Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At Cherry Orchard Primary School, we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths and other world views, and we address fundamental questions concerning, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school and other world views. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding or value system. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions and encourage our children to share their own experiences to support the British Values of tolerance and respect, the rule of law, democracy and individual liberty.
In Key Stage 1 and Resource Base Two, we provide a challenging and robust curriculum that adheres to the agreed Birmingham syllabus for Religious Education. Clearly defined learning routes and progression of key facts are evidenced on our RE long term plans for each year group. At Cherry Orchard, we follow pathway 2 on our schemes of work.
In Key Stage Two we follow the Opening worlds curriculum. This is a multi-disciplined approach where RE, History and Geography are taught alongside each other. The uniqueness and background of every child is recognised and valued by using this and it covers a wide range of cultural, historical and ethnic backgrounds. This technique gives the children more purposeful and meaningful experiences to apply, share and develop their own knowledge. The curriculum is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills and knowledge in a rigorous and coherent way, which is also linked to storytelling and creativity to engage and enthuse the children. The aim is therefore to create an environment that prompts curiosity, critical thinking and allows learners to connect strands of learning across all aspects of the curriculum. Each lesson is planned so that it reinforces prior knowledge and builds upon pupils’ knowledge and skills.
The aims and objectives of teaching religious education in our school are to help our children:
· provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, religious traditions and other world views that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development. It develops an awareness of spiritual and moral issues arising in their lives.
· explore their own beliefs (whether they are religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses. This also builds resilience to anti-democratic or extremist narratives
· build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society. It enables pupils to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life
· develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice. It develops their knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other major world religions and world views found in Britain
· consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
· develop investigative and research skills, and make reasoned judgments about religious issues, have respect for other people’s views, and celebrate the diversity in society.