Religious Education (RE)
As a Church of England school, RE provision is designed to support the aims and structure of the Anglican Church. Following the diocesan syllabus of Durham and Newcastle 2019, the curriculum enables pupils to acquire and develop a sound knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other major world faiths. In compliance with the statement of entitlement (2016) RE makes up 10% of the timetable.
The curriculum is organised to enable pupils to know and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage. One third of RE teaching allocation is given to teaching about other major world religions and non-religious worldviews, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.
We want pupils to develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and cultures and to develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues, with reference to the teachings of principal religions.
Great emphasis is placed on religious literacy enabling pupils to: give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity; show an informed and respectful attitude to all religions and non-religious worldviews; engage in meaningful, informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none; reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.
Following guidance from the 2019 Durham and Newcastle syllabus, the RE curriculum encompasses three overlapping elements:
- Making sense of beliefs: Identifying and making sense of core religious and non-religious concepts and beliefs; understanding what these beliefs mean within their traditions; recognising how and why sources of authority are used, expressed and interpreted in different ways, and developing skills of interpretation.
- Understanding the impact: Examining how and why people put their beliefs into action in diverse ways, within their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world
- Making connections: Reasoning about, reflecting on, evaluating and connecting the concepts, beliefs and practices studied; allowing pupils to challenge ideas, and the ideas to challenge pupils’ thinking; discerning possible connections between these ideas and pupils’ own lives and ways of understanding the world.
RE has the status of a core subject within Church schools. At Chollerton First School we follow the minimum requirement of teaching hours as set out in the statement of entitlement 2016. Mixed key stage events such as Christingle and Holy Week enhance our provision. Understanding Christianity is the key resource used to deliver the core teaching and learning of Christianity from EYFS, through to KS1 and KS2. Christianity makes up two thirds of curriculum entitlement with the remaining third being dedicated to a different worldwide key religion. At Chollerton KS1 learn about Islam or Judaism while KS2 learn about Sikhism or Hinduism. Other faiths and non-religious views are taught through thematic units as set out in the syllabus to ensure pupils develop mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. In EYFS other religions are introduced and explored depending upon the cohort.
Across our school, a challenging and robust curriculum based on an accurate theological framework is delivered. Key skills such as investigating, reflecting, interpreting and analysing are taught through practical strategies such as drama and role play, discussion and debate. Visits to places of Worship and visits from key religious leaders help to draw on the richness and diversity of religious experience worldwide.
We believe that through the use of Understanding Christianity and the thematic units as set out in the Durham and Newcastle syllabus 2019, RE lessons are very engaging and delivered in variety of creative ways which are loved by all. With a focus on religious literacy, pupils can confidently discuss theological and philosophical ideas and show a keen awareness of biblical concepts.
Even our youngest children in EYFS are very aware of Christian practices within the country and continue to develop and understand that Christianity is a world-wide diverse faith. Children can talk excitedly and in depth about all key religions studied.
Links with places of worship, religious leaders and members of faith - including those of non-faith - enhances their understanding of the diverse nature of the United Kingdom.
High expectation from staff is evident through the quality of teaching and learning. Children across school can think, talk and ask probing questions about the religions they have been studying and give good reasons for the views they have and the connections they make.
Our RE curriculum and Church school ethos ultimately enables children to show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and non-religious worldviews in their search for God and meaning.