Here at St Paul’s Primary we are committed to providing a balanced RE curriculum of theology, philosophy and human and social studies – at its core these are believing, thinking and living. Having a deep and personal understanding of these three concepts will in turn help the children to better understand themselves, the world they live in, the people and the behaviours around them. They will also begin to develop their understanding of the deep questions they come across along their own walk of life. Teaching a balanced RE curriculum is crucial to children learning to understand, tolerate and respect others and themselves.
The key aims for RE at St Paul’s are:
- To inspire children to deeply consider the answers to BIG questions and ask their own.
- To learn about religion and develop an understanding of how this affects others. In turn this will enable our pupils to have a better understanding of others and ensure that they are not only tolerant of other religions but empathetic.
- To learn from religion and understand the impact this can have on their own morals and principles, and for some, secure their own personal religious beliefs.
In line with our school vision we instil a passion for life and learning through our exciting, hands-on RE curriculum. We encourage children to grow in their understanding of their world and themselves, learn to tolerate and empathise with others no matter what their beliefs and to succeed in becoming well rounded and thoughtful individuals who understand how to be global citizens and courageous advocates.
Following the Diocesan Guidelines for RE, we teach a unit based approach to RE which are carefully designed to link and build on one another. The units focus the children’s attention on learning about religion and learning from religion. These satisfy the believing and living strands in our balanced RE curriculum. Alongside these units, the children are encouraged to think deeply and they are able to record their thought in our class big question books. Depending on the year group and cohort, we adapt our units to be taught in a series of weekly lessons or dedicate an appropriate amount of consecutive lessons in a week to dive deeply into a unit.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The pupils encounter the Christian faith and other religions and beliefs through considering special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship, starting with their parish church. RE in Early Years helps pupils to understand that our school has a special relationship with our parish church and what this means. There are three core concepts at the heart of Early Years RE in Guildford Diocese, which form a ‘bridge’ between good early years’ experiences and the world of religions and belief. These are Specialness, Celebration and Belonging and Community. Pupils’ understanding of these core concepts will enable them to make good progress in RE, and be ready for KS1.
Key Stage 1
The pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith, Judaism & Islam. They will also develop important subject-specific and cross-curricular skills.
Key Stage 2
The pupils extend their knowledge of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and are introduced to aspects of Hinduism, Sikhism & Buddhism, recognising the impact of religion and belief locally, nationally and globally. Pupils begin to consider moral, ethical and philosophical issues and further develop important subject-specific and cross-curricular skills. Pupils are encouraged to make links between different aspects of their learning in RE, utilising higher level thinking skills and creating opportunities for greater progress and challenge in RE.
Throughout the year we also scatter in a range of pause events where children and adults take time to focus on a shared objective. These can take the form of a reflection week where classes take time to enjoy reflection and prayer stations or a pause day on a particular theme.
Measured and monitored each term, the impact of our balanced RE curriculum is evident daily through the children living out our school values, FAITH. The children show Friendship and cooperation, Achievement of excellence, Integrity, Trust and Respect and a clear understanding and respect for their own and others Health and well-being in class, on the playground and around the school. By the time our children reach Year 6, they are able to talk about how aspects of religion relate to their own lives, understand why people behave differently to themselves and they are not only confident to ask big questions but also content to understand we don’t always fully know the answers.