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Religious Education

Intent

At Northgate our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high academic ambition for all pupils.  In RE, we aim to ensure that all pupils develop a good knowledge an understanding of sources of wisdom and their impact whilst exploring personal and critical responses.  We want the children to understand, accept and respect cultural similarities and differences.

At Northgate we follow the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (2017-2022).  This is divided into two focus areas; Sources of Wisdom and their impact and Personal and critical responses:

Sources of wisdom and their impact Aims to ensure that all children:

  • Know, understand and explore the significance and impact of sacred texts, other sources of wisdom and ways of expressing meaning.
  • Express ideas and insights about the nature of beliefs, values and practices and their impact upon the identity of individuals and communities.
  • Recognise and explore the diversity which exists within and between religious traditions.

Personal and critical responses Aims to ensure that all children:

  • Express with increasing discernment their personal reflections, critical responses and connections to faith and belief enquiring into philosophical, moral and ethical issues.
  • Engage with the questions and answers offered by religions and worldviews concerning ultimate questions and human responsibility.
  • Develop the skills required to engage with others in dialogue and to cooperate in society with respect and compassion.
Teaching of RE at Northgate provides pupils with a systematic knowledge and understanding about Christianity, principal religions and worldviews, which give life value.  It aims to enable pupils to become religiously and theologically literate so they can engage in life in an increasingly diverse society.  It is not about telling pupils what religious views they should have but rather assists them in gaining shared human understanding, developing personal identity and searching for meaning in the context of evaluating different viewpoints.
 

Implementation

We recognise that curriculum time for Religious Education is distinct from the time we spend in school assemblies and taking part in productions relating to a religious festivals or events e.g. Christmas productions and Harvest Festival assemblies.

At Northgate Religious Education is taught at identifiable times in every year group.  The time specifically allocated to the teaching of RE in each Key Stage is highlighted below:

We also provide opportunities such as a creative or cross-curricular approach through the delivery of whole school approaches, such as a themed days or weeks for RE.

At Northgate we recognise that quality depth is more important than over-stretched breadth.  Therefore each year group focus’s on Christianity and another prominent religion to ensure a full and rich coverage throughout the school.

Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of RE involves the following;

  • RE will be planned by the teacher (or TA where appropriate) using the Agreed Herts Syllabus.
  • Knowledge organisers show progression in teaching and learning units and provide teachers with the key knowledge and vocabulary of each topic it that is taught in the previous and following year group.  Teachers can use this to recap and build on prior learning successfully.  This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and understanding as well as supporting retention.
  • Learning will be recorded in class ‘big books’.  Learning can be represented in a range of ways such as examples of work, photos and child’s voice .
  • Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources.  Teachers pose deeper thinking questioning in class to challenge and assess.
  • Children increase their cultural capital through visits and visitors.  These specialist visits and visitors deliver high quality workshops to facilitate and support RE learning by building on the children’s prior knowledge and encouraging them to think about others.

Teachers use the end of key stage statements in the wheels below to assess if a child has met the expectations for their year group.  These Wheels provide the definition of a religiously and theologically literate pupil at the end of each key stage.

‘Religious literacy’ focuses on the human experience of religion and belief and the development of skills for expressing these experiences.

‘Theological literacy’ focuses on the big concepts upon which religions are founded, such as God, creation and the afterlife and the development of skills for expressing these concepts.

The end of key stage learning outcome statements, which are set out in the boxes beneath each wheel, are intended for ongoing assessment of learning and for reporting to parents.

Impact

The teaching of RE at Northgate offers distinctive and valid opportunities to promote pupils’ interdisciplinary learning and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.  It contributes to the development of the schools beliefs and values.  Dedicated RE lessons, in partnership with whole school approaches, allow for timely and sensitive responses to be made to unforeseen events of a religious, moral or philosophical nature, including natural phenomena resulting in humanitarian responses whether local, national or global.

As children progress through Northgate they cover the full RE curriculum developing a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation for their local and wider community.  Children understand and respect the religious beliefs and practices of others.

Children engage in a range of engaging experiences that promote deeper thinking and provide opportunities for the children to reflect and develop their own identity. 

The RE curriculum enables children to develop as tolerant young people with respect and understanding of the views of others, including the beliefs and practices of religions and other world views.

Northgate Primary School
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