RE helps develop an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form part of contemporary society. The sequence of lessons throughout the school allow children to revisit the different religions to build on the knowledge they already have. As a hub lessons are planned using Discovery RE which is in line with the Sutton Agreed Syllabus , EYFS relating to knowledge and understanding of the world and celebrations, Key Stage One – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism and KS2 – as above as well as Buddhism and Sikhism. Additional units have been added as needed. The cyclical nature of the curriculum allows for revisiting faiths and learning which helps it be retained in the long term memory. This is also true for the Celebration weeks where the festivals are repeated but the children study different aspects of the festival each year.
All children are given the opportunity to visit places of worship to experience first hand and learn from different religions. Families in receipt of the Pupil Premium are supported financially so that they are able to attend school trips if a cost is involved. Also workshops visit both schools, e.g. Diwali, Christmas Workshop, Easter Experience and Harvest. Also members of various religions visit the schools to lead assemblies e.g. Sutton Schoolswork, Nabhi (from the Hindu Temple) as well as Simon Ellingham.
RE lessons provide opportunities for rich discussion, reflection and personal experiences and interpretations are shared. Children have the opportunities to ask questions and lessons include roleplay, art, music, hot seating and promote a knowledge and understanding of the world. Recorded lessons are scaffolded to allow for inclusion of all. Opportunities for the use of technology are integrated into the curriculum through the use of YouTube, BBC Bitesize, RE online, Google Earth, CBeebies, use of VR headsets and Jamboards etc. Faith and festivals are promoted through Hub wide Celebration Weeks and religious display boards in all schools.
RE is taught weekly with a recommendation of 45 minutes per lesson. Discovery RE advocates an enquiry based approach with a 4 step process. Step 1 -Engagement, Step 2 - Investigation, Step 3 - Evaluation and Step 4 - Expression. There is a key question for each topic then lessons work through the 4 step process. As a hub, there is a long term progression map that is an overview of the units and faiths taught in each year group from EYFS to Year 6. The curriculum road map also indicates areas taught from Year 1 to Year 6. The key questions are revisited every lesson and learning reinforced to aid long term retention. Older children are beginning to self assess themselves at the end of each topic through review. Sticky recall of knowledge and skills is built into each topic with a summative review at the end of the year. Subject leads introduced Discovery RE to all staff in SDM. Yearly expectations are shared with the staff as are regular updates regarding Celebration Weeks. Subject leads across the hub regularly liaise about forthcoming events and will attend LEO network hub meetings to gain knowledge and share experiences within the trust. Subject leads monitor progress and consistency across the hub through learning walks, book scans and shared action plans.
RE makes important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as citizenship, personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE education), the humanities, education for sustainable development, rights respecting school and aids understanding of others. Religious education is a key part in engendering knowledge and understanding which can lead to tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. It encourages evaluation and critical thinking, equipping them to consider belief positions they encounter and allows them to focus on the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. Through monitoring and use of FADE sheets, we are able to review subject knowledge and feedback to the staff and senior leadership team. RE is reported to parents annually on their school reports.