R.E. – Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Stanhope Primary School, we believe that RE has an important role to play as part of a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum to which all pupils are entitled. It provides a positive context in which the diversity of cultures, beliefs and values in society can be celebrated and explored. RE provides an opportunity to promote an ethos of respect for others. Lessons ensure that our children grow to become tolerant and respectful citizens, who appreciate that everybody has their own set of beliefs and values and that these may differ from their own. Our curriculum encourages children to ask and reflect on challenging questions and provides opportunities for personal reflection where children can explore their own beliefs and opinions in a safe and supportive environment. The RE curriculum forms part of our school’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural teaching.
At Stanhope Primary, we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in South Tyneside (2020). The RE syllabus provides for a developmental approach to RE. Continuity and progression is achieved by building on the knowledge, understanding and skills that pupils gain across and between key stages.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, the children are taught through the three elements of RE: knowledge and understanding of religion, critical thinking and personal reflection.
Knowledge and Understanding of Religion
This is about what religion is and the impact it has for individuals and communities. It involves investigation of and enquiry into the nature of religion and beliefs.
Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of individual religions and distinctive religious traditions, and apply this to considering ways in which religions are similar to and different from each other. Older students will be able to connect significant features of religion together in a coherent pattern. All pupils will enquire into ultimate questions and ethical issues through their study of religious traditions.
Critical thinking requires pupils to use reason to analyse and evaluate the claims that religions make. Through learning in this way pupils have the opportunity to give opinions, support their ideas with reason, consider alternative arguments, weigh up evidence and listen to and respond to the views of others, so developing the ability to articulate their own views and form their own opinions. Critical thinking requires pupils to be open minded and to value different types of reasoning including intuition e.g. the many differing reasons why people might hold onto a religious faith.
This develops pupils’ ability to reflect on religion in relation to their own beliefs, values and experiences and the influence of these on their daily life, attitudes and actions. Personal evaluation is introspective, subjective and private. Pupils can make personal progress through reflection, empathy, developing respect and appreciation of others.
At Key Stage 1, the children are introduced to the beliefs and features of Christianity and Judaism. In Key Stage 2, the children develop their knowledge of Christianity and are introduced to the features of Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam.
They are also taught about other thematic concepts such as why people use ritual in their lives, how and why religious people show care for others and how those with a religious faith care for the environment. Long term plans ensure that there is progression throughout the school and that the children build upon knowledge gained in previous years. Where possible, teaching is supplemented with trips to places of worship or visits from people from faith communities.
Each element builds on knowledge and skills from the previous key stage. Teachers can use the key focus to build on previous knowledge and skills developed through the three elements, enabling pupils to make progress.
Our RE curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Children demonstrate a positive attitude towards people of any religion and show an understanding of cultural beliefs different to their own. They are respectful when meeting visitors from a variety of faith groups.
We measure the impact of our curriculum by reflecting on the standards achieved against the planned outcomes and through pupil discussions about their learning, which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas and opinions surrounding RE.
Teaching staff and support staff use a wide range of formative assessment tools during the lesson to judge the impact that the teaching is having on the children’s learning. Where it is evident that children have not developed a deep understanding of a concept, they will receive immediate intervention and/or verbal feedback.
At the end of a unit of work, teaching staff use their professional judgement to decide whether each pupil has achieved the level of knowledge, understanding and critical thinking required for the particular topic.