The Barking and Dagenham Agreed RE syllabus aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Southwood Primary School we believe that Religious Education assists in the promotion of the moral, spiritual, cultural and social development of the child preparing them for responsibilities and opportunities they will experience in the future. Religious Education is important for children to understand each other and to break down fear and prejudice. In line with British Values, we believe Religious Education should be broadly based, reflecting that Christianity is the main religion of the UK, but taking account of others such as; Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism, who have an importance in the local community. Our scheme of work also references Jewish, Buddhist and world views (Humanism) traditions to widen our children’s understanding of the world. We believe that the teaching of Religious Education should be non-sectarian and not confined to purely giving out information. It is an academic discipline and is at the heart of the curriculum. Religious Education does not seek to urge religious or non-religious beliefs on children or to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs by promoting one religion over another. We believe that all children should be concerned about wider areas of morality, the difference between right and wrong and the effect that our actions have on others and Religious Education can make a positive contribution to this.
Religious Education will be taught in a block each half term. The Scheme of work is based on the Barking and Dagenham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (June 2020). The content of this scheme has been adjusted to cover the needs of our pupils. In addition, appropriate festivals throughout the year and moral themes taken from Collective Worship sessions are also encouraged in order to ensure a balance of subject content. Religious Education contributes to the whole school development of positive attitudes towards oneself and other, and therefore a degree of flexibility in the classroom teaching and management will be required to make the most of appropriate opportunities for debate and discussion. In the Foundation Stage, RE is not taught as a distinct curriculum area. However, many of the EYFS development strands such as; Understanding the World and Personal, Social and Emotional Development, lead into the two RE attainment targets.
All teaching staff will give information about any faith or religious group without bias and as accurately as possible. The input of the teacher should enable children to examine and understand their own beliefs and experience, while appreciating the role of the community in respect to the child’s own personal faith. Planning is completed in the designated half-terms and is delivered to ensure continuity and progression. It will be taught using whole class teaching, differentiated groups and ability group teaching. Different activities such as stories, discussions, drama, games, art, music and role-play will be used to develop the awareness of children’s feelings and opinions. Each year group will visit a place of worship, so that over their time at primary school, they will have had the opportunity to visit the main religious buildings. We also arrange visits from the different faith leaders such as; an Imam, Vicar and representatives from Faith in schools.
In line with school policies, RE aims to meet the needs of all children through planned differentiation and resources. This will include the need to adapt lessons to account for children’s different learning styles, especially those to whom English is an additional language, children with Specific Special Educational Needs and the More Able children.
Alongside a whole school approach to celebrating different religious and cultural celebrations, the RE curriculum provides the means to celebrate the diversity of the school community and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history. This successful approach to the RE curriculum ensures that children develop spiritually, academically, emotionally and morally to promote and realise a better understanding of themselves and others and to equip with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world. As well as outcomes of work in children’s books, children’s understanding of religion and the ability to respond creatively to religious themes is also evidenced throughout the schools annual calendar.
Teacher judgements are formed with regards to children’s developing on understanding of religious concepts, experiences and issues. We use the level descriptors set out by Newham Agreed Syllabus for RE (2016) to help us increase the consistency of assessment in religious education and to improve standards of achievement further. The levels are written into every scheme of work giving clear standards for teachers to use in assessment. As part of monitoring carried out by the RE lead, pupils are interviewed to moderate teacher based assessments. This is also supported by the scrutiny of pupils’ books, lesson observations and environment checks to ensure that there is correct delivery of the curriculum and to highlight areas for improvement.