RE at Lawley Primary School
Our school vision
The whole school community at Lawley have high expectations for our children, and strive to ensure they leave school as confident, polite and independent young people, with the appropriate skills, values and learning to become successful in whatever their future will be. We aspire to instil in all our children a desire to never stop learning and to have the courage to succeed in whatever they do, across all areas of school life and beyond. At Lawley we are ‘Planting the seeds, growing the future.’
Led by Emily Gray
The teaching of RE at Lawley Primary School is based on the principle that children need to learn about religion and from religion. We aim for our pupils to become confident and independent learners who make a positive contribution to society in their future lives. Learning about religion at Lawley aims to inspire pupils to be interested and inquisitive. It includes enquiry into and investigation of the nature of religion, its key beliefs and teachings, practices, their impacts on the lives of believers and communities, and the varying ways in which these are expressed. It includes these 4 areas: engagement, investigation, evaluation and expression. Pupils learn to communicate their knowledge and understanding using specialist vocabulary.
Learning from religion is concerned with developing pupils’ reflection on and response to their own experiences and their learning about religion. It develops pupils’ skills of questioning identity and belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, and values and commitments.
Inclusion and differentiation for children with SEN and EAL are taken into account in our planning and teaching as they are in all areas of the curriculum. Within the teaching of RE we make the most of opportunities to help the children develop their sensitivity to relevant issues, links to British Values and to develop positive attitudes towards themselves and others.
We endeavour to draw on the varied experiences and backgrounds of our pupils and staff in order to make RE relevant and interesting to our pupils. One way of doing this is through our links with local religious communities and places of worship.
Our principle aims for RE are for children to:
- Develop awareness of their own views and feelings and be sensitive to the views and feelings of others.
- Begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people.
- Become aware of, and able to express, their feelings of joy, sadness, wonder, awe and mystery.
- Care for themselves and for others.
- Become aware of what it means to trust and to be trusted, to be loved and valued and to feel secure in belonging.
- Learn how to listen, thank, say sorry, express appreciation and rejoice with others.
- Appreciate, enjoy and care for their environment.
- Explore some of the signs and symbols used in religious and everyday life.
- Become aware that certain people, including their wider family, places,
objects and clothing can have special importance.
Resources are bought with the annually allocated RE budget and stored in a central place on shelves in Severn Wing. The resources are organised according to different religions and stored in separate boxes.
RE provides opportunities for the children to record work in a variety of ways including class discussions, role play and art and craft. Pupils’ written work is recorded in their SMSC books and is marked in accordance with the schools marking policy. All work is collated on our online platform Showbie. At the end of each half term, children’s successes from their RE lessons, will be shared on the RE board with photos of learning, children’s quotes and examples of work present for each year group.
RE and other subjects
Through RE children have the opportunity to develop many key skills such as thinking, researching, evaluating, reflecting and empathising. Wherever possible, links are made between Religious Education and other curriculum subjects through our RE days.
We use a scheme called ‘Discovery RE’ which is ‘an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning' and has been mapped to match and follow the Telford and Wrekin SACRE. A different enquiry for every half-term (6 per year) focuses on one religion at a time. Discovery RE’s aim is to deepen children’s critical thinking skills through greater subject knowledge and also to allow their own spiritual development.
Christianity is taught in every year group developing the learning in a progressive way. Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism are also covered. Each enquiry unit demands the equivalent of 6 lessons where teaching time is spread over 1.5 days every half term, one day earlier in the half term and half a day later on to allow for revisiting knowledge and skills and for assessment opportunities.
Each enquiry has a big enquiry question and this is explored with a 4-step process:
Engagement (How can I relate to the underpinning concept in my own world?)
Investigation (What do I need to learn about the religion in order to answer the big question?) Children will investigate through a variety of methods, including videos, exploration of photos and artefacts, drama activities, visits to places of worship along with visitors and through stories.
Evaluation (How well can I apply this knowledge to the big question using critical thinking/evaluation skills?)
Expression (Can I express what difference this enquiry has made to me, my thinking and my starting point?)
SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities are mapped throughout and each enquiry contributes to the teaching of our British Values.
Discovery RE studies Christianity in every year group with a spiral developmental approach, Christmas and Easter being given different treatment each year to deepen understanding. In addition to Christianity, year groups will study one other religion as shown below:
Year 1 Christianity plus an introduction to Hinduism
Year 2 Christianity plus Islam
Year 3 Christianity plus Sikhism
Year 4 Christianity plus Hinduism
Year 5 Christianity plus Sikhism
Year 6 Christianity plus Islam
Teachers are not permitted to either promote or undermine any religious stance. Parents are informed in the school prospectus that they have the right to withdraw their pupils from Religious Education. Parents who choose to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons are required to state this in writing to the Headteacher.
The Telford and Wrekin Agreed Syllabus states that since the removal of levels from the primary school it is necessary to use End of Key Stage Statements to show progression in skills. Assessment is based on teachers using the End of Key Stage Statements to determine the skills and knowledge that children have acquired.
The Discovery RE scheme provides statements which reflect the following three aims:
- Know about and understand (knowledge)
- Express and communicate
- Gain and deploy skills
There are 3 age-related expectation descriptors for each enquiry in each year group. These expectations are WORKING TOWARDS (WTS), AT (EXS), and BEYOND (GD). At the end of each unit, pupils will complete activity sheets so the teacher can assess where the children are at based on these descriptors.
The impact of this curriculum ensures that, by the time children leave Lawley Primary School, they would have explored four of the main religions in Telford and Wrekin through a lively, thought provoking RE curriculum through enquiry-based RE days.