Why is RE important?
RE allows young people to develop their beliefs and values. It helps pupils to understand the place of religion and belief in the world. RE contributes to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils, whether or not they are from a religious tradition. It teaches the British Values of tolerance and mutual respect in a diverse society, as well as allowing time to explore and celebrate a range of cultures, beliefs and values. Pupils discover that we are all part of a local and global community. This compliments our ASPIRE curriculum, in particular our pillars of Respect, Pride, Self Awareness and Inclusivity.
Which religions do we study?
From Year 1 through to Year 6, our children are taught a variety of the world’s largest religions. These include Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. Pupils learn about these religions throughout the course of their primary education.
Each time a religion is revisited previous knowledge is built upon to ensure progression. Children will develop their understanding and vocabulary of that particular religion each year. For example, in Year 2, pupils will learn about Christianity linked to Christmas celebrations, and then in Year 3 they will learn more specifically about the bible. This learning will develop further in Y4 when they explore Easter celebrations. Pupils are given the opportunity to not only learn about the individual religions but to compare religions to find their similarities and differences. The RE curriculum covers two different aspects – learning about religion and learning from religion. Learning about religion involves knowledge, understanding and vocabulary. Learning from religion is a deeper exploration of that religion based around enquiry and philosophy.
How do we make cross curricular links?
Our RE curriculum is very closely linked to our ASPIRE values and Rights Respecting. These are woven into every lesson and used as a tool for discussion and exploration of religious ideas, practices and teachings. Lessons are linked to Geography, looking at maps to discover the locations of religious stories and landmarks. Historical aspects of lessons might include the use of a timeline to show a series of events, or looking at artefacts and sources to explore and delve deeper. Lesson outcomes are often drama or art based. For example, children will participate in role play to retell a story or make a Diwali Diya using salt dough. There are also opportunities to write in length about what they have been learning.
What is special about RE at Shoreditch Park?
At Shoreditch Park we benefit from a very diverse faith school community. During our RE lessons, teachers offer opportunities for pupils to encounter an authentic voice of faith and belief. This means that we encourage pupils to share their own unique and personal religious experiences. This is particularly beneficial when pupils teach their classmates about particular religious traditions or festivals. Here, our pupils become the “experts” and we believe that this not only builds self-esteem, but also enhances engagement and quality of lessons. We also welcome members of our school community, including parents and relatives, to come and speak to our classes about a particular RE topic.