We believe that a high-quality religious education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the nature, role and influence of religion in the world. Teaching should equip pupils to think critically, ask perceptive questions, formulate reasoned opinion and handle controversial issues and beliefs. It should provide pupils with the opportunity to pursue a personal quest for meaning, purpose and value, and to develop an understanding of, and respect for, different beliefs and lifestyles. The development of human cultures and the lives of millions of people have been influenced by religions and beliefs; RE enables pupils to recognise this and respond to it so that they can learn more about themselves and their place in the world. The subject has a key role in preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
As a Church of England Voluntary Aided School, we approach Religious Education in a way that will not only introduce children to an understanding of the nature of Christian beliefs and practices, but will provide a foundation for lifelong Christian learning.
Children will be encouraged in their exploration of the spiritual dimension of life and they will have the opportunity to engage with challenging questions where there is no correct answer, to discuss and justify their views while treating the views of others respectfully. Opportunities will be given for children to learn about other world faiths and belief systems. The school works closely with the Chelmsford Diocese, following their guidelines and tailoring them to meet the specific needs of the children in our care. RE is taught through an enquiry model, encouraging active learning styles, for example using art, drama, music and poetry to enhance the children’s learning experience and encourage them to think for themselves. We also learn through visits and visitors. Key questions are used to engage the children and encourage them to think broadly and deeply about questions associated with religious beliefs and practices. Our aim is to weave the three strands of theology, philosophy and human and social sciences through our RE lessons so that children are equipped to think critically and form their own views about religion and beliefs, and develop religious literacy.
Assessment in RE is undergoing change. We recognise that assessment needs to provide value to teachers, and inform their planning, helping them to meet the needs of the children in their classes. After working with the diocese on assessment techniques, the RE lead and the DHT have encouraged teachers to employ a number of strategies to assess RE and form part of an evaluation cycle. In each classroom there will be a working wall. This will help the teacher with formative assessment. Tools such as mind maps and self-assessment charts will also provide teachers with information to assess the children’s knowledge. In addition to assessing knowledge, however, we also recognise that ‘soft skills’ such as learning to express opposing views respectfully need to learnt and developed. Teachers employ a number of different strategies to enable them to make both formative and summative assessments. The information learnt from these will help to inform future planning.
Through our RE Curriculum and our eight core Christian values, we aim to develop and strengthen the distinctive Christian character of the school. Our eight core Christian values are thankfulness, forgiveness, respect & reverence, kindness, truthfulness, trust, friendship and responsibility.
Our Curriculum Map for 2021/22 can be found below: