1.1 The purpose of RE is to support the development of children’s own values and contribute to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This entails enabling children to interpret and respond to a variety of concepts, beliefs and practices within religions and to their own and others’ cultural and life experiences.
1.2 This takes the form of encountering religious stories, festivals, artefacts, places of worship, rituals and beliefs.
1.3 A further purpose of RE is to foster mutual understanding between students of differing religions or cultural backgrounds.
2 Aims and Objectives
2.1 RE at Emsworth Primary School is taught in accordance with the Legal requirements of the Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire – “Living Difference.”
2.2 The syllabus is based upon understanding, and responding to, the Key Concepts within the major religions and non-religious beliefs represented in Great Britain.
2.3 We aim:
º to encourage children to develop an awareness of the spiritual dimension of life;
º to enable children to recognise and express their own values, opinions and beliefs, whilst respecting those of others.
º to provide a wide variety of opportunities for children to encounter the beliefs, practices, customs and culture of the religions studied.
º to equip children with the key thinking skills necessary to interpret religion in relation to Human experience.
3 RE in the Foundation Stage
3.1 There is a legal obligation to deliver RE to Reception class children according to the Agreed Syllabus. Where possible, links are made between RE and other areas of learning as children work towards the Early Learning Goals. Accordingly, these children are introduced to simple concepts, appropriate to this stage of their development such as celebration, specialness and belonging.
4 Programmes of Study for KS1 and KS2
4.1 “It is recommended that 36 hours per year are devoted to RE in Key stage 1 and 45 hours per year in Key stage 2.” (Agreed Syllabus)
4.2 At Emsworth Primary School pupils undertake 1 unit of study each half-term. The progression of learning activities focuses on the Key Concept for that unit and follows the methodology for Teaching and Learning prescribed by the Agreed Syllabus.
4.3 During Key stage 1 pupils explore concepts expressed in the stories and festivals of Christianity and Hinduism.
4.4 Key stage 2 pupils continue to study these religions, whilst also beginning their study of Key Concepts in Judaism.
5 Strategies for teaching RE
5.1 In accordance with the school’s Learning Policy (Jan 2008), RE is taught through a variety of approaches which best reflect the needs of individual pupils. These include: whole-class activities, group or paired activities and individual tasks. Generally, children are encouraged to work in mixed-ability settings, supporting and challenging each other. Their understanding is developed through first-hand experience using artefacts and visitors.
6 Cross-curricular Links
6.1 It is our belief that children learn best when they can use all of their abilities. RE units encourage pupils to communicate their knowledge and understanding in a wide variety of formats. These include drama, art, Literacy, music, ICT and dance.
6.2 Where pertinent links can be made to current topics, RE units have been allocated to that section of the Long-term Map. Individual teachers use their professional knowledge to help children make connections between learning in RE and other recent activities.
7.1 Long-term planning reflects the areas of study required by the Agreed Syllabus and highlights the Focus (Key Concept) for each unit. This ensures coverage and a progression of skills for all children as they pass through Key Stages 1 and 2.
7.2 Medium and Short-term plans are generated by the RE Manager, in consultation with the Year Team Leaders. Individual teachers ensure that the short-term plans meet the needs of their particular class, adapting where necessary and giving feedback to the RE Manager.
8 Assessment and Reporting
8.1 Staff assess individual pupils against the learning objectives for each unit. These provide evidence of a child’s progress in RE and contribute towards the overall teacher assessment given to parents in their child’s annual report. Given the, often, non-linear development of a child’s understanding in RE, these statements are, of necessity, written in broad terms, but reflect the Level Descriptors of the Agreed Syllabus.
9.1 The RE Manager liaises with individual year groups to identify the most effective delivery of each unit – either in a blocked format or single sessions.
9.2 The RE Manager provides expertise to staff and keeps the school up to date with developments in the subject. The manager will support the Headteacher, for the overall monitoring of RE. Evidence is collected via work-sampling, pupil interviews and (in years 2 – 6) the children’s own annual review of their RE learning.
10.1 A wide range of resources is available to enrich the RE curriculum, including videos, artefacts, posters, books and edibles. Resources are audited, evaluated and ordered by the RE Manager.
10.2 Artefact boxes for Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism are stored in the Studio and should be moved only by an adult. (Health and Safety)
10.3 Additional resources are held by the RE Manager and the Library contains reference material for a wide range of religions.
11 Right to withdraw
11.1 Parents have the legal right to withdraw their child from part or all of the planned RE lessons. Children who are withdrawn will be set other tasks and supervised depending on the arrangements made on an individual basis.
11.2 Teachers have the right to withdraw from teaching RE. They must do so in writing to the Headteacher and Governors, who will arrange for these classes to be taught by another member of staff.