At Hadley Wood Primary School, we believe that an understanding of the world’s major religions helps our children to understand the world in which they live. We believe that through understanding religious practices and beliefs, we can promote our values of tolerance and respect of difference.
We are fortunate to have a multi-faith community at our school. Our RE curriculum is designed to explore a range of faiths to gain a deep understanding of religion and how it shapes people’s lives. Through exploring each of the world religions, religious stories and rituals, we develop our children’s insight into how others see the world and the religious values which may underpin their daily lives. By exploring similarities and differences, we also highlight connections and commonalities which unite us as well as differences which enrich our community. Reference is constantly made to those who live out their beliefs, insights and values in their daily lives and within their own communities. We feel this gives pupils the knowledge and skills to flourish both within their own community and as members of a diverse and global society.
Through our teaching of RE, we strive to encourage our children to become open-minded, curious and respectful citizens who understand and value the beliefs of others.
The Hadley Wood Religious Education curriculum aims to deliver a holistic approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC), British Values, and Community Cohesion – each of which prepare our pupils for life in the 21st century, engaging them in a contemporary and relevant context.
It enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by:
- Developing awareness of the fundamental questions raised by human experiences, and of how religious teachings can relate to them
- Responding to such questions with reference to the teachings and practices of religions and other belief systems, relating them to their own understanding and experience
- Reflecting on their own beliefs, values and experiences in the light of their study
Although RE contributes to other subjects it must not be defined by or confined to them.
How we plan for and teach RE:
Hadley Wood Primary School is community school. It does not have a religious status 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
Children at Hadley Wood Primary School have weekly RE lessons, through which their understanding of religious beliefs and practices builds over time. Guided by Enfield’s SACRE scheme of work, lessons involve exploration of religious narratives, the study of rituals and practices and the key tenets and symbols of each faith. Significant objects are studied to bring lessons to life and familiarise the children with things that have particular importance in different faiths.
In each year group, children will be taught: to learn about religion – the beliefs, traditions and cultures of different religions
- 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
Our children are encouraged to share their knowledge about their own religions and how they practice them in a safe, respectful environment. Members of our wider community, representing a range of faiths, are invited into our classrooms and assemblies to share their religious customs and answer questions our children may have. Through visits to places of worship, our children learn about the significance of the places where religious communities gather to practise their faith. Our school assemblies reflect the diverse community in which we live in and celebrate a wide range of festivals from the six major religions.
The core knowledge of our curriculum 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 pupils 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 takes 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
How we evaluate learning in RE
The impact of our RE curriculum can be found in children’s written work and the quality of discussions that they have. Each unit of work has a big question, which is Children demonstrate their growing knowledge and understanding of religions in a range of carefully designed tasks. Over time, children demonstrate their deepening understanding of individual faiths by making connections within a faith, as well as showing their growing understanding of the discipline of RE by making links across different religions.
The impact of our RE curriculum can also be found in our children’s deep respect for one another and their attitude towards all members of the community. We are proud of how our RE curriculum supports children to both value difference and understand which shared values and beliefs unite us.
Below are some quotations from our pupils on how they feel about our Religious Education curriculum:
Tom says, “RE is interesting because you learn about other religions and make comparisons between them. I enjoyed making a Sukkah and discussing the symbolism behind the features. It was interesting to think of how an event such as the Jew’s wandering in the desert 40 years ago can still be celebrated today.”
Saeyesha says, “I liked sharing my own experiences about celebrating Divali with my class and helping my teacher to explain the significance of the different artefacts we looked at. It was interesting to make links by thinking about other festivals of light such as Chanukah.”