Curriculum & Assessment

R.E.

Religious Education at Stillness

Intent

At Stillness Juniors we follow the Lewisham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, called Learning Together through Faiths and Beliefs.  By doing so, our pupils are:

  • religiously literate,
  • able to make connections within and across religions and world views,
  • able to reflect, respond and express their own opinions and beliefs,
  • able to ask deep and meaningful questions,
  • able to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews belief systems, values and practices,
  • able to recognises similarities and differences in commitment, self-understanding and the search for truth. Respecting and valuing these for the common good,
  • able to promote the values and attitudes necessary for citizenship in a multi-faith and multi-racial society through developing understanding of, respect for, and dialogue with people of different beliefs, practices, races and cultures,
  • able to recognises and celebrates the range of cultures and diversity of the school through workshops, assemblies and shared experiences of staff, children and people from the local community.

Our Religious Education (RE) curriculum is organised to support the development of children’s knowledge of religious and non-religious beliefs and worldviews, practices and ways of life and enable children to make links between these.  It also develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the different members of our rich and diverse community.  Knowledge and skills are supported by first-hand experiences, including visits to local places of worship and visits from faith communities.  Knowledge and skills are mapped to support children’s understanding of religion and faith.  The RE curriculum is also designed to support positive attitudes and values, and encourage children to reflect and relate learning to their own experience.  Children learn that there are those who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives, as part of its commitment to ensure mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths.

The syllabus recommends that themes are explored by investigating and reflecting on the responses of more than one religion or belief system.  Some of the Lewisham units therefore include an exploration of these themes or big questions through different perspectives. For example, the theme ‘The Journey of Life and Death’ in the Y6 unit is investigated through a variety of religious beliefs, including the Humanist belief. Different units encourage and promote the contemplation of key concepts or themes within religions and compare these with responses in other faiths, religions and belief systems.

The syllabus has been created to ensure that prior knowledge is built upon and previous topics are recapped and revisited when needed.

At Stillness Junior School, we are committed to providing our children with an exciting and positive learning environment, in which they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of religions to support their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Implementation

RE is taught in units of 6 to 7 lessons each half term (autumn 1 – summer 1).  Work is recorded in RE books and is evidenced with a variety of outcomes, including written pieces, artwork and photographs.

At the start of each new unit of work, a recap of the previous related knowledge from previous years occurs – this is done through a series of retrieval questions. This helps children to retrieve what they have learnt in the earlier sequence of the programme of study, and ensures that new knowledge is taught in the context of previous learning to promote a shift in long term memory. This provides the teacher with an insight into the children’s ‘starting points’ for the topic, to enable the use of assessment to inform planning. If the prior knowledge has not been embedded, teachers will adapt their learning to ensure the foundation of knowledge is there first. Key vocabulary for the new topic is also introduced and the key learning from the topic through ‘knowledge organisers’ There are stuck into their books at the start of each unit and referred back to throughout that unit. They are also available on the school website so the parents have the option to pre-teach topics to their children. This provides definitions and accompanying visuals for each word to ensure accessibility to all.

At the start of each new lesson in the unit, there is a retrieval question about the previous lesson’s learning. Children are to answer this and this provides an assessment opportunity for the teacher as well as an opportunity to further embed the knowledge (Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve).

Teachers apply cross-curricular links which are listed on the school’s ‘RE Knowledge and Skills Document’.  As children progress through the programme of study, they are able to look deeper into spiritual, ethical, moral and social issues and with increasing breadth across different religions and worldviews through time and around the world.  Learning is planned and sequenced to support pupils to build their knowledge and understanding of key subject knowledge and topic specific vocabulary around concepts focusing on Learning about religion, learning from religion and themes.  As pupils move through the Religious Education curriculum the themes and big questions will increase with complexity. The expectations of pupils to explain ‘what’ the beliefs, practices and values are and the relationships between them, as well as explaining ‘why’ these are important and may make a difference to people, and ‘how’ they relate, change or impact on a wider world view also increases.

Impact

The RE curriculum provides the means to celebrate the diversity of the school community and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history. Through this teaching we believe our pupils are more:

  • religiously literate,
  • able to make connections within and across religions and world views,
  • able to reflect, respond and express their own opinions and beliefs,
  • able to ask deep and meaningful questions,
  • are able to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief based on a deep knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews belief systems, values and practices.

RE Overview 23-24

Y3 – A1 Buddhism KO

Y3 – A2 Christianity KO

Y4 – A1 Judaism KO

Y4 – A2 Judaism KO

Y5 – A1 Islam Autumn KO

Y5 – A2 Islam KO

Y6 – A1 Buddhism KO

Y6 – A2 Judaism KO

Beyond the Curriculum

At Stillness Juniors our learning goes beyond the curriculum and is supplemented in a number of different ways. We enrich our knowledge through workshops – some led by our wonderful parents, themed days, school trips, team sports, and afterschool clubs to name some. Head over to our gallery and our Instagram page where you will see a showcase of these activities.