Religious Education at Plumpton Primary School
At Plumpton Primary School, we believe that Religious Education (R.E.) plays an important role in fostering the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of pupils and enables pupils to understand their role and responsibilities within a diverse, multi religious, multi secular society. The skills, values and attitudes developed in R.E. are at the heart of a cohesive community where the children are encouraged to have a positive sense of identity and to better understand the world around them.
We place value on the vital role of R.E. in developing religious literacy and deepening pupils understanding of Christianity and other faith traditions and beliefs. Our intent is to ensure that pupils are well equipped to make connections between religious concepts and beliefs and develop their own spirituality and judgements that are rooted in well reasoned and informed knowledge of religion. We aim to ensure that the R.E. curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to pupils of all ages and one that drives creativity, imagination, enquiry, debate, and independence. We encourage the children to ask questions to develop their critical thinking and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form our society and to reflect on their own responses values. Our R.E. curriculum is designed to develop compassionate individuals who think and act with respect and with understanding of the views of others.
In Plumpton Primary School, we follow the East Sussex Agreed Syllabus for R.E. We seek to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of some of the major world faiths, and we address the fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of Christianity and to explore aspects of some other world religions. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn about religion (knowledge and understanding) and from religion (response, evaluation, application).
During their time in Plumpton Primary School, children have the opportunity through RE to do the following:
- Develop their knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and of other principal religions (KS1 – Judaism and Islam, KS2 – all world religions covered in a rolling programme)
- Respond to the ideas, beliefs and feelings of Christianity and some other principal religions
- Understand the influences of faith individuals on societies, communities and cultures
- Develop enquiry and response skills
- Explore what it means to have a faith
- Develop their sense of identity and belonging
- Reflect on, analyse and evaluate their own beliefs, values and practices
- Consider questions of meaning and purpose in life
- Respect people with different beliefs, values and traditions
- Make reasoned and informed judgements on religious and moral issues
The purpose of R.E. is not to urge religious beliefs on children nor to compromise the integrity of their own belief.
Teaching is planned on an enquiry basis. A question is posed to frame each unit of work (for example ‘How does believing Jesus is their Saviour inspire Christians to save and serve others?’ (Lower KS2) or ‘How do questions about Brahman and atman influence the way a Hindu lives?’ (Upper KS2))
At Plumpton Primary School, depending on the term and unit, R.E. lessons are taught weekly or blocked as a unit of lessons together.
In Key Stage 1, children’s work is recorded in a class book – this contains photographs of drama work, pictures the children have drawn, short pieces of writing they have done, and quotes of what the children have said (scribed by the teacher).
In Key Stage 2, children work in individual RE books. The work consists of photos of drama work, poster designs, analysis of pictures and religious texts, as well as longer pieces of writing.
Plumpton School has opportunities for reflection where children are encouraged to focus on values for leading a positive and fruitful life.
Staff are supported by the RE subject leaders to ensure they are confidently and creatively delivering the RE curriculum. Both teaching, learning and assessment is monitored by the subject leadership team and professional development materials and training cascaded to drive forward improvements in the subject.
At the end of each unit of work, children produce a response to a task that shows their knowledge and understanding of what has been taught as well as a personal reflection stemming from an enquiry question or prompt. This task is linked to the content and themes within the unit taught and responses may be evidenced in the RE class books or individual books. Sometimes, the contributions pupils make during discussions are used to inform the teacher assessment and the impact of the curriculum. Pupil voice surveys, lesson visits and book looks are an integral part of the impact monitoring cycle which is undertaken by both school and subject leaders throughout the year.