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Religious Education

Intent

At Sheriff Hutton Primary School we follow the North Yorkshire Religious Education Agreed Syllabus. Our vision in North Yorkshire is of a community where people of different beliefs and religions live harmoniously side by side, displaying mutual respect, understanding and friendship. It is essential that our children and young people are supported in developing these qualities and, whilst growing in confidence, achieve a level of critical awareness that helps them to become builders and shapers of a better North Yorkshire. This agreed syllabus, developed with SACRE and the young people and teachers of North Yorkshire, seeks to support schools in this work.

The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry 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.

Implementation

RE in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Children in EYFS should encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They should listen to and talk about stories. Children can be introduced to subject specific words and use all their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They ask questions and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live

Key Stage 1

Pupils should develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should use basic subject specific vocabulary. They should raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to the material they learn about and in response to questions about their ideas.

End of Key Stage outcomes:

  • Recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worship, rituals and ways of life, in order to find out about the meanings behind them.
  • Ask and respond to questions about what individuals and communities do, and why, so that pupils can identify what difference belonging to a community might make.
  • Explore questions about belonging, meaning and truth so that they can express their own ideas and opinions in response using words, music, art or poetry.
  • Retell and suggest meanings to some religious and moral stories, exploring and discussing sacred writings and sources of wisdom and recognising the traditions from which they come.
  • Observe and recount different ways of expressing identity and belonging, responding sensitively for themselves.
  • Find out about and respond with ideas to examples of cooperation between people who are different.
  • Recognise some different symbols and actions which express a community’s way of life, appreciating some similarities between communities.
  • Notice and respond sensitively to some similarities between different religions and worldviews.
  • Find out about questions of right and wrong and begin to express their ideas and opinions in response.
  • During the key stage, pupils should be taught knowledge, skills and understanding through learning about Christians and Muslims or Jewish people. Pupils may also encounter other religions and worldviews in thematic units, where appropriate.

Key Questions:

  • Who is a Christian and what do they believe?
  • Who is a Muslim and what do they believe?
  • Who is Jewish and what do they believe?
  • What can we learn from sacred books?
  • What makes some places sacred?
  • How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times?
  • What does it mean to belong to a faith community?
  • How should we care for others and the world, and why does it matter?

Key Stage 2

Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They should be introduced to an extended range of sources and subject specific vocabulary. They should be encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. Pupils should learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views.

End of Key Stage outcomes:

  • Describe and make connections between different features of the religions and worldviews they study, discovering more about celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark important points in life, in order to reflect on their significance.
  • Observe and understand varied examples of religions and worldviews so that they can explain, with reasons, their meanings and significance to individuals and communities.
  • Discuss and present thoughtfully their own and others’ views on challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, applying ideas of their own in different forms including (e.g.) reasoning, music, art and poetry.
  • Describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of the communities they are investigating, responding thoughtfully to a range of sources of wisdom and to beliefs and teachings that arise from them in different communities.
  • Understand the challenges of commitment to a community of faith or belief, suggesting why belonging to a community may be valuable, both in the diverse communities being studied and in their own lives.
  • Consider and apply ideas about ways in which diverse communities can live together for the wellbeing of all, responding thoughtfully to ideas about community, values and respect.
  • Explore and describe a range of beliefs, symbols and actions so that they can understand different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
  • Observe and consider different dimensions of religion, so that they can explore and show understanding of similarities and differences within and between different religions and worldviews.
  • Discuss and apply their own and others’ ideas about ethical questions, including ideas about what is right and wrong and what is just and fair, and express their own ideas clearly in response.

During the key stage, pupils should be taught knowledge, skills and understanding through learning about Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish people. Pupils may also encounter other religions and worldviews in thematic units.

Key Questions:

  • What do different people believe about God?
  • Why do some people think God exists?
  • Why is the Bible so important for Christians today?
  • Why is Jesus inspiring to some people?
  • What would Jesus do? (Can we live by the values of Jesus in the twenty-first century?)
  • What do religions say to us when life gets hard?
  • Why do people pray?
  • If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship?
  • Why are festivals important to religious communities?
  • Is it better to express your beliefs in arts and architecture or in charity and generosity?
  • Why do some people think that life is like a journey and what significant experiences mark this?
  • What does it mean to be a Christian in Britain today?
  • What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today?
  • What does it mean to be a Hindu in Britain today?
  • What can we learn from religions about deciding what is right and wrong?
  • What matters most to Christians and Humanists?
  • What difference does it make to believe in ahimsa (harmlessness), grace and/or Ummah (community)?

Impact

The children at Sheriff Hutton Primary enjoying learning lots about other religions and why people choose, or choose not to follow a religion. Through their R.E. learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. R.E. acts as a hub, therefore, between social aspects of learning, science and geography. Through R.E. our children are developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life, which they are then able to communicate to the wider community.

R.E. offers our children the means by which to understand how other people choose to live and to understand why they choose to live in that way. As such, R.E. is invaluable in an ever changing world.

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