At Christchurch Infant School we follow the Bournemouth and Poole Standard Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) and use the Discovery RE scheme as our medium term planning.
Discovery RE is an enquiry-based scheme of work, covering the 6 principal world faiths in a progressive way from Foundation to Year 2. In the early years, the learning is closely matched to Development Matters to contribute meaningfully to your child’s holistic development. Throughout all the enquiries, the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is carefully considered.
Each enquiry begins with a “big” question such as “What is the best way for a Christian/Jew/Muslim etc. to show commitment to God?” The children then start discussing the theme of the enquiry (in this case, commitment) from their own experience. What have they shown commitment to? Brownies? Cubs? Their sporting team? Playing an instrument?
Only when the children fully understand the concept they are considering, do they then move on to investigating what the people following the studied religion believe about it. They will spend approximately 3 lessons on this, learning in a variety of ways, so they can adapt their responses and come to a measured conclusion. In lesson 5 they will complete an activity which can assess their learning, by answering their “big” question. The assessment activities are child friendly and can be answered in a variety of ways, as long as the child can justify their view with the knowledge they have gained throughout the enquiry. This demonstrates the level of critical thinking that the children can apply – a valuable skill for them throughout the school curriculum.
The final lesson in every enquiry gives the children time to reflect on what they have learnt about the concept and apply to it their own lives, thus allowing them to form their own beliefs and identity. These lessons are often very creative and children have opportunities to make items to express themselves in ways other than just writing.
Discovery RE gives schools a choice of which religions to teach in different year groups. At Christchurch Infant School we have chosen to study Judaism in Year 1 and Islam in Year 2 as we feel this best suits the needs of our children.
Below is our curriculum overview for RE which shows at which point in the year and during which topics, we introduce the children to each specific enquiry.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education. Please contact the Headteacher if this is a matter you would like to discuss.
In Religious Education (RE) we encourage the children at Christchurch Infant School to be reflective, sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful, to consider their own beliefs, to be considerate, tolerant and respectful of the beliefs of others, and to ask questions about different religions, traditions and cultures around the world. We intend for children to be inquisitive, develop an understanding of their sense of belonging and learn about and from different religions, beliefs and traditions.
At Christchurch Infant School, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Lessons are based around an established scheme called Discovery RE which adopts a creative enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. Each topic begins with a ‘Big Question.’ Children apply their knowledge and understanding of what they have learnt to answer this question using their critical thinking skills. The Discovery scheme makes links to the British values and promotes Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development. RE lessons are taught either weekly or each half term in a blocked unit of study.
Christianity is taught in every year group, with Christmas and Easter given new treatment each year in order to develop the learning in a progressive way. In the Foundation year, where foundations are laid for religious enquiry children are introduced to stories from a variety of religions. In Key stage 1, one other key principle faith is taught per year group. These include: Islam and Judaism.
At Christchurch Infant School we take part in a daily act of Collective Worship. A local Christian group called ‘Open the Book’ join us regularly to lead assemblies and we enjoy visits from Mr Gillham who offers our children an opportunity to hear the major stories of the Bible.
Children at Christchurch Infant School will develop an understanding and tolerance of people with different views and beliefs. Their Religious Education will promote their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. They will know about a number of key beliefs and celebrations of some of the major world religions and begin to understand the importance of these to the people of those faiths.
In line with our school policy on assessment and monitoring, it is expected that each teacher will be responsible for the regular assessments of their pupils. Assessment for Learning strategies are continuously used during children’s learning, which directly informs future planning, teaching and learning. Teacher assessment is based on a wide range of evidence, including questioning, talking and listening to children whilst engaged in their learning and observing children learning independently and collaboratively.
The impact of teaching is assessed at the end of each half term against two main criteria: children’s knowledge of a faith and children’s understanding of people and values within that faith. Children will leave our school knowing about celebrations within their immediate families and that different people have different beliefs which are important to them and that there are people within our school, community, friends and family of different faiths which can shape the way people live their life.