‘RE is like the Tardis. Despite the small space it occupies in the curriculum, it is huge, encompassing nothing less than humanity’s most searching questions, its deepest hopes, the history of the world’s beliefs and their diverse manifestation in the modern world.’ (NATRE)
The intent of our RE curriculum is to make a significant contribution to a child's cultural capital, and to help them become religiously literate. We want children to learn more about themselves and their place in the world from their increasingly academic and creative exploration of religions and beliefs. We aim to develop the skills and attitudes essential to help them communicate with others in a way that appreciates religious beliefs, cultural experiences, and world views. Through the sharing of lived experience and knowledge of how beliefs, values, practices, and ways of life within religions and cultures cohere together, pupils will be empowered to show curiosity, reflect, express themselves and ask respectful questions. We want our pupils to develop a personal awareness and ability to approach life in an inclusive, informed, and respectful way. We want RE to contribute to our pupils’ personal development and wellbeing, and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. We work to enable children to understand the nature of religions and beliefs which have influenced the lives of millions of people and heavily influenced the development of different human cultures.
While it is compulsory for RE to be taught in schools and it is seen as a core part of the curriculum, it is not part of the national curriculum. Therefore, we are guided by the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus. The syllabus promotes an inclusive and educational approach to RE, which is of increasing importance to help people understand modern society and critical issues in the world, as well as promoting understanding and respect. We teach a varied enquiry based RE curriculum, drawing from the most recent educational thinking which enables children to progressively develop their understanding and ability to reflect through learning about different beliefs and teachings, practices, and lifestyles. Encounter with people is vital for pupils to engage with issues of faith and belief and to be able to explore more richly and deeply the ways of life of others and what makes them different and what we hold in common, visits and visitors are therefore an important element in our RE curriculum. Our RE follows a clear progression of skills and coverage through a two-year cycle - because of our mixed-age classes - using the ODBE Scheme of work and Understanding Christianity to present a high-quality sequential curriculum as expected in the Church of England’s ‘Statement of Entitlement’ (Feb 2019). The teaching and learning approach enables pupils to move from an understanding of a religious text, such as a biblical one and how to interpret it, to an understanding of what this means for Christians within the church and in Christian living, with opportunities for pupils to examine and evaluate connections between these ideas and the wider world, including their own ways of thinking and living. Core concepts are revisited and explored in more depth as pupils move through the school: God, Creation, Fall, People of God, Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation, Kingdom of God. Links are also made to these concepts in Collective Worship. RE makes important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as PSHE & RSE, Geography, History, and education for sustainable development, among others.
Delivery of RE is usually weekly, however sometimes, especially in upper KS2, it may be delivered through several sessions a week over two or three weeks. Children and staff have indicated that for some units of work, larger blocks of RE teaching can have a more positive impact on learning. There is also some cross-curricular coverage of RE including teaching through other subjects, whole school events, assemblies, and collective worship.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from RE lessons or parts of it and should talk to the Headteacher if this is their intention. Whilst we respect this right, we hope parents can see our curriculum does not promote or encourage a certain set of beliefs and contributes to children’s development in many valuable ways.
Assessment in RE: Assessment is ongoing and informs future teaching building a picture of the child’s attainment and progress over time. It is guided by the assessment outcomes outlined in the Oxfordshire Agreed Syllabus. There are also ‘check-in’ points throughout, and at the end of each unit against the objectives being taught. This gives teachers the information that they need to build a holistic picture of each individual child and enables them to plan further support and opportunities for retrieval; direct teaching and/or adaptation in future units. The subject leader monitors pupil outcomes to identify trends and patterns that inform future curriculum alterations and CPD opportunities.
You can read our RE Policy on our policies page here.