‘Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. RE is an important subject in itself, developing an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form part of contemporary society’ (Essex Agreed Syllabus 2015).
At The Alderton Infant School we teach RE lessons that closely follow the Essex Agreed Syllabus and focus on a clear progression of skills which builds on previous learning and specialist vocabulary.
Our R.E. teaching:
reflects that the religious traditions in Great Britain are, in the main, Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
promotes discussion about beliefs in God; issues of right and wrong; the community around us and how others live and worship.
enables children to be reflective about their own beliefs, building their sense of identity and belonging, which will help them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.
encourages curiosity and allows pupils to ask questions about religions, beliefs, values and life.
teaches pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and help to challenge prejudice.
prompts pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society with empathy, generosity and compassion.
R.E. is taught in a weekly 1 hour lesson, by each class teacher. We follow the Essex Agreed Syllabus and the EYFS Framework supported by Development Matters (2021) in combination with bought-in resources such as PlanBee to deliver a bespoke curriculum that covers all aspects outlined by our intent.
Delivery of the syllabus is structured following the school’s Curriculum Map and highlighted to show coverage. Each year group updates this weekly and it is shared school-wide to enable progression of skills.
We use a range of teaching and learning styles, including activities such as: discussion, role-play, religious stories, games, circle-time, use of artefacts and outdoor learning. This makes lessons engaging and memorable.
In EYFS children are provided with age-appropriate resources such as big books and puppets to encourage role-play and embed new vocabulary.
Pupil’s understanding is checked to identify and correct misunderstandings within lessons through open discussion, questioning and set tasks. Teachers make note of pupil’s comments during lessons to inform assessment and further learning.
Children are educated about a variety of religious festivals throughout the year and naturally these are revisited as children progress through the school. Teachers ensure that these lessons build on previous knowledge and follow a progression e.g. Diwali in EYFS (artwork, special festival), Y1 (Story of Rama and Sita), Y2 (Sikhism places of worship and community)
Subject leaders seek out cross-curricular links to support learning and strengthen knowledge (e.g. PSHE feelings). RE leaders from different schools across the MAT meet regularly to share lessons and resources. A collaborative project between the infants and the juniors is planned to gain parent interest in the subject.
Children have access to books covering a variety of faiths, both in class and to also take home from the school library.
Religious and moral stories are explored during year group assemblies. Singing assemblies support collective worship and visits from different faith leaders have been planned.
Our school’s diversity week encourages discussion about pupils’ own experiences, promotes respect for others’ faiths and challenges prejudices.
At The Alderton Infant School, we envision the RE curriculum impacting pupils by:
extending their knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs
developing an awareness that people in this country and across the world adhere to many different religions, each with their own beliefs, practices, special stories, places of worship, holy men and women, and festivals
widening specialist vocabulary and knowledge of religious symbolism
promoting self-reflection, respect of others and encouraging questioning about religious and secular world-views
We ensure these targets are reached in several ways:
Subject leader assesses planning is matched to curriculum overview and progression of skills
Termly book scrutiny informs progress and impact of teaching
Learning walks and pupil questioning ensure teaching follows the syllabus and checks understanding of religious vocabulary and stories
Misconceptions are addressed in class and revisited in subsequent lessons
Teachers regularly discuss progression of lessons within KS1 to ensure no overlaps and previous learning is built upon instead