Miss M. Alexander
My name is Miss Alexander and I am the RE subject lead at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School. I find various religions fascinating and I thoroughly enjoy exploring the many different beliefs and traditions surrounding them.
We recognise the important role that Religious Education plays in the personal development of all of our pupils, in addition to developing Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects of learning (SMSC). We endeavour to prepare pupils to face the demands of the contemporary world they live in, developing positive attitudes to their learning and to the beliefs and values of others in line with Fundamental British Values.
With this in mind, we have carefully planned a curriculum which drives the vision, aims and values of our school and serves the needs of all our community. This ensures that knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards our curricular goals outlined above.
To ensure that learning is meaningful, we also offer a range of CPD opportunities for all staff and have a culture of knowledge sharing across the academy. Through this collective learning, I am proud that our team is always striving to be the best that it can be.
At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School, our vision is for our young people to understand that life is precious and that it is important to cherish themselves and others, to build a strong sense of their own value and identity and be the best people they can be. We would like them to challenge those in authority to make the world a safe and better place, and believe high quality Religious Education can help equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes with which to do this.
Aims and Goals
Our aims and goals are to ensure that our students experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
We ensure our pupils have a thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence. They have the ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion and demonstrate an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion.
Our children have a strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together. They have the ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose.
We aim for our pupils to have an outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge across a range of beliefs. They have exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others. Pupils will demonstrate significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to learning in RE.
The threshold concepts underpinning RE are:
- Understanding beliefs and teachings
- Understanding practices and lifestyles
- Understand how beliefs are conveyed
- Understand values
At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School we aim to provide an RE curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfil their potential.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach RE through the ‘People, Culture and Communities strand of the Early Years Framework.
Ongoing experiences and opportunities linking to children’s developing understanding of the world are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Years Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3-5 at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School. These are covered and explored through teaching provision that allow children to share experiences of different RE concepts, stories and the ideas of various beliefs through the 7 areas of learning. Activities include preparing for and celebrating different festivals, learning songs, sharing food and games and through circle times, discussing and comparing family traditions and practices at home. Stories, clothes and music from a range of cultures and faiths are also accessible to the children.
The experiences that we provide ensure that children develop a secure understanding of the world around them. By the end of the Reception year, they will be able to:
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
RE can also contribute to children’s development of Characteristics of Effective Teaching in particular with regard to:
- Making links and noticing patterns in their experience (Creating and Thinking Critically – Making links)
- Showing curiosity about objects, events and people (Playing and Exploring – Finding out and exploring)
- Using senses to explore the world around them (Playing and Exploring – Finding out and exploring)
- Representing their experiences in play (Playing and Exploring – Playing with what they know)
- Acting out experiences with other people (Playing and Exploring – Playing with what they know)
KS1 and KS2
Although Religious Education is not a subject in the National Curriculum the principles for the teaching of RE are outlined to ensure that all pupils:
- Have a high quality, coherent and progressive experience of the subject with the use of models of delivery which best suit the needs of the pupils, meet the requirements of the curriculum, and contribute to the cross-curricular dimensions of the wider curriculum.
The statutory syllabus should therefore not only specify the RE curriculum to be taught in schools, but also be sufficiently flexible to enable schools to match the pattern of provision to the needs of pupils and be an integral part of the wider curriculum. It is recommended that pupils have the opportunity to gain public recognition of their achievement in RE in deciding on any particular model of curriculum delivery.
With this in mind, our programme of study for RE clearly sets out which matters, skills and process that pupils are expected to know, apply and understand at each point in the year for all groups.
In RE pupils discover, explore and consider topics in local, national and global contexts, through learning about a range of religions and learning from these religions. They learn to appraise the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully. As they move throughout the year groups the children are able to build up their knowledge of specific religions and are able to reflect on prior learning enabling them to make links, comparisons and opinions, deepening their knowledge further.
There is no requirement for formal assessment of pupils development in RE. However we at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School monitor children’s achievements in RE using the ‘Learning Objectives’.
There is no requirement to record children’s attainment levels in RE. However, attainment descriptors assist teachers in their evaluations, assessment, planning and reporting.
Fundamentally, everyone’s experience of the world is cross curricular, as everything that surrounds us can be seen and understood from multiple perspectives. Our RE curriculum at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School therefore aims to take advantage of a range of opportunities for children to make links between different subject areas, supporting the use and application of what has already been taught and learned in new and different ways and providing opportunities for deep, meaningful learning.
Visits and Enrichment
At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of RE. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first hand experiences in the real-world.
Whole School Enrichment and Clubs:
To enrich our curriculum, we have carefully chosen experiences that allow our children to enjoy hands-on activities linked to RE topics.
For example, in Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to explore different places of worship through a faith walk in which they are able to gain real life experiences of religious buildings including a Mosque, Mandir and Gurdwara. They are also able to explore artefacts, food tasting and build on their knowledge of religious practices.
They are also able to take part in various events such as RE conferences in which they are able to explore various faiths through artefacts, key speakers and various resources.
As a school we have strong links with St Aidan’s Church, which is just opposite the school. Children attend services throughout the year including Harvest, Easter and Christmas (Christingle service). The children have also created artwork which has been used as decoration in the church to mark significant events such as Remembrance Sunday.
Reverend Robin of St Aidan’s Church also visits our school on a regular basis to deliver assemblies.
At Shobnall Primary & Nursery School we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible:
Reception… “We learnt about the Christingle and went to the church to sing about it.’’
Year 1… “We talk about religions in RE.”
Year 2… “We talk about different places in RE, we find out the different places the religions pray in.”
Year 3… “We learnt about the Christmas story and we learnt about other stories from different religions.”
Year 4… “We talk about what different people believe in. We talk about what they celebrate and different religious festivals.”
Year 5… “We learnt about all the world faiths.”
Year 6… “We have discussed pilgrimages, which are holy journeys, and why it is important for people to go on them.”
Documents and Useful Links
Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of RE teaching and learning at Shobnall Primary & Nursery School. We are currently in the process of designing and developing a brand new curriculum for our pupils, so watch this space! If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Miss Alexander, via the school office. Click on the links below for useful resources too!