OUR SCHOOL STATEMENT OF INTENT
Learning together, rooted in God, pupils at St Lawrence Church of England Primary School are easy to distinguish by the personal qualities they present. They are happy, confident, articulate children with a love of learning, who recognise and celebrate their own individuality and that of other members of our community. They are generous, kind and welcoming; they are forgiving and understand justice. With God by their side, they face the world with resilience, integrity and joy.
As a Church of England School, RE is a core subject along with Mathematics and English. We aim to help children to become religiously literate at an appropriate level for their age group. We teach a locally agreed syllabus as stipulated by the Diocesan of Blackburn which integrates the Understanding Christianity programme.
All RE lessons across the school follow a teaching sequence aimed at understanding the meaning of belief along with the impact on the lives of believers and connections to the world today. We use the following concepts to help develop this:
RE lessons are based around key questions that focus on a particular area:
- Understanding Christianity
E.g. What does it mean if God is holy and loving?
- Other Religions
E.g. What does it mean for Muslims to follow God?
- Secular World Views
E.g. Why do some people believe in God and some not?
- Thematic Topics
E.g. Why is pilgrimage important to some religious believers?
The teaching of the Christianity strand of our RE syllabus is focused around the Understanding Christianity resource and aims to support pupils as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it. Understanding Christianity offers a clear, coherent approach to teaching and learning about Christianity in RE. It is based around a selection of core Christian concepts and structured across the primary age range to support pupils in deepening their understanding. It is designed to get children discussing, thinking and respectfully challenging thoughts and views in a creative way, for example, through dance, art, music or drama.
To support children with their understanding of the Bible and Christianity we use “”The Big Story of the Bible” which is focused around the following narrative:
- People of God
- Kingdom of God
We use “The Big Frieze” to help us understand the Bible narrative; we have even made our own version of this in the hall that we teach from during our daily assemblies.
The Big Frieze presents a view of the Bible as more than a collection of different texts - one which has an overarching coherence. Children relate their learning in both RE and wroship to the part of the Big Frieze they are learning about. It is designed to make children aware of the wider context of each concept as shown above.
Our scheme of work aims to allow children to understand how Bible stories and believes fit within these different areas and “The Big Story of the Bible” in order to understand Christian belief and practice.
Creating salt dough models of moments in a story in order to explore thoughts and feelings
'It helps us to understand how other people live' children in Year 1
NURTURING A CREATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT:
Using frieze-frame drama at a moment in a Bible story to understand character feelings.
Using salt dough to create an expression of a person within a Bible story
Acting out a story
'We're begging to know more' Pupil Year 5
Teachers aim to try and draw out of our children four attitudes which are essential for good learning :
- respect for all.
- appreciation and wonder
As a church school, we hope to give children the best experience of high quality Religious Education, therefore enabling each child to flourish. We work closely with Blackburn Diocese, following their syllabus 'Questful RE'. Here, we embrace the explicit teaching of Christian concepts and God’s big salvation story, as well as ensuring our children explore other faiths in line with teaching guidance.
'We discuss the big story and where in the Bible the stories are from; we discuss the parables of Jesus' Megan, Year 5
A key feature of the syllabus we follow is the large number of questions included in each unit. The purpose of these questions is to give pupils opportunity to investigate, reflect, evaluate and make meaning. In doing so, they will discover more about themselves, their relationships with others, their relationship with the world around them and their relationship with God. Therefore, the teaching of RE is both a huge responsibility and a privilege that must be recognised by those who teach it.
'RE is important because it's teaching you about how to live your life' Nathanial, Year 2
All teaching is linked to God's big story. Each class has a reflective area where the Big Story is displayed along with the key words they have encountered as they take their learning journey through school.
OUR CURRICULUM PROVISION:
To achieve our aims we will :
- Ensure that Religious Education is taught a minimum of 5% of our curriculum time; there are often times when this portion is larger showing our commitment to the subject
- Ensure that Christianity occupies 70-80% of our curriculum time and the remaining percentage to non-Christian faiths
- Study the aims and beliefs of five major world faiths including : Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism
- Encourage children to give thoughtful and theologically informed accounts of Christianity as a living and diverse faith
- Engage in meaningful dialogues with those of other faiths and none
- Reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions
- Be encouraged to ask questions such as:
- Who am I and what does it mean to be me?
- In what ways do/can I relate to others?
- How/where can I encounter God?
- How can I make a positive contribution to the world in which I live?
- What values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour are important to me?
- What does it mean to have faith?
- Who/what influences and inspires me?
- Encourage visits to other places of worship, special visitors and access artefacts to bring learning to life throughout a child’s journey through school
'We ask questions like 'Who is God?' and 'Why did God send Jesus?'' Daisy, Year 3
EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY
We will provide RE opportunities to all our children, regardless of gender, race, disability or ability to pay. RE may be used to develop children’s learning in any area of the curriculum, particularly for those with Special Educational Needs, including our Able and Talented children. To ensure that this is the case, some pupils may be given other mediums to record their thoughts and ideas, as well as any necessary support that is required.
'We act often in RE; we dramatise Bible stories and we sing, paint and draw to express ourselves' Sofia, Year 6
EXTRA CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES
We offer a Fun with Faith club that can be accessed by pupils. This is run by our Worship and Values Committee children and overseen by the RE Co-ordinator; a member of the local church clergy also assists from time to time. This particular club allows children to reflect, converse with others from different year groups and work on a particular area of interest as directed by our Worship and Values Committee.
EVENTS AND VISITS
- Visits to places of faith occur bi-annually
- Year 6 visit Blackburn Cathedral
- Venture residential visit for some pupils in Year 4
- Fellside schools join together to celebrate Easter at least twice during a pupils journey in school
- Visit to our local church
- Eucharist each half term
- Education Sunday in school
- Visits from people of other faiths
- Walk Through the Bible deliver lessons on the Old and New Testament in Years 5 and 6
- Assemblies delivered by people of interest including Fair Trade and choirs
'We learn about people from all over the world' Tilly, Year 4
PLANNING, ASSESSMENT, PROGRESSION AND EVALUATION
Barton has an individual policy for Religious Education as well as policies for British Values, Collective Worship, Single Equalities, Special Educational Needs and Visitors.
We follow Blackburn Diocese syllabus of ‘Questful RE’ and are fully informed about The Statement of Entitlement. Planning follows a pathway which is determined by outcomes for learning and which may later depending on the unit being delivered. Many of our lessons also utilise Understanding Christianity resources and ideas. Through all these resources, the skills of the staff and having an open investigative enquiry approach, we are able to ensure progression to ensure that our children have a sense of being on a quest of discovery.
The coordinator monitors whole school progression on a half termly basis. The quality of teaching, work and assessment are also monitored to ensure we give the best experiences possible to our children so that by the time they leave us, they are well-rounded individuals who can break down barriers and help build communities.
Click here to see the Statement of Entitlement
'We learn about world problems;other beliefs and we dive deep into vocabulary' Reuben, Year 6