At St. Michael’s C of E Primary School, children are taught to understand and respect the importance of religious beliefs in the world around them. We encourage children to use and develop their skills in RE and to participate in critical thinking. We aim to ensure that the RE curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to pupils of all ages giving them a better understanding of the world that they live in.
At St Michael’s we believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. We teach RE at the start of every week so that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect upon religion throughout everyday life and events.
Religious Education and a ‘Christian Ethos’ is embedded throughout the school curriculum and everyday life at St Michael’s with the focus upon six main Christian values: koinonia, hope, wisdom, endurance, justice and creation.
The aims of R.E. include:
- To develop an awareness of how Christianity the lives of millions of people today
- To enable pupils to learn about the other major religions.
- To develop understanding of a religious faith as the search for and expression of truth
- To contribute to the development of pupils own spiritual/philosophical beliefs.
Our RE curriculum design is based on principles derived from evidence through cognitive science:
- Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
- Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to the principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
We use a combination of the Diocese syllabus and core concepts of Christian Belief in ‘Understanding Christianity’ across the school to teach RE. We place great importance on providing opportunities for everyone within the school community to continue their personal faith journey. During the school year there are many opportunities for the children to take part in school worship through collective worship and other religious celebrations. This is a time for the children to share their learning with our school community. They are given the opportunity to participate in worship as part of the wider community due to our strong relationship with our local church – St Michael’s.
The Governors are required to remind parents of their right to withdraw pupils from religious worship and education. However, parents are also reminded that the school exists to give a Christian education to its pupils and therefore parents are expected to be in sympathy with the aims and objectives of the school. It should be noted that parents who choose to exercise their right of withdrawal are responsible for the supervision of their children during these periods of withdrawal.
In Early Years Foundation Stage, the children develop their understanding of the world, through practical activities, by learning about religion by doing, talking, listening, acting out and experiencing through their senses. All children are encouraged to make sense of their world by being given opportunities to explore and observe three of the core concepts of ‘The Big Story’ – creation, salvation and incarnation.
In Key Stage One, the children continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of religions whilst identifying features of religion and becoming more familiar with religions influence on their own community. They are beginning to identify features of religion and how these may influence themselves and others through five of the core concepts of ‘The Big Story’ – creation, incarnation, salvation, God and gospel.
In Key Stage Two, the children aim to extend their knowledge and understanding of religions locally and worldwide. All children are encouraged to use specific vocabulary when exploring their curiosity and must create increasingly challenging higher-order questions about religious beliefs, values and human life. They make links between values and commitments, and their own attitudes and behaviour, as well as making links between religions and describe some similarities and differences both within and between religions. They are given the opportunity to express their own ideas and opinions in the response to the religious materials they come across. The ability to ‘dig deep’ and give reasons for their beliefs and opinions is vital at this stage of learning to ensure all children are challenged through six of the core concepts of ‘The Big Story’ – creation, incarnation, salvation, God of Kingdom, People of God and gospel.
Our commitment to providing our children with a diverse outlook on the world they live in, is enforced with each class having another religion to focus their comparisons to. This Multi-Faith coverage is shown below
- EYFS and Key Stage 1– Judaism
- Lower Key Stage 2 – Hinduism
- Upper Key Stage 2 – Islam
All children will partake in whole school RE days where we will be joined by visitors or go on visits to broaden our experiences and support our comparisons between Christianity and the other religions.
The intended impact of our curriculum is that children build semantic and procedural knowledge. Children will have a wider understanding of the world’s religions, particularly Christianity, and be able to compare and contrast them. Children will have an enriched experience of local and world wide people and places of various religions. They will have developed their own views on world issues. They will be able to speak confidently and they will feel comfortable and confident when debating their own opinions when discussing religion with others.
Our RE Learning
Each class has their own Long-term plan. Please click on any of the links below to see our ‘RE Learning Journey’:
Our St Michael’s community are keen to work with other professionals to ultimately deliver the best learning experience for children. Here is how Understanding Christianity and Diocesan topics have been planned for in our school (both long term and short term). We hope you find these helpful.
We find other RE communities extremely helpful when creating meaningful lessons for our learners. Here are some examples from Learn, Teach, Lead RE.