Religious Education Intent Statement:
At Birches First School, we are committed to providing our children with an exciting and positive learning environment, in which they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of religions while contributing to their spiritual, moral social and cultural development.
We aim for our children to be inquisitive and seek to understand big questions about life, to be aware of the differing beliefs of others and the impact and diversity this can have on people’s lives. This enables children to make sense of religion, reflect on their own ideas and ways of life. Children are encouraged to develop communication skills so that they are able to participate positively in our society demonstrating tolerance and respect.
Our RE curriculum and whole school ethos celebrates each child’s uniqueness. We aim for our children to enjoy learning about religion, to develop curiosity and a sense of awe and wonder about the local and global world around them.
Religious Education Implementation:
RE lessons are taught weekly. Our nominated scheme of learning (Staffordshire Entrust SACRE) topics reflect the National Curriculum and provides breadth, depth and a clear progression of skills, knowledge and understanding. Our curriculum explores specifically the religions of Christianity, Islam and Sikhism in greater depth.
Our Curriculum Planning is adapted according to the needs of the school, cohort and individual children. This maximises the potential for children to know more, remember more and understand more.
In the Early Years, specific adult led activities are planned in line with the EYFS framework and supported by the Entrust scheme of learning and these are further embedded through continuous provision, hands on experiences and the Understanding of the World area of learning. Children are provided with opportunities to learn about the similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities and will be encouraged to draw upon and share their own personal experiences that can be celebrated in class.
As a whole school we learn about and celebrate a range of religious festivals throughout the year such as Diwali, Eid, Ramadan, Easter, Christmas, Advent and Harvest. Each year, we hold Multi Faith days during which we learn about and celebrate the diversity of our school community and local area.
We actively encourage and invite visitors into school to provide children with rich experiences which further their understanding of religion and how it can shape people’s lives.
RE learning is also promoted and furthered through daily Collective Worship and links closely with our PSHEe curriculum.
At Birches First we make use of a range of resources in school. We also seek to learn about the range of religions within the immediate and wider local area through visits to places of worship.
Where parents make a request for their child to be withdrawn from (whole or part of) Religious Education lessons, the school works closely with parents and discuss how best to support children in this context.
Assessment of children’s learning within these topics and lessons is carried out during their delivery as well as teachers making judgements about children’s attainment at the end of a unit. Year group objectives are used as a basis for making these judgements of ‘working towards,’ ‘expected’ and ‘exceeding’ Age Related Expectations (ARE).
Religious Education, Fundamental British Values and SMSC
Fundamental British Values – Children are taught to understand how religious ideas and viewpoints have shaped our world in the past and how they continue to influence our world today. They are also encouraged to develop an understanding how life can be different for different people around the world and about life in modern Britain.
SMSC – close links may be made with Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEe) as well as the Humanities. Children are encouraged to reflect on their place within the world – present and future. Through discussion about events happening in the world around us children are encouraged to consider their responsibilities to the world and how their actions (like the actions of others) could have an impact – positive or negative.
At Birches First, we seek to ensure that all pupils in our school are educated to develop spiritually, academically, emotionally and morally to enable them to better understand themselves and others and to cope with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world.
Regular assemblies and celebrations of work taught supports the diversity of the school community and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history.