At Green Park School, Religious Education has a significant role in the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different faiths and beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self-awareness and reflection. The principle aim of RE is to engage pupils in an enquiry approach where they can develop an understanding and appreciation for the expression of beliefs, cultural practices and influence of principle religions and worldviews in the local, national and wider global community.
The key aims for religious education are for our children to:
- Learn about religion – how people belong, what they believe and how they behave
- Learn from religion – how it teaches a moral code and acts as a guide
- Consider and discuss ‘big questions’ with a theological or philosophical focus
- Explore their own beliefs about important concepts
- Learn and use specialist vocabulary
- Develop respect and empathy for diversity and the beliefs of others
At Green Park School we follow the Milton Keynes Agreed Syllabus. We explore each religion or concept by starting with a ‘big question’ and encouraging pupils to acquire knowledge through enquiry and direct teaching. They explore their own experiences and ideas and build on this to understand the experience of others within different faiths. As children progress through the school, they revisit learning from previous years and compare faiths in order to deepen their knowledge and acquire a better understanding of diversity in their local and global community.
Experiences and enrichment opportunities at Green Park School include:
- handling artefacts
- exploring sacred texts
- using imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas
- responding to and exploring religious expression in images, games, stories, art, music and dance
- meeting visitors from local religious communities, cultural arts groups etc.
- making visits to religious places of worship where possible, and where not, making use of videos and the internet
- taking part in whole school events- (multi-faith days, Harvest Festival, school performances)
- participating in moments of quiet reflection
- using ICT to further explore religion and belief globally
- comparing religions and worldviews through discussion and debate
- debating and communicating religious belief, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking ultimate questions posed by these
The medium term plan maps out the big questions over a two year cycle in each mixed age year group. It also links to the relevant parts of our PSHE curriculum so children can make links to living in modern Britain and respect for the beliefs of others etc.
Foundation – covers all faiths through story and learning about festivals
Year 1 and 2 – Christianity and Judaism
Year 3 and 4 – Christianity and Hinduism
Year 5 and 6 – Christianity and Islam
By year 5 and 6, pupils are encouraged to use all of their acquired knowledge in order to compare and contrast faiths and to use this knowledge to answer deeper level questions of theology and philosophy.
The assessment framework sets out the progression of skills that will be developed as pupils deepen their knowledge and understanding of RE.
The age-related expectations are structured around the three strands of:
- believing – beliefs, teachings and sources, understanding of texts
- belonging – forms of expression, identity and diversity, self-realisation, participation in faith communities
- behaving – practices and ways of life
The age-related expectations have three purposes:
To help in assessment for and planning of learning: Assessment for learning is an essential part of the everyday teaching and learning in RE. Teachers use the framework to:
- set appropriate learning objectives that challenge pupils
- set lesson objectives that reflect the knowledge and understanding, skills, attitudes and values in RE
- structure learning in achievable steps and support learning to enable pupils to make progress
- share lesson objectives with pupils to help them recognise the standards for which they are aiming
- provide constructive feedback identifying what pupils have done well and clear guidance on next steps
- identify pupils’ current attainment and use it as a basis for development
- involve pupils in peer and self-assessment, reviewing and reflecting on their work and teacher feedback.
To help in assessment of learning: Summative assessment opportunities should be built in periodically to enable teachers to make judgements of pupils’ attainment against the age-related expectations.
To help teachers report on attainment: Good assessment will provide teachers with ample evidence on which to base judgements of pupils’ attainment
The assessment framework also maps out ‘golden threads’ that run through the curriculum at Green Park School and pupils will develop these through their RE lessons. These are:
- Enriched vocabulary
- Oracy – debate/discussion
- British Values – respect, empathy, tolerance
- Personal development – right and wrong/social skills/spiritual, moral, social, cultural
By the time children move to secondary school, they should have a good knowledge base of the faiths studied along with the necessary insight and awareness ready for KS3 religious education. They should be respectful and thoughtful global citizens who demonstrate a good knowledge of other faiths and cultures and who are willing to stand up for the beliefs of others in a calm and courteous manner.
© Green Park School 2019
Green Park Drive, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, MK16 0NH