Religious Education is an important element in the broad and balanced curriculum that we offer at Oak Tree Primary School. Through our RE curriculum, we provide opportunities to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of world religions and reflect on the challenging questions that it provokes. It is our aim that pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of religions and consider how the beliefs of others impact on their lives and the lives of others. We encourage children to ask and reflect on challenging questions, by providing opportunities for personal reflection where they can explore their own beliefs and world views (not necessarily religious). We aim to provide creative and stimulating lessons that encourage children to appreciate and respect the different cultures in today’s society. We discuss and share our goals with the children:
'RE Principal Aim'
“At Oak Tree we explore the big questions about life, to find out what people believe and what difference this makes to how we live. We strive to make sense of and deepen our understanding of religions and world views, while reflecting on our own ideas and ways of living at the same time.”
The National Curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils are offered a curriculum which is:
- balanced and broadly based
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
- prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
At Oak Tree we aim to make Religious education challenging, inspiring and fun. We want pupils to develop rich knowledge of religions and worldviews and use this to increase their levels of religious literacy and conceptual understanding.
We encourage children to articulate, with confidence, their own ideas about religion, beliefs and spirituality. Lessons help them to gain a greater understanding of morality, social justice and care for the environment. Promoting social and ethnic harmony is very important at Oak Tree and our RE curriculum aims to make a significant contribution to this.
Through the exploration of local communities, visits to places of worship, meeting people from diverse communities of religion and belief, and through a deepening understanding of beliefs and practices, we support our pupils to come to informed and empathic understandings of different ways of life and points of view.
We provide opportunities in RE for creative cross-curricular development, as well as for high standards when taught rigorously as a discrete subject. Our aim is to provide an ambitious curriculum that sequences the learning to enable pupils to know more and remember more, and to deploy a rich knowledge of religions effectively.
We want RE to be an exciting subject that contributes to learners’ lives, preparing them for active citizenship in a diverse and rapidly changing world.
At Oak Tree, the teaching of Religious Education reflects the overall aims, values and philosophy of the school. We follow the Stockport Agreed Syllabus of 2022 and the accompanying Scheme of Work. In line with the school’s approach to the wider curriculum delivery, Religious Education is enquiry based and each term’s learning posed to the children in the form of a question, which aims to challenge their thinking.
In the EYFS children learn about RE through their ‘Personal, Social and Emotional’ development and their ‘Understanding of the World’. Opportunities for teaching RE include: activities in continuous provision; discussions during discrete carpet sessions; and incidental conversations for example during story time. Reception develop these elements, but also follow the locally agreed syllabus of work to ensure progression and transition into KS1.
Across KS1 and KS2, the children learn about different faiths including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Humanism. Knowledge is presented through the three strands of ‘Believing’, ‘Expressing’ and ‘Living’. These help the children to remember key concepts, express them in different ways of knowing and use them to develop personal viewpoints and opinions. Pupils explore key questions throughout the year, which have been carefully organised to help the children know more and remember more ensuring a smooth progression and acquisition of knowledge from one year group to the next. Vocabulary for individual year groups is taught and gathered into a glossary at the back of the RE books to ensure progression and coverage.
We encourage our pupils to share their experiences and to learn from one another. Comparisons between different faiths and beliefs are actively encouraged and, as such, the children are able to develop the depth of their knowledge and understanding in engaged and engaging ways, involving open enquiry, lively debate and, wherever possible, first-hand experiences.
The teaching of Religious Education at Oak Tree has a positive impact across the school and wider community. It unites the children because they are able to make links between their own and their friends’ lives and those of others in our community and the wider world. They adopt and develop behaviours, attitudes and the skills needed to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues.
The success of our Religious Education curriculum is measured through regular assessment; both throughout and at the end of a unit of work. At Oak Tree teachers use a bank of meaningful and manageable formative assessment tools to support planning and assessing lesson outcomes e.g., exit tickets, prior/post knowledge, quizzes and child voice. Other forms of assessment include the scrutiny of children’s work/class book, formal and informal lesson observations, discussions with pupils, and displays. End of key stage outcomes and progress are tracked each year and monitored by the RE subject co-ordinator.