Religious Education is a core subject in the school curriculum. As a Church of England school, the Religious Education of our children is a strong part of our distinctive Christian vision. Our school’s vision and values permeate all areas of school life and are firmly rooted in Christian principles with Biblical foundations and feed into our teaching and approaches for all curriculum subjects, but are especially evident in our deeply reflective approach to Religious Education.
Intent - Our Vision
At St Nics' we want our children to:
- Know about and understand that Christianity is a living faith that influences people worldwide.
- Engage with big questions about the deep concepts and mysteries of life, listening respectfully and considering the ideas and opinions of others in order to learn to think for themselves.
- Learn about and respect other world faiths.
- Understand that the Christian Church is a worldwide faith and is expressed in a variety of ways across traditions and cultures.
- Appreciate ways in which faiths, especially Christianity, influence and guide believers' lives and decisions.
- Be equipped with the knowledge and the skills to come to their own set of beliefs and values, while respecting those of others.
- Learn to engage in deep thinking and reflection in all classes, in order for them to reach their own conclusions about life's big questions.
- Be able to respectfully discuss ideas with peers, taking into account the perspective of others.
- Move onto their next schools, including Church of England junior schools, equipped with the foundations for spiritual development which will prepare them for their journeys ahead.
Implementation - How we will deliver this to achieve our goal
- We follow the Guildford Diocese syllabus for RE (includes some compulsory topics and some optional). This syllabus is currently being revised with our RE leader as part of the working party.
- In class and throughout the school we use open ended questions ('wondering questions') that challenge the mind and encourage deep thinking.
- We use lots of reflective questions that allow children to ponder independently in a variety of group contexts.
- While we have timetabled R.E. lessons, we also make sure of additional opportunities that arise throughout that day, such as prayer spaces, peace corners and reflection stations.
- Reflective questions continue during our termly physical visits to our local Church (St Nicolas’ Church).
- In Key Stage 1 there are annual visits to either a Mosque or a Synagogue, linked to the R.E. unit taught that year.
- We provide opportunities for spiritual development throughout our curriculum, always ensuring an inclusive invitational and inspiring approach.
- We have a variety of visitors, including the Rector of St Nicolas’ Church and the Minister of the URC who enrich our R.E. learning by bringing their personal perspectives on matters of faith and spirituality.
- Throughout the year our school participates in whole school ‘Pause Days’. These are in addition to our R.E. teaching sessions. We 'pause' the ordinary timetable and spend the day focusing on festivals in creative and reflective ways. These encourage both individual and collaborative projects. Our Pause Days, include Harvest, Black History Month, Remembrance Day, Advent, Easter, UN Antiracism Day and Pentecost.
Impact - How we know our vision has come to fruition
- We have our assessment grids that come directly from the Diocese Attainment Statements/EYFS expectations. In Reception the children’s reflections and thoughts are recorded in a class reflections book. In Key Stage 1 we have our independent R.E. exercise books.
- Teacher assessment is also informed by children’s contributions during discussions which can often better reflect the depth of the children’s knowledge than through written work.
- We celebrate children’s progress in class through the use of ‘proud walls’. This allows for independent identification of children’s success of self and peers, and is also linked to our school vision and values as well as the final result.
Our children are ready for the next stage of their educational journey, leaving us:
- Able to reflect, question, form their own thoughtful opinions and listen to those of others with respect.
- With knowledge of a variety of religions and able to identify similarities and differences between these.
- Understanding of how beliefs can influence actions in life, making links.
- Accepting that not all big questions can be answered, but in they can still be reflected on, discussed and wondered upon without fear of judgement.