Our primary school curriculum works with the Wakefield agreed syllabus, and it aims to challenge children to learn about a range of religions and non-religious worldviews whilst also considering the big questions of life. The curriculum is planned by teachers who have expert knowledge of the subjects that they teach. At our school we want to ensure that our children go out into the world with the knowledge and skills to understand the beliefs of others and live in today’s diverse and ever changing world. Our curriculum plans aim to give our children the opportunities to learn about religion and non-religious worldviews in a variety of ways for example: through art, music and drama as well as through discussion and more formal writing opportunities.
The school uses a range of strategies to allow children to think and consider the big questions that the RE curriculum brings. We aim to ensure that all thinking and reflection time is purposeful and leads to deeper learning. To ensure that this happens, we are mindful of thinking and reflection when planning units of work that consider big questions. Approaches such as, Reflective Storytelling, learning about and from other religions and non-religions, discussions, being inspired by influential people and Philosophy for Children enable teachers to carefully form questions that will encourage deep thinking and active response.
Our RE curriculum is a large part of what we do as a school and the children love the way it opens up lines of enquiry and enables them to have deep discussions. Our children truly love RE and are always excited to find out about the lives and beliefs of others. Low stakes assessment of knowledge and skills are built into each topic of study in the curriculum. This is recorded on an assessment sheet where you can clearly see what the children have understood. Feedback from the most recent pupil voice survey indicates that the curriculum intent is successful. Pupils said that they enjoyed learning ‘lots of new facts’ in RE and ‘getting involved in discussions’. They feel that they make good progress in RE and that this is evident through teacher feedback, improved test score and ‘being able to take part in a discussion and know what you’re talking about’. Pupils feel that they have an opportunity to speak and express an opinion without fear of ridicule or any sense of embarrassment.
The children in Year 5 and 6 have created a piece of Art work for the Spirited Arts Competition.
Now in its 18th year, Spirited Arts has attracted over 380,000 participants (averaging 20,000 per year!) since 2004, with 2,000 entries being sent in each year for judging. Hundreds of UK schools get involved, and they get entries coming from as far a-field as Hong Kong, Australia, Thailand and Bahrain. Entries can be in any artform including Art (painting, drawing, sketching), Poetry, Photography, Dance, Music, Drama or Sculpture. 10 children from across the 4 classes have been chosen (see their work above). The theme is "Where is God?" - In our world, communities or in our daily life? In your heart, in prayer, in the church or the universe?
Year 5 and 6 visited St Peter’s Church, Horbury. Katherine, who leads the children's work at St Peter's was there to greet us. We explored a big question – Where is God? Children took part in a few activities, the first one was looking for different Disney characters on a very crowded sheet – because sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for. Next the children thought about God being connected to Nature and made different animals out of play dough for other to guess. The children then enjoyed the polo game – (passing polo’s to one another on a cocktail stick)- this was to think about God in the community.
At the end of the session, Katherine asked – Where do you think God is? Below are some of the children’s suggestions :-
Upper foundation have enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year celebrations. They talked about similarities and differences between their own Christmas and new year celebrations and Chinese New Year celebrations. They made Chinese lanterns and dragons and had a go at creating a dragon parade.
We have been learning about a special Hindu festival called Diwali. We have looked in non fiction books to find out about how the festival is celebrated. We have enjoyed making Diva lamps, Mendhi patterns, Rangoli patterns and retelling the story of Rama and Sita with the Diwali small world figures.
In KS1, we’ve been learning about Judaism and how the Torah is treated. We learned how precious the holy book is, so we decided to make our own filled with rules on how to make the world a better place.