Knowledge-Rich, Diversity-Led Curriculum
Religious Education“The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic inquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.” - SACRE, 2020
We encourage a tolerant and respectful attitude through R.E. lessons and assemblies as well as during the teaching day, to promote the spiritual, cultural, moral and social development of pupils. Within our multicultural context, we view the teaching of Religious Education as an opportunity to celebrate and foster awareness of the different religious beliefs within our school and the wider world. Religious Education helps pupils to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a society of many religions and beliefs. Children consider the big questions of life from their individual viewpoint as well as that of different religions.
The school follows the Waltham Forest Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in accordance with Waltham Forest’s ‘Standing Advisory Council of Religious Education’ (SACRE). In accordance with the agreed syllabus, Religious Education at Stoneydown Park:
- Contributes dynamically to children’s education by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
- Incorporates religions and worldviews in local, national and global contexts, allowing children to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
- Enables pupils to evaluate different sources so that they can express and develop their insights in response, and agree or disagree respectfully.
- Allows pupils to gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources and other evidence. Children learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the rights of others to differ.
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews.
- Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews.
- Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews.
The curriculum develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the different members of our rich and diverse community. Knowledge and skills are supported by first-hand experiences, including visits to local places of worship and visits from faith communities. Visits to places of worship, handling artefacts and visits from practising members of different faiths enhance children’s understanding. Learning in RE is planned and sequenced around three key concepts:
- Believing - Religious beliefs, teachings, sources; questions about meaning, purpose and truth.
- Expressing - Religious and spiritual forms of expression; questions about identity and diversity.
- Living - Religious practices and ways of living; questions about values and commitments.
This ensures that the investigation, exploration and reflection of their own and others’ responses to ‘Big Questions’ can continuously increase in depth, breadth and complexity. As pupils move through the Religious Education curriculum and the ‘Big Questions’ increase in complexity, depth and breadth, the expectations of pupils to explain ‘what’ the beliefs, practices and values are and the relationships between them, as well as explaining ‘why’ these are important and may make a difference to people, and ‘how’ they relate, change or impact on a wider world view also increases.
Religious traditions are to be studied in depth as follows:
Children will encounter Christianity and other faiths, as part of their growing sense of self, their own community and their place within it.
Christians, Muslims and Jewish people. Humanism.
Chritsians, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish people. Buddhism and Humanism.
Teachers may also identify, plan for and utilise further cross-curricular links which are stated on the school’s ‘RE Breadth of Study’ and ‘Humanities Breadth of Study’. As children progress through the programme of study, they are able to look deeper into spiritual, ethical, moral and social issues and with increasing breadth across different religions and worldviews through time and around the world. Children learn that there are those who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives, as part of its commitment to ensure mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths.
Alongside a whole school approach to celebrating different religious and cultural celebrations, the RE curriculum provides the means to celebrate the diversity of the school community. Children develop spiritually, academically, emotionally and morally to promote and realise a better understanding of themselves and others and to equip them with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world. We use a number of different strategies to assess the impact of religious education. Teachers use varied and robust forms of formative assessment to track progress throughout a topic. This allows children the opportunity to reflect on their learning and develop their understanding. Regular monitoring of books, planning and pupils’ voice ensure the school’s standard of religious education teaching is maintained across the school.
Children at Stoneydown are given many enriching opportunities as part of the wider religious education curriculum. Through stories, discussion and assemblies, children are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths and treating them with equal respect. Trips to places of worship, handling artefacts and visits from religious leaders provide the children with a wealth of experience and opportunities, which complement and support the learning which takes place in class.