RE at Chidham
We believe RE is about subject knowledge, critical/evaluative thinking and personal spiritual development.
Through our Religious Education curriculum we aim
To offer a broad, balanced curriculum to open horizons and encourage children to appreciate the richness of different religions and cultures.
- To engage pupils in enquiring into and exploring questions arising from the study of religion and belief, so as to promote their personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- To provide pupils with knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religious traditions and beliefs (including non-religious) represented in Great Britain.
- To develop their understanding of the ways in which beliefs influence people in their behaviour, practices and outlook.
- To encourage learners to develop a positive attitude towards other people who hold religious and non-religious views and whose beliefs may different from their own.
RE is organized into half termly topics for each year group.
Lessons are planned and delivered in a variety of ways ensuring that all children can access and participate in lessons. Interactive, practical and creative activities encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of concepts and ask and discuss challenging questions.
We use Understanding Christianity for Christian units and The Emmanuel Project for other faiths.
Christianity teaching forms the majority of our teaching in line with the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus. The Key stages are divided into key stage 1/ lower key stage 2 and upper key stage 2. When following the units there is a core value focus in one year followed on by a “digging deeper” in the same unit in the second year. This is to ensure that there is progression within the teaching and learning and the understanding is built upon and values revisited.
The units are organized around the Christian calendar so that children will be thinking …about the birth of Jesus at Christmas time and resurrection, Holy Spirit and Pentecost around Easter. We look at creation in the summer when we spend time outside to look at God’s world. Although the units are not linked to our school’s half termly Cornerstones topics, connections are made when possible e.g God’s world, creation with topics on growing.
In addition in year 5 the children complete a unit on The Lord’s Prayer, discussing the symbolism of each line and its meaning.
In Year 6 the children build on this understanding of prayer by learning the Prayer of St Richard as this is read at the end of year service for year 6 in Chichester Cathedral. The children will also learn about the life and teaching of St Richard.
In year 5 there is a unit on Buddhism to reflect the beliefs of some of the school population and in year 6 a unit on humanism encourages discussion and comparisons, enables a discussion on beliefs and encourages the children to start developing their own world view by asking questions.
We have chosen a range of faiths both religious and non-religious to reflect our community beliefs and as we are not a particularly diverse area multi culturally, to give the children a range of opportunities to explore world faiths and beliefs, thereby preparing them for secondary school and later life.
We use this scheme to teach other world religions. In key sage 1 we teach Judaism – learning about Sukkah in the Autumn term and linking it with Harvest. The children can use the outdoor learning area to build their own sukkot. In the Summer we recap on the beliefs and learn about good deeds and how Jewish people show their thanks to God during the Shabbat. We learn about customs and symbols during this important time.
In year 2 the children build on this knowledge in Judaism by learning about the holy book the Torah and its significance in the teachings and way of life.
They also are introduced to Islam, learning about the importance of Allah.
Key stage 2 (year 3) the children complete a further study of the understanding of Islam and how Muslims show obedience to Allah building on what they learnt in year 2. A unit in Judaism see the children listening to Jewish stories and teaching and understanding the covenant with God. In year 4 the children learn about the prophet Muhammed and are introduced to Hinduism through the story of Rama and Sita – looking at this story is fundamental to the teaching of Hinduism.
Upper key sage 2 (year 5) sees the children develop their understanding of Hinduism through Moska and they learn about Buddhism and the teachings of Buddha.
In year 6 the children complete a further unit on Hinduism and we encourage the children to develop their question and discussion skills through the units. We like them to listen to others, research the themes and beliefs and compare and contrast the beliefs between the different world faiths that they have studied.
At the end of each unit there is a summative assessment using pupil’s voice to gauge what the children have learnt and how it may have changed their view, deepened their understanding or impacted their thinking.
We build on learning through each unit so the children reach the appropriate end of year expectations which are reported to parents.
Conversations with the children throughout the school show that they value the lessons and find them interesting. By exposing the children at Chidham to different faiths we hope they can be positive, active citizens in the future – helped by their understanding of different faiths and cultures found across the world.