At Francis Askew, we strive to deliver a high-quality RE curriculum which allows our pupils to recognise the significance of religious and non-religious beliefs and worldviews in their everyday lives. We explicitly teach pupils the skills and knowledge they need to develop a mutual respect and understanding of/for all cultures and religions; gain the skills and maturity to make their own decisions and create their own values; challenge stereotypical views, racism and discrimination and to appreciate difference positively.
Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make ambitious choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. In RE this is promoted through collaborative and experiential learning opportunities, for example, the provision of visits and guest speakers, as well as the exploration of artefacts ranging from different religions. Links with the local community are made wherever possible (e.g. educational visits/workshops to different local places of worship, such as Hull Minster, Beverley Minster, The Hindu Temple, Pearson Park Mosque, The Buddhist Centre, The Jewish Orthodox Synagogue) so that children can gain relevant, concrete experiences in areas they might not ordinarily have the opportunity to encounter.
Our curriculum is based on the Hull and East Riding Syllabus for RE. Alongside this, our highly skilled subject leaders have carefully worked to create a Subject Progression Document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out towards clearly defined curriculum end points. This ensures our children will be given the required skills and knowledge they need to progress in RE. These progressive objectives also enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills.
Our RE curriculum provides pupils with an understanding of the following domains of knowledge:
Children will develop substantive knowledge in RE by gaining a deep understanding of key concepts as they move through our RE curriculum. Key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge required to successfully progress in RE. Opportunities to revisit and develop these key concepts are planned out carefully as the children move through the school to ensure that they are firmly embedded within their long-term memory. These key concepts compliment work carried out across the school reinforcing our 6 broad curriculum drivers (see overall Curriculum Intent). The expectation is that, by the end of primary School, children will know and understand these key concepts in order to continue to build on their knowledge and understanding as they enter KS3.
Belonging – community, unity, ritual
Right and wrong
Religion – People of God, worship, belief, gospel
Justice and freedom
Disciplinary knowledge – or being aware of different ‘ways of knowing’ – also builds progressively as children begin to understand the key concepts within each unit of RE. Pupils will be introduced to some different ways to enquire about religion and worldviews throughout each key stage. To help pupils explore religions and worldviews through a balance of beliefs, ways of living and thoughtful, deep questions they will consider RE through an ‘about believing’ lens (theological), an ‘about living’ lens (social sciences) and a ‘thinking about’ lens (philosophical). This approach will enable pupils to consider their own worldview as well as those of the different religious and non-religious groups and individuals they learn about.
Personal knowledge explores the development of personal worldviews and considers how positionality might be influenced by values, identity, perspective, bias, assumptions. Cultural capital, in terms of people, places, texts and lived experiences is also utilised in this domain.
Children will also develop their understanding of identified second order concepts through the RE curriculum. These concepts branch across subjects, creating horizontal links across our whole curriculum. They aim to develop flexible knowledge and skills that children can apply to multiple curriculum areas. In RE children will be develop their understanding of the following second order concepts:-
Similarity and difference
Cause and consequence
By the end of EYFS, children will:
Understand what makes them unique and special.
Know some festivals (Christmas, Easter, Harvest, Eid, Diwali, Chinese New Year) and explore rituals linked to them.
Use multi-syllabic vocabulary, such as religion, community, Christian.
Have listened to longer stories, and be able to remember much of what happens.
Know some stories from religious traditions.
Have explored places of prayer, worship and be able to talk about what happens there.
Be able to talk about people who are special to us, who belong to our family.
By the end of key stage 1, children will:
Be able to describe what happens at festivals, ceremonies and rituals and talk about the beliefs behind them.
Be able to tell of the ways people express identity in belonging to a faith group and show how they are similar to another faith group.
Understand what happens in places of worship and describe how symbols and artefacts are used in each, appreciating some similarities and differences.
Be able to retell and suggest meanings for some religious and moral stories and say how they influence people today.
Be able to respond to big questions from different worldviews.
Be able to express ideas and opinions about moral questions of right and wrong.
Be able to share ideas and examples of cooperation between people who are different.
Be able to recall different beliefs and practices, naming key words, key figures and core beliefs.
By the end of key stage 2, children will:
Be able to describe and show understanding of links between different sacred texts and how those faith teachings influence communities and society today.
Be able to express understanding of the key concepts underpinning different faiths, linking sources of authority to belief.
Be able to make connections between the beliefs that underpin different celebrations, forms of worship, pilgrimages and rituals.
Be able to consider and apply ideas about ways in which diverse communities can live together for the wellbeing of all, responding thoughtfully to ideas about community, values and respect.
Demonstrate understanding of how people of faith express their identity and their spirituality through symbols and actions.
Be able to articulate the responses of different religions and non -religious worldviews to ethical questions, including ideas about what is right and wrong and what is just and fair.
Be able to offer some answers to ultimate questions from different religious and non-religious perspectives.
Show understanding of the challenges of commitment to a community of faith or belief, suggesting why belonging to a community may be valuable.
At Francis Askew, our RE curriculum is carefully mapped out into a long-term plan. This outlines when key concepts will be taught and revisited and shows how these concepts progressively lead towards children achieving our identified RE curriculum end points. The long-term plan also enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support children’s retention of knowledge and skills. The academic year is broken down into three units, per year group, across the year with an additional progressive unit covering Easter and Christmas.
Short term planning in RE is informed by the subject’s long-term plan (containing units linked to the Hull and East Riding Syllabus for RE) and Subject Progression Document. Lesson objectives are clear and sequenced so that outcomes are secure and meaningful.
All children will have access to the RE curriculum with work being tailored appropriately for children with SEND – modifying end points so that they are appropriate but remain aspirational. Any child working below their age-related expectation, will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.
The development of children’s oracy is also given a high profile and is promoted through the use of subject specific terminology and vocabulary in RE lessons. When discussing, debating and presenting new knowledge learned within our curriculum, children will be directed to specific and progressive vocabulary.
A typical teaching sequence in RE is as follows:-
Revisit prior learning and indicate key concepts and second order concepts being taught.
Listening / observation – a stimulus is shared (e.g. artefact, story, question, image) and the key concept, idea or focus of the lesson is shared.
Reflection / discussion – children respond to the stimulus using disciplinary knowledge and skills – self-reflection, questioning, discussion, paired work, debate.
Main task – pupils enhance and develop their understanding of new knowledge and skills
Assessment – Children have opportunity to recall, revisit, summarise their learning
Further teaching is provided where pupils’ knowledge and/or skills have not been retained.
A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our RE curriculum. Our teaching sequences allow for regular low stakes assessments of how well children are retaining key knowledge and how well they can apply the knowledge and skills learned.
Formative assessments are carried out regularly by teachers during and after each lesson, which inform future planning. Where learning is not secure, additional learning takes place to address this. Additionally, summative assessments are carried out each term by using an internal assessment tool. As a result of these assessment tools, children’s misconceptions or gaps in subject knowledge and skills are addressed and additional teaching and support is provided.
Our subject leaders also monitor the effectiveness of the RE curriculum through carrying out regular monitoring evaluations. These evaluations are quality assured by the Curriculum Lead, Senior Leadership and Governors.
The effectiveness of RE is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.