Why do we teach RE?

Well taught Religious Education (R.E) has the ability to have a large and lasting effect on both the child’s heart and mind. It is a subject that intertwines academic ability with a focus on developing the ‘whole child’ through their character and spirit. In teaching RE, we offer a time for spiritual development and personal reflection, whilst also developing children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief. Teaching R.E provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose, truth and values, identity and belonging. RE enables children to become prepared for today’s diverse society by teaching them the values of respect and tolerance, and equips them with the tools they need to become the best citizens that they can be. It enables them to develop sensitivity to, and respect for others. RE breaks down barriers and builds communities. Through practiced discussions and debates, RE at St Silas, offers pupils real life encounters with living faith communities, equipping them with the ability to hold an informed conversation, using subject specific vocabulary, about religious beliefs and practices. Children develop a sense of individual liberty, by learning how to voice their own opinions and beliefs in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Here at St Silas, we aim to give children real experiences of places of worship, and meeting people of different faiths in order for the children to flourish and thrive in their own development. The children at St Silas reflect deeply on the value foundations the school has given them, and use these values in each RE lesson. By learning about the differences in today’s society the children are brought together to notice the similarities of God’s big family and how we all belong together. The children reflect on different parts of Christianity and use this knowledge to shape decisions they make in everyday life. They learn about people who have served God in the past and present day.

How do we teach RE?

RE at St Silas is exploratory and takes the children on a journey of discovery. All units are based around a ‘Big Question’ and the children are guided through their quest to find out the answer. The children take the role of investigator in each R.E lesson asking and answering important questions in order to unearth new and exciting knowledge. R.E is all about collaboration and working together to voice and discuss different opinions. In order to gain enough knowledge to help answer these big questions, lessons can involve music, debates, artwork, drama, research and first hand experiences. Alongside our ‘Questful RE’ scheme of work we also use ‘Understanding Christianity’. Throughout their seven years at St Silas the children will learn in detail about God’s Big Plan and the building blocks of Christianity. Each lesson will have a clear link to God’s Big Plan and the children will start to build a detailed picture of how God’s plan affects and influences Christians in today’s world.

For the children in EYFS, each unit begins with the exploration of a collection of objects in a box, a Chatterbox. Right from the start planning involves consultation with the child so that a blend of child and adult initiated activities will take place. Across the school, each year group will learn about the large Christian festivals, Easter and Christmas. They will also look in more detail about Jesus and his impact and influence on all Christians. All children will gain experiences about world faiths and start to make links and connections between them.

Religious Education Policy

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Assessment

Assessment for RE is both summative and formative.  The class teacher will assess the pupils through observations, questioning, discussions, peer and self-assessments and written exercises. These assessments will then become the basis for future planning in lessons. At the end of each ‘quest’ the children will be given the opportunity to answer the main topic question in their book. This gives the children the opportunity to use all they have learnt throughout the topic to answer the question and showcase their new knowledge and skills. The children will be marked on their religious literacy, their understanding of the topic and the different pieces of evidence they use in order to answer the question.

SEND Provision

St Silas is an inclusive school where all children belong. We understand that children learn in different ways, and we use different strategies in order to cater for all children. The children can immerse themselves in videos, comic strips, storyboards, Godly play, role play and sensory stories in order to fully understand the different Bible stories we teach. As well as writing our thoughts and ideas in our books, the children can record, create flowcharts, orally present, mind map, video, dictate, draw, make posters and make 2D or 3D models in order to show what they have learnt. We provide accessible Bibles to the children so they can fully understand and learn the different Bible stories we study. All children are encouraged to participate in R.E in different ways as a part of our inclusive quality first teaching, where children belong, flourish and grow.

Message from the Subject Leader

Mrs Capewell is our RE subject leader. She is currently teaching in Year 5 and she has been leading RE at St Silas for four years. Mrs Capewell is a member of her local church and has a deep curiosity to find out about Christians and other faiths around the world. She is very excited to be sharing her experiences of being a practising Christian alongside learning all about other people’s religious experiences. Therefore, she is very passionate about bringing God into everything that we do.

Here at St Silas we take part in a number of different creative activities throughout the calendar year.

  • We have Inter Faith Week, where each year groups studies a different world religion in more detail. Here, the children gain more experiences of other religions and they can start to spot the similarities and differences with their own religion.
  • We celebrate Christmas by decorating our doors with different scenes from the nativity stories. Children show off their creative abilities by choosing a part of the Christmas story to decorate their door with! When you visit school you can journey through each part of the story by following our class doors!
  • To give the children a deeper understanding of God’s Big Plan the children spend a day, every year looking in more detail at one part of his plan. They will take part in creative activities, debates, drama and music to explore the journey through the Bible.

Support for Parents

You can visit the following websites for any more help/information about the RE we teach here at St Silas
http://www.understandingchristianity.org.uk/