurate use of religious vocabulary
- Half termly assessment tasks
Whole school monitoring of R.E. takes the form of:
• Book looks
• Planning scrutiny
• Analysing half termly assessment
• Pupil voice
• Learning walks
As part of our R.E. curriculum, each pupil will feel valued as an individual and their beliefs respected. In addition to this, children will develop respect for and sensitivity to others with different faiths and beliefs. This will enable all children to 'flourish together' within their communities and prepare them for our diverse world.