At Gorseland, through RE, we aim to give children valuable insights into the diverse beliefs and opinions held by people today. It helps with their own personal development and supports an understanding of the spiritual, moral, social & cultural questions that surface again and again in their lives.
We also believe that a clear knowledge of religions and religious practices will, in the future, support much of their historical learning, as they learn about the impact of faith on many historical events.
We think it is essential that children start from a strong sense of their place in a family and the recognition of the celebrations that happen there. At Gorseland we value the experiences and faiths of those in our classes. We do however appreciate that Gorseland school lacks the religious diversity which might be represented in other schools, which makes RE possibly even more important. We believe that RE provides a clear opportunity to educate our pupils about people, religions and cultures within Britain as a whole. To support this, where possible, we welcome visitors from various faiths and visits to faith buildings and communities.
At Gorseland, our religious education is approached with ‘world view’ thinking, ie not all Jewish people practise their faith in the same way, so we might say things like “Some people with a Jewish world view celebrate Shabbat by…”. Our intent here is to acknowledge all people’s faiths and religious perspectives and individuality even within one faith.
Our aims and objectives are for children:
To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
To engage with challenging spiritual and moral questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places, particularly linking to other curriculum learning areas.
To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking.
To have respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate the diversity in society
At Gorseland, RE is taught through the Emmanuel Project scheme of work, which fulfils RE requirements for all schools, and is based on the Suffolk Agreed Syllabus.
The Emmanuel Project scheme of work Follows an enquiry cycle model within each unit, whereby children engage with new material, make enquiries, explore these enquiries, evaluate their learning and express their learning through a range of tasks and activities. All the units expand the EXPLORE section into three areas (scriptural text or narrative, community practice and daily living) to ensure a balanced approach to religious material, rather than an approach that focuses solely on religious festivals or sacred stories. Lessons focus on key beliefs and concepts of six different faiths and a non-religious worldview, as the driver to get to the heart of faith and link together stories, practices, festivals and ways of life.
In accordance with the Suffolk agreed syllabus for RE teaching, RE lessons at Gorseland include:
Learning about religion, which includes enquiry into and investigation of the nature of religion, its key beliefs and teachings, practices, their impacts on the lives of believers and communities, and the varying ways in which these are expressed. It also includes the skills of interpretation, analysis and explanation. Pupils learn to communicate their knowledge and understanding using specialist vocabulary. It also includes identifying and developing an understanding of ultimate questions and ethical issues.
Learning from religion which is concerned with developing pupils’ reflection on and response to their own experiences and their learning about religion. It develops pupils’ skills of application, interpretation and evaluation of what they learn about religion, particularly to questions of identity and belonging, meaning, purpose and truth and values and commitments, and communicating their responses.
RE at Gorseland provides opportunities for children and young people to reflect and analyse, to discuss and debate, to explore and discover, and to learn more about the world in which they live.
Christian RE is particularly important with relation to living in a broadly and historically Christian country. A keen experience of Christian RE will enable the children to understand, for example, references to stories such as Noah and the rainbow, even in casual remarks. We hope that the RE learnt at Gorseland will, in future, support their understanding of much historical art and music, being enhanced by the knowledge of some Biblical narrative.
We aim to provide children with engaging and unforgettable experiences in religious education. Our children will learn about the variety of religions in the world we live in to increase their awareness and understanding of different cultures and faiths. Our learners think about what drives people of faith to live the way they do. This builds each child’s ‘religious literacy’, helping them understand the nature of religion and belief in the world in which they live. Children then have the opportunity to learn from this religious belief e.g. reconciliation, and put this into practice in their own lives.
The intended outcome of our RE curriculum is that children will:
develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions and world-views
develop awareness and understanding of religious beliefs, teachings, practices, forms of expression and the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures learn from the diversity of different religions, beliefs, values and traditions whilst affirming their own faith or search for meaning
reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and communicate their responses
develop their sense of identity and belonging and enable them to flourish individually within their communities, as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community
prepare for adult life and employment by developing respect and sensitivity to others, in particular those with different faiths and beliefs, and to combat prejudice and negative discrimination.
Teachers make a judgement on the extent to which children have displayed competent skills and met the intended learning outcome each lesson and record this on assessment grids for each module. This feeds into an end of term teacher assessment for each child. Where learning is recorded in books, this is marked regularly by teachers and feedback is given to highlight learning and next steps.
The RE subject leader monitors teaching and learning in their subject through observing teaching and learning in lessons, analysing the work produced by children, talking to samples of children in different year groups about what they know and remember from their learning and termly data analysis to track the progress of learning in their subject across the school.