Our intent: At The Staffordshire Schools Multi Academy Trust Religious Education (RE) plays an important role in defining the Academies distinctive Christian Character. Religious education makes a unique contribution to the ethos of our schools and is reflected in our motto, “Believe and Achieve”. We recognise that spirituality lies at the heart of the curriculum. All members of the Multi Academy Trust experience Christianity through the life of the Trust, as well as taught through the curriculum. The skills, values and attitudes developed in RE are at the heart of a cohesive community where the children are encouraged to have a positive sense of identity and belonging. We aim to ensure that the RE curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to pupils of all ages and encourage the children to ask questions to develop their critical thinking and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form our society, whilst promoting respect and diversity.
RE teaching is in line with the curriculum and the recommendations of the Statement of Entitlement for Church Schools, published by the National Society and adopted by the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education. Our curriculum follows the Understanding Christainity scheme of work.
The majority of our curriculum is based around developing the children’s awareness of the traditions and beliefs of Christianity, particularly in relation to the Anglican Church. Christian morals and values are central to the ethos of our schools and we aim to give children a firm foundation of social values based on Christian principles. The encounter must be an open one which stems from and instils respect for different views and interpretations.
While the majority of our curriculum is based on Christianity our intent is that our children learn about development in relation to other world religions. Classes in KS1 complete an in depth study into one other religion (Hinduism or Judaism) and in KS2 complete an in depth study into two other religions (Sikhism, Buddhism or Islam). We use knowledge mats to support our units of work which provide deep thinking opportunites and prior learning of vocabulary.
RE has a high profile within curriculum across the academy and learning activities provide fully for the needs of all learners. RE is taught discretely each week; our aim is to ensure that learners are inspired by the subject and develop a wide range of higher level skills such as enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection to deepen their understanding of the impact of religion on the world.
Our curriculum is focussed around six broad themes;
- practices and ways of life
- expressing meaning
- diversity and belonging
- responding to the natural world
- values and commitments
- beliefs and teaching.
These broad themes allow children to explore multiple view points and religions and build comparison to identify similarities and differences, In addition they allow children to investigate their own beliefs and values and develop respect and sensitivity to those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.
A central element to our RE curriculum is ensuring children learn both about and from religion, through providing hands on experiences such as visiting places of worship, interacting with leaders of other faiths or handling religious artefacts we aim to ensure our RE is exciting and engaging for all children and creates a sense of awe and wonder. Children are assessed against criteria from both elements; learning from and learning about and assessment opportunities are catered to a range of learning styles to ensure progress for all children.
In addition, the subject contributes to other areas of education and human experience and plays an important part of the wider program of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Spiritual - widening pupils vision of themselves and their own experience, within the context of a growing awareness and understanding of God.
Moral - helping each pupil develop their own informed values.
Social - helping pupils understand what shapes the values in our society.
Cultural – aiding pupils in exploring aspects of their own cultural heritage, and in developing positive attitudes towards diversity.
In our Worship experiences, we aim to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development of the children. A whole school Act of Worship takes place daily, led by the Executive Head, Head of School or other members of staff. The Vicar leads the Act of Worship every fortnight and is regularly involved in the teaching of specific aspects of the Christian faith and special days, people and celebrations in the Church’s year.
Special services to celebrate important times and festivals in the Christian Church’s year take place at the local Church. Everyone in the school family, community and other friends and relatives are very welcome to join with us at these special times: Harvest, Christingle, Christmas, Mothering Sunday, Easter and also at the Leavers’ Service at the end of the summer term. The children are actively involved in producing and leading the services showing their involvement with worship in the community.
Across our schools we aim to promote opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development, this is encouraged across the curriculum specifically in our acts of worship and provides a safe environment for children to develop their own values and beliefs. Within the acts of worship, the children are actively involved both with discussions, stories, questions and prayers. The academy also encourages active engagement through developing the children as worship leaders allowing them to plan and deliver worship to the whole school.
At the heart of our multi academy trust are a set of core Christian Values; Love, Respect and Friendship, the development and understanding of these are rooted in all worships and curriculum opportunities. In addition our Worships are based around different Christian Values and are rotated half termly to allow for deeper understanding and application. These underpin our whole ethos, curriculum and school life and aim to ensure our pupils leave the academy as happy, secure, confident, caring and responsible citizens. The values we promote are important within the school community and are values which will be important throughout life. In all that we do we strive to share, encourage and demonstrate positive values with our children; in order that they understand them and strive to live by them.
RE Curriculum overview
Knowledge Mats for RE
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship. Children withdrawn will be supervised by a member of staff.
Because of our RE curriculum, St Mary's children are: