Religious Education Curriculum Statement
Religious education is a core component within our curriculum. It encourages children to develop a better understanding of themselves, their beliefs and morals. RE has deep connections with children’s SMSC (spiritual moral, social and cultural) development. SMSC is embedded across the curriculum at Pilsley but comes to the forefront in RE lessons. The RE curriculum at Pilsley enables the children to explore the beliefs of others and to reflect on their own beliefs in the process. Students can engage with controversial issues and learn to disagree respectfully with each other. We seek to inspire in our children an awareness, respect and tolerance for others who hold different beliefs and opinions to their own. RE lessons aspire to promote the children’s interest in how people choose to live their lives and understand why people make those choices. In our 21st century, multi-cultural society, RE lessons provide essential skills for being part of a positive community. RE teaches children to ask thoughtful questions, make informed judgements, reflect and connect.
At the core of our RE curriculum is the Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus, this is personalised for our children through the Understanding Christianity resource and our school PRAISE vision. This vision is fully implemented through daily acts of worship as well as being brought into our class learning and life around school continually. These key values are:
Perseverance, Respect, Achievement, Independence, Service and Enthusiasm
RE is taught in class groups in regular weekly sessions throughout the year, so that children can revisit and build on their learning. This structure allows children to develop a depth of understanding as well as enabling them to retain the knowledge through consolidation and progression.
At Pilsley, we use the Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus. The principal aim of this syllabus is:
“to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.”
This syllabus provides RE objectives and key questions that are academically challenging and personally inspiring. The units of work provoke challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues or right and wrong and what it means to be human.
Alongside this syllabus, Pilsley also uses the compatible Understanding Christianity scheme of work. As a Church of England school we have a specific focus on Christianity which comes into Collective Worship every day and our RE lessons. Use of this resource has raised standards and sets high expectations for learning in RE. The Understanding Christianity resource covers eight core concepts at the heart of mainstream Christian belief. Their building blocks set out clear progression from EYFS to KS3.
The core concepts are:
Progression is ensured by the effective assessment of impact. This curriculum prepares our children for their future education and life beyond. The progression of concepts is shown here:
Understanding Christianity’s approach to teaching about Christianity builds up pupils’ encounters
with biblical concepts through texts, placing the texts and concepts within the wider Bible story. Each unit addresses a concept, through some key questions, exploring core Bible texts, their impact for Christians, and possible implications for pupils. Each unit incorporates the three elements below:
Each child has an RE book which follows them up through school. Children are encouraged to look back at previous work that links to their current learning. This also allows teachers to build on prior learning and make connections. Every RE unit has a key question that is introduced in the first lesson. By the end of the unit, children are expected to respond to the question in a range of ways; this could be a piece of extended writing, artwork or a class debate. RE lessons are planned in a way that children receive continuous feedback from their teacher and peers through discussion and sharing.
Assessment for Learning is embedded in practice, with both staff and children continually reflecting on their learning, allowing for support and extension in both knowledge and skills. In every area of school life our pupils are given very high expectations in their behaviour. We have a successful rewards and consequences system, which progresses throughout the school to maintain effectiveness.