As a Church of England School RE is central to the understanding of education and mission that we have at Wardley.
The aim of RE at Wardley is:
- To enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today.
- To enable pupils to learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents.
- To develop understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth.
- To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs.
All primary schools need to “raise the status of RE” (Ofsted) and provide an RE curriculum which promotes respect and empathy. At Wardley RE is considered to be a vital part of a child’s education because it allows young people to develop their beliefs and values. It helps children understand the place of religion and belief in the world. The teaching of RE is also important because it contributes educationally to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. In studying RE at Wardley children will develop:
- Think critically and explore ultimate questions.
- Reflect critically on the truth claims of Christian belief.
- Develop the skills to analyse, interpret and apply the Bible text.
- Recognise that faith is a particular way of responding to God and the world.
- Analyse and explain the varied nature and traditions of the Christian community.
- Make a well informed response to Christianity.
- Respect those of all faiths in their search for God.
- Reflect critically on areas of shared belief and practice between different faiths.
- Enrich and expand their understanding of truth.
- Reflect critically and express their views on the human quest and destiny
How is RE taught across the Key Stages?
To see what RE topics and skills are taught in each year group click on the RE teaching cycle tab.
As a school we use the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education to deliver our RE. Christianity is the majority study in this syllabus and is studied in every year group. In addition, from Year 1 through to Year 6, our children are also taught about a variety of the world religions. These include Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. We have a duty to foster an accurate and increasing understanding of world religions and world views. As a result, pupils will gain greater insight into the world in which they are growing up. They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices.
To this end over the course of the academic year, each year group in both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two covers a range of the religions. Within this, they study a particular topic, theme or festival associated with that religion.
The key learning objectives for the children’s work in RE are:
- To understand beliefs and teachings
- To understand practices and lifestyles
- To understand how beliefs are conveyed
- To reflect
- To understand values
Throughout both Key Stages children are given the opportunity to not only learn about the individual religions but are encouraged to discuss and think about their similarities and differences with other religions at the same time.
How do we make cross-curricular links?
When planning lessons, teachers at Wardley consider other subjects and endeavour to make cross-curricular links. For example, long writing tasks are often incorporated into lessons so that children have an opportunity to write down their ideas, opinion and views in a structured task (diary entries, letters or even stories). Teachers also encourage drama work to reinforce teaching points and to allow children to express themselves about a particular topic. These drama activities can increase pupil confidence, allow ‘pupil voice’ and provide valuable opportunities for personal and spiritual exploration.
What is special about RE at Wardley?
We aim for our RE curriculum to provide children with challenging questions about the meaning of life, including global issues. We do this by promoting civilised debate and in-depth discussions.
Teachers have access to a range of religious artefacts to support their lessons for each religion. We organise regular RE trips to different places of worship within our local area. All of these opportunities are examples of how we provide our children with hands-on authentic experiences of the diversity of religion and how we value experiential learning and aim to enrich RE.
During our RE lessons, teachers offer opportunities for pupils to encounter an authentic voice of faith and belief. This means that we encourage dialogue between pupils and praise those who want to share their own unique and personal religious experiences. This is particularly beneficial when pupils teach their classmates about particular religious traditions or festivals. Here, our pupils become the “experts” and we believe that this can not only raise self-esteem but also give a positive image of each faith and enhance the quality of learning in RE. We can also welcome members of our school community, including parents and relatives, to come and speak to our classes about a particular RE topic.
How does RE help prepare the children for Secondary School?
It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It thus helps our children to prepare for adult life, employment and lifelong learning.
How can you help at Home?
Ideas about how you can support your children with their RE work may be given in the half-termly newsletters. For further information about the RE curriculum that your child is studying please contact your child’s teacher.