Religious Education at All Souls' CE
Religious Education Curriculum Rationale
At All Souls’ we are theologists! We want our children to love religious education. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be priests, anthropologists, lecturers or social workers! We want them to embody our Christian core values. We all embrace the school motto of: “we are a place to grow’ – this is both spiritually and academically. The religious education curriculum has been carefully designed so that our pupils develop their knowledge of religious and non-religious traditions and its influence on and from the wider world. We want all our pupils to remember their religious education learning in our school, to cherish these experiences and embrace the opportunities they are presented with.
The religious education curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our pupils to become independent and resilient.
We want to equip pupils with ambition beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the Rochdale Agreed Syllabus and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. The curriculum is meticulously planned with the intention to address social disadvantage and ensure that all pupils - including those with SEND – have an opportunity to engage with a challenging curriculum and achieve success. Any gaps in pupils’ knowledge are quickly identified and addressed to ensure that pupils are supported to meet the ambitious intended end points of the curriculum in religious education. We use the Rochdale agreed syllabus for the teaching of Religious Education.
The religious education curriculum is focused upon the development of substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Religious education is progressively sequenced to ensure that pupils’ knowledge of ‘the ways of knowing’ and substantive concepts are built over time and ready them for their next steps in learning allowing pupils to reflect upon their own relationship with the content taught. This enables an understanding of different religious and non-religious views and the diversity of peoples’ lives in a range of societies. Disciplinary knowledge such as, observing practices, is taught through substantive concepts and is developed across each phase in school. Through routes of enquiry, pupils learn the discipline of religious education and apply their knowledge and skills to think and work as a theologist. We seek to promote pupils to engage critically with ideas and understanding of religion and belief systems given the nature of our society, its speed of change, growing media influences and public social influences. The religious education curriculum studies how religions and worldviews shape and are shaped by the societies in which we live, promoting deepening understanding of those belief systems.
We want our pupils to use the vibrancy of our great town and wider city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing strong local contextual links where possible. For example, the curriculum offers visits to different places of worship where learning is hands on and supports the application of religious knowledge in a fun and exciting experience building on the knowledge and concepts pupils have gained.
British Values and our core values are placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the religious education curriculum. Cultural capital development is addressed through visits, online exploration and a range of visitors/workshops in school and first-hand experiences. We enrich pupils’ time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities to engender an appreciation of human spirituality and achievement.
We effectively develop and invest in our teaching staff to ensure that they are fully equipped with expert subject knowledge in order to support the delivery of the exceptional religious education curriculum. Teaching is highly effective for all pupils. Teachers present the curriculum content clearly through composites and component parts supported by unit plans, which break the unit knowledge, concepts and skills down for each lesson in each year group.
The curriculum is delivered through a subject specific approach, which supports pupils to develop the key concepts and knowledge of the religious education curriculum. Each lesson within a unit of work is carefully crafted and builds upon what has been previously taught from one year to the next.
Frequent audits of the religious education curriculum take place. Following the findings from these audits, the religious education curriculum is adapted to build upon the learning opportunities and assessment end points for each year group and ensures progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. The way religious education is taught follows a specific and consistent structure.
Pupils’ curiosity is inspired through the igniting of prior learning and the manner concepts and content is delivered. Pupils’ engage in the knowledge, skills and experiences involved in a unit and deepen their understanding to form a personal response, record their opinions, analyses and to review and revisit ideas. This process is replicated for each religious education unit. The way each discipline is taught is revisited in each phase, at a progressively deeper level.
Religious education subject specific characteristics, which we expect the pupils to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in religious education and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- to know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews:
- to describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
- to identify, investigate and respond to questions posed and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
- to appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
- to express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religion and worldviews
- to explain reasonable their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities
- to express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religions
- gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews
- find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively
- enquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all
- articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives
The teaching of the religious education curriculum is planned and delivered to support pupils to transfer key knowledge into their long-term memory and therefore improve the progress they make. Essential vocabulary is identified within each lesson and unit of work to ensure that our pupils can discuss and analyse the religious education content effectively.
Whilst delivering the curriculum, teachers are constantly checking to ensure that pupils are learning the necessary knowledge and identifying and addressing misunderstandings. Assessment is used as a tool to support pupil learning.
The religious education curriculum is research evidence informed in relation to the content, delivery and process of learning.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in religious education. Assessment informs learning to ensure that all pupils including disadvantage and those with SEND achieve highly and acquire the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Staff use assessment information to inform their short-term planning and address misconceptions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils. The end points for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down. This means that the essential knowledge, skills and concepts in religious education are progressive and build year on year.
Our well-constructed curriculum in religious education leads to pupils’ successful learning. This is evidenced in the outcomes within workbooks and display work produced. Pupils are well prepared for the next steps and stages of their learning due to the progressive and well-sequenced curriculum. As a result, pupils make excellent progress; they know more and remember more as they move through the religious education curriculum at All Souls’ CE Primary.
At All Souls' CE Primary School, we are