Subject leader name: Helen Holmes
‘RE is about life and about how people choose to live it’ Helen Holmes
‘Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads as long as we reach the same goal? In reality, there are as many different religions as there are individuals.’ Gandhi
The principle aim of RE at Didsbury Road Primary School is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address. This will enable children to develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.
This means for our children that ‘RE explores big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can make sense of religion, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.’
It is our intent for Religious Education to engage, inspire, challenge and encourage pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to answer challenging questions, explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions and develop a more rigorous understanding of the numerous religious traditions, beliefs and practices that are followed in our multi-cultural society.
Teaching and learning in RE
Orientation - each classroom has the RE big life question that is being explored displayed along with other supportive images, vocabulary and children’s responses to learning. Children have key vocabulary, images etc. in their books from the current unit of work. It is also an opportunity to showcase children’s work and responses to learning throughout the year. Resources that are required for each lesson are fully prepared and available beforehand such as artefacts and real photographs.
Prior Knowledge - this is ascertained through the use of pre-learning quizzes and questioning. Children are asked to bridge back to prior learning and share what they remember about a particular area of study or big question. Any gaps in previous learning are identified and incorporated into future planning.
Presentation - We link our RE to previous learning in earlier years and are constantly making connections with the real world. Our lessons are designed to improve children’s knowledge of place and being in the wider world, and bringing children’s own personal experiences into the classroom. We use multi-sensory approaches such as DEAL and concrete resources for abstract concepts.
Challenge - Lessons and tasks are designed to challenge pupils’ thinking and require research, reasoning and critical thinking. Pupils are encouraged to make connections and are given opportunities to apply knowledge that has been acquired. They will often work in pairs or small groups and learning partners will change frequently. Questioning is used by teachers to encourage the pupils to think more deeply and move their learning on.
Feedback - This is precise, timely and often ‘in the moment’. Teachers use direct verbal feedback to address misconceptions and move learning forward. Through group work, children develop their own ‘talk and feedback’ strategies as part of cooperative learning.
Repeat - Recall strategies are applied through quizzes and questioning at the start of each RE lesson. Vocabulary is learnt through repetition and remains on the working wall throughout the duration of the big life question.
RE in EYFS
RE is taught explicitly within the Understanding the World area of learning. Using the 6 big questions as a focus children will learn about the similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities. They will be encouraged to talk about their own experiences. Books and stories will help them to widen their understanding of our culturally diverse world.
What inclusion in RE looks like
See the attached document for adaptive teaching strategies in the areas of:
- communication and interaction
- cognition and learning
- sensory and/or physical
- social and emotional
What our pupils say about RE
‘RE is great! Nothing is wrong so you don’t feel what you say will be judged.’ Y5
‘I love RE; it allows me to be myself.’ Y6
‘RE is about religion and Jesus and lots of religions and Chinese New Year.’ R
‘We learn about what’s special to us and other people.’ Y1
‘RE is about religion but you don’t have to be religious or believe in anything, but it’s good to learn about it so that you know what others feel about things and believe.’ Y2
‘I love my religion and I love Diwali. I love being Hindu.’ N
‘RE is fun, I look forward to it every week. We get chance to relax and come together and discuss big things about life.’ Y3
‘RE can be quite sensitive and we explore some really deep stuff about life. Even if you are not religious it’s good to know how others feel and what they believe about things. I find it really interesting.’ Y6