The R.E. Curriculum is designed to include breadth and ambition for all pupils (including SEND and DAP), securing knowledge and culture capital for success in life. The diversity of belief systems in our community is reflected in the breadth of religions and philosophies covered in R.E. lessons, with the intention of providing children with an understanding of ideas that may differ from their own. This is designed to provide knowledge, but also empathy with and mutual respect for ideas that children will encounter as they progress through life in a diverse society. RE lessons are designed to develop the long-term memory of our children, fit within the wider curriculum and build upon skills taught in other subjects. RE lessons utilise the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development to improve the children’s culture capital and understanding of the world.
It is the intent of the R.E. curriculum at Wistaston Academy to:
- Stimulate children to think deeply and to ask searching questions, making such questioning accessible to SEND children and also challenging the more able to delve more deeply.
- Foster an open-minded outlook that actively encourages enquiring minds without pre-supposed restrictions.
- Enable children to understand the practices and doctrines of a diversity of belief systems, as well as to identify points of contact between different religions.
- Encourage a knowledge of the historical, geographical and textual origins of belief systems as well as their vibrant expression in current worldwide and local settings.
- Enable children to reflect on the ideas they are presented with and craft their own informed opinions about the world.
The R.E curriculum is carefully planned to reflect the breadth of the National Curriculum, the content of which is designed and disseminated specifically through our local SACRE body. This content covers a progression of knowledge and skills and builds logically through a widening understanding of religions through the key stages.
The R.E. Curriculum is taught in a sequential manner that builds on knowledge and skills through the use of carefully devised year group overviews, which are based upon the requirements of the SACRE guidelines. These overviews, devised by the subject leader, outline the necessary lesson objectives for each lesson every half term and include guidance regarding vocabulary, enquiry questions and assessment criteria that ensure full coverage of subject content relevant to each year group. In this way, all the essential assessment for the end of each key stage can be monitored. Teachers all adhere to these overviews and deliver them using quality first teaching.
Regular meetings are held between the subject leader and class teachers, to ensure a good personal subject knowledge for each teacher and to encourage a dynamic and captivating approach to R.E. lessons. External specialists and practictioners are invited to enrich the delivery of some lessons, to provide specialist knowledge, to foster expectation and enthusiasm for each subject.
Regular use of class mind-maps at the beginning and end of each new unit allow teachers to avail of formative assessment when teaching and to adapt their delivery and content accordingly. These feedback sessions also provide children with opportunities to create links between different religions or foci within one particular religion and help to embed learning into the long-term memory. Working walls are also used to strengthen fluent understanding of key vocabulary and concepts within each topic. These methods, along with skilful questioning highlight any gaps in learning that may exist and provide opportunities to fill such gaps through re-visiting concepts regularly. Religious or philosophical topics are also embedded through cross-curricular links in other lessons such as art. A selection of reading books on religious subjects are made available to classes to enable enquiring minds to delve further or provide opportunities for pre-teaching where appropriate.
Full use of artefacts, visits to places of worship and visiting specialists are made in order for lessons to be delivered in an engaging way. Imaginative methods are regularly used, such as drama, art and sensory activities. Special events and festivals are employed to aid understanding, enable deeper questioning and provide empathy with various faith communities.
The impact of the R.E. curriculum is seen in the high-quality work evidenced throughout the school in this subject. This can be seen in R.E. books through written work, photographic and video evidence and through classroom discussion. Each subject unit is assessed according to the criteria outlined in each half termly overview, which is recorded on children’s cover sheets. This ensures that the full breadth of knowledge has been obtained (according the SACRE’S end of Key Stage assessment criteria) and where gaps appear, enables opportunities for revisiting concepts in future units. R.E. books are regularly scrutinised to assess coverage and impact by the subject leader. This is also ascertained and ensured through learning walks, lesson observations and discussions with teachers and pupils.
The palpable enthusiasm shown by children when discussing concepts is evidence of impact and this is beginning to be recorded in soft data “Vox Pops” documents as well as pupil voice feedback. The impact of consistently high-quality teaching is shown in the wealth of knowledge classes are progressively showing at the start of each unit. More able pupils are showing a growing ability to make links across religions, showing evidence that teaching within this subject is successful in becoming embedded in long-term memory.
Impact of our R.E. curriculum may also be measured in the attitudes evident amongst pupils of respect for concepts that may be different from their own. The constant engagement with, questioning of and dialogue about various religious concepts promote a culture of respect and inquiry. This culture of lively investigation and questioning has the impact of engendering enthusiasm for the subject which is clearly evident when speaking with pupils.
The impact of our R.E. curriculum is also shown in that children are well prepared for transition to the next key stage.