Hadley Wood Primary School is community school. It does not have a religious status (it is not a church school), nor does it promote or rely upon the teachings of one particularly religion as the foundation of the school’s ethos or teaching. However, the school does teach and promote, through its curriculum and other activities, principles which are evident in aspects of religious faiths:
- love and care for one another
- respect for one another
- the importance of family, friendship and relationships
- personal well-being and self-esteem
- sense of right and wrong
- justice and restoration of relationships
- appreciation of the world in which we live
- understanding of different peoples, their cultures and their traditions
- rights and responsibilities
- personal reflection – learning, behaviour, friendships
- awe and wonder
The Local Syllabus for Religious Education
There is a legal requirement for all schools to deliver a curriculum for Religious Education. However, there are is no National Curriculum for Religious Education. Instead, schools follow the syllabus agreed by their Local Authority, often agreed by neighbouring authorities. The body that designs and agrees the syllabus is called the SACRE, the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The SACRE advises the Local Authority on matters relating to collective worship in community schools and on religious education given in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus. The SACRE monitors the effectiveness and appropriateness of the agreed syllabus, which is formally reviewed every five years. At Hadley Wood, we follow the Enfield Agreed Syllabus.
What is a SACRE?
A Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, is a legally constituted by a Local Authority with the responsibility for overseeing Religious Education and Collective Worship in community, VC (RE only not CW), foundation schools without a religious character and trust schools. Academies, Free schools & Voluntary-Aided schools lie outside the SACRE remit, but a good SACRE will try to establish links with any of these schools in its’ area.
What is the Enfield Agreed Syllabus?
‘This Agreed Syllabus sets out clearly the statutory entitlement to Religious Education for pupils in our non-denominational schools. Similar in legal status to the National Curriculum, it is set within the national requirements of the Education Acts. The syllabus introduces pupils at each Key Stage to carefully selected religion specific programmes of study relating to Christianity and the other principal religions represented in Britain, namely Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.’
In each year group, children will be taught:
- to learn about religion – the beliefs, traditions and cultures of different religions
- to learn from religion – to shape their own lives, beliefs and values; to reflect and to respect others
How is Religious Education taught at Hadley Wood?
Our Religious Education lessons are taught for 45 minutes per week. Core knowledge is split into six units of work which are delivered across the course of the year meaning that learning for each unit of work take place over a half term.
Each unit begins by exploring the Big Question we aim to answer by the end of each half term. We also share the Success Criteria for that unit along with any Key Vocabulary necessary to our learning.
In Lesson 1 we will explore the Big Question and use clues about what we may previously have learned (building blocks) to help us make connections between prior knowledge and new learning. We look at the list of Key Vocabulary and try to write the definitions of what they may mean at this early stage.
Lessons 2-5 will explore the Big Question in various ways ensuring that the Success Criteria is covered. The lessons will consist of the pupils learning about religion and then reflecting on what they have learnt from a religion linking learning to their own lives.
Lesson 6 will take us back to our Big Question and Key Vocabulary grid. Having used this vocabulary in our learning throughout the unit, we are now more familiar with these key words and are more confident in completing the definitions of these. At this stage, we can use this vocabulary to answer our Big Question for this unit. The way this is answered will vary depending on the year group.
At the end of the unit, the children have the opportunity to assess themselves using the Success Criteria and the teacher also uses this to assess the children too.
School Designed Unit – What is a School Designed Unit?
Five out of six units are provided by the Enfield Agreed Syllabus and one unit can be decided by the school. At Hadley Wood, we have created a Theological Question for each year group. These are units that build on the children’s enquiry skills and allow the children to link religions together, build on what they know about different religions and link religion to the wider world. Our school -based Theological Questions unit encourages our pupils to debate and discuss their ideas about world religions and the concept of Faith and tolerance as a British Value.
Our self-designed theological questions are:
Year 1 – How can I show respect towards other faiths?
Year 2 – What does religion teach us about how to treat each other?
Year 3 – Does religion encourage moral values?
Year 4 – Why does each faith see God as a different representation?
Year 5 – God, who made you?
Year 6 – How do we explain and cope with death and suffering
Parents’ Right to Withdraw children from Religious Education
Parents have the right to request the withdrawal of their child from part or all of the Religious Education curriculum. If you wish to withdraw your child from any part of all of our Religious Education curriculum, please make an appointment to discuss this with the Headteacher. A discussion may give you an opportunity to learn a little more about the curriculum to help you make a more informed decision or share your concerns or thoughts. To confirm your request to withdraw your child, please do so in writing stating the part of the Religious Education curriculum from which your child is to be withdrawn. During this part of the curriculum, your child may be placed in another class to undertake alternative Religious Education work or work in another subject. The schools aims for all children, irrespective of their religious beliefs, to be involved in Religious Education lessons as the school’s curriculum promotes understanding of and respect for different faiths without promoting any particular faith or practice.
There is a link between the teaching of Religious Education and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development. Spiritual development is achieved in so many different ways, not just through the teaching of Religious Education or collective worship.