At Westfield Primary School we follow the Lancashire syllabus, approved in line with the law, by the Agreed Syllabus Conference, SACRE and the Local Authority. It outlines statutory requirements and also the programmes of study for each key stage.
At the heart of our syllabus is the quest to understand what it is to be human. By learning about religion we can become more open minded, respectful and achieve greater self-awareness. The skills and attitudes developed though RE can thus make a significant contribution to promoting British Values and developing community cohesion.
Religious Education will be delivered in our school to meet the agreed syllabus aims by:
- Including knowledge and reference to religious and nonreligious beliefs and worldviews, practices and ways of life.
- Develop knowledge and understanding of all members that make up our increasingly diverse community.
- As part of the syllabus at each Key Stage, visits to local places of worship are encouraged as are visits by members of SACRE and faith communities to local schools.
- Develop understanding of concepts and mastery of skills to make sense of religion and belief, at an appropriate level of challenge for their age.
- Develop positive attitudes and values and to reflect and relate their learning in RE to their own experience.
- Have the opportunity to learn that there are those who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives.
Our RE Curriculum reflects our aim to promote independence, individuality and an inquisitive mind.
Our RE curriculum is designed to both fulfil the requirements of the Religious Education in English Schools Guidance, and to provide experiences that engage, inspire and motivate all children. Our curriculum is ambitious and the methods of implementation will enable all pupils to achieve well and attain high-level outcomes by the end of each key stage. The curriculum is taught from Reception to Year 6 and reflects the fact that religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking into account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religious traditions represented in our community. As such, 50% of the teaching is focused upon Christianity. We recognise the variety of religions and non-religious backgrounds from which our pupils come. As a school, we maintain that teaching about religions and worldviews should be sufficiently fair, balanced and open.
Learning has been carefully considered, mapped out and sequenced through each Key Stage in order to ensure coverage of skills and clear progression. We recognise that RE teaching may need repetition and development, therefore religions are revisited throughout the years. This enables children to develop and reinforce their understanding in order to improve. Learning is adapted to meet the needs of different pupils, for example SEND and provides additional challenges for those children who require it.
Due to our class structure EYFS are taught alongside the Year 1 children however, they build upon their skills of the Early Learning Goals through continuous provision areas. It has been planned so that there are clear links between EYFS and Year 1. Year 2 to Year 6 follow year group specific plans. We begin teaching a unit of RE based around a focus question. This is then investigated through focus sessions following a specific order. The field enquiry needs to be carried out in the following order; Shared Human Experience, Beliefs and Values, Living Religious Traditions and Search for Personal Meaning.
Our RE long term plan maps out each unit covered during each half term. Throughout our school the religions covered are Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.
RE teaching at Westfield Primary School provides children with rich, purposeful and ambitious opportunities to learn, and although it is taught as a separate subject discipline, opportunities arise in lessons for children to apply skills to other areas of the curriculum including English (through drama), art and music. Discussion is a crucial part of Religious Education and allows children to share thoughts with their peers. Teachers at Westfield Primary School use varied questioning techniques to stimulate these discussions, promote enquiry, deepen learning and support assessment. Well planned, clearly structured lessons drive forward key skills and knowledge. Lessons are sequenced over time to ensure chunks of learning are connected. Teachers use clear instruction, vocabulary and good subject knowledge when teaching.
Religious Education is taught in accordance with our school’s Equalities Policy. Attempts are made by teachers to ensure that examples of religious figures reflect all aspects of diversity within society. Our RE curriculum makes a significant contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development, this is central to everything that we do as a school, and awareness of Prevent and British Values. Our inclusive teaching and learning environment demonstrates the many opportunities which we provide for our children to understand democracy, law, liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.
Our curriculum has been carefully crafted and constructed to ensure that we inspire, engage and motivate our children. We aim for all our children to have secured age-related skills and knowledge before they leave Westfield Primary School. This equips them with the ability to successfully prepare for later life in the complex world and will be able to make informed choices throughout their lives. In addition to this we strive for our children to be knowledgeable about their own personal beliefs, ideas and values so that they can hold balanced and well informed conversations whilst respecting the views of others.
The impact of our Religious Education curriculum can be measured and monitored in a variety of different ways including; learning walks, workbooks, and pupil interviews. Children carry out an assessment task at the end of each unit to demonstrate their understanding. It is the responsibility of the subject leader to triangulate this evidence to ensure consistency across the whole school. Throughout RE lessons teachers provide ‘in-the-moment’ feedback and support. At Westfield Primary School we strive to include all children of differing abilities in Religious Education and provision is made for SEND children in the school.
We endeavour to raise the profile of Religious Education in school by ensuring that we celebrate success and provide a wide range of opportunities for all of our children. RE is a subject that can be greatly enhanced in different ways. Teachers aim to provide some enrichment throughout the year through visits to places of worship or by inviting visitors into school.