RE Curriculum Rationale

At St Luke’s, we want our children to be able to explore big questions about life confidently and inquisitively.  We want our children to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. We believe that: we are a safe space for children to ask questions and for their understanding of others to flourish. We want our children to be engaged in RE lessons and experiences in order succeed.

RE Curriculum Intent

We have carefully chosen our RE curriculum as we aim to enable all children to be able to describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices. We also encourage children to identify, investigate and respond to questions posed. Our curriculum allows children to appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.

We have chosen our curriculum to represent the diversity of religions in the UK. We want children to be able to recognise the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals. We believe this will allow children to express their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues.

As well as this, we aim to provide children with the skills to be able to find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth. We also encourage the development of skills to enable communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all.

RE Curriculum Implementation

The National Curriculum states that every state-funded school much offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based; which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical wellbeing of pupils at the school and of society; and which prepares pupils of the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. All state schools must teach must teach Religious Education to pupils at every key stage. (DfE, 2014).

In the UK, parents still have the right to withdraw their children from RE on the grounds that they wish to provide their own religious education. (School Standards and Framework Act 1998 S71 (3)). This will be the parents’ responsibility. However, we will always endeavour to talk to parents to ensure that they understand the aims and value of RE before honouring this right.

St Luke’s Christian ethos underpins our teaching practice therefore all pupils learn from Christianity in each key stage. In addition, pupils will learn from the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. These are Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Furthermore, children from families where non-religious worldviews are held are represented in almost all of our classrooms. These worldviews, including for example Humanism, will also be the focus for study. RE is taught as a discrete subject each week, however meaningful links between subjects are made when appropriate. For example, when investigating Christianity, children study the work of Mother Theresa and discuss how she is significant individual of the past.

In Key stage one, pupils should develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should use basic subject specific vocabulary. They should raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about and in response to questions about their ideas.

In Key stage two, pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should be introduced to an extended range of sources and subject specific vocabulary. They should be encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. Pupils should learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views.

The curriculum has been specifically deigned and planned this way to ensure progression and the opportunity for children to embed and retain information through repetition. For example, if looking at how places of worship are taught, in Reception pupils look at, ‘What places of worship are special and why?’. In Year 1, this information is embedded and extended upon with the unit, ‘What makes some places sacred?’. In Key Stage 2, this progressed into enquiry-based unit of, ‘If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship?’. As well as this, the teaching of Easter and Christmas have been carefully planned to ensure progression throughout year groups.

As well as adapting and using the RE Today scheme in our Reception classes, the RE is also taught through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The EYFS curriculum supports the fundamental skills of RE development through the planned opportunities for ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ and ‘Understanding of the World’. Skilled practitioners encourage explorative play and through this play, children will discuss similarities between themselves and others and talk about the people around them. In Year 1, the children continue to learn through an explorative approach and the personal, social and emotional development of children is encouraged by all staff to support their learning in RE.

RE Curriculum Impact

Formative assessments are used through every RE lesson, which teachers are then able to use to plan further learning opportunities. Children are inquisitive and lessons may end in alternative discussions, which can be subsequently be planned for. Staff also make summative assessments, which are given to the subject leader to ensure progress through school. Key learning objectives have been carefully planned and broken down into small steps to enable the teachers to be able to assess effectively. These assessments analysed and informs the monitoring cycle. The monitoring cycle includes book scrutinies, learning walks, pupil voice and staff voice.

RE Policy

RE Curriculum map

RE progression map

Click the link below to view our RE school blog page to see some examples of how our pupils flourish in RE at St. Luke’s: