At Barley Lane Primary School, we believe that RE is essential in developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of different religions, beliefs, and world views. RE provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human.
At Barley Lane, the curriculum is guided by the Redbridge Agreed Syllabus (2021-2026) and intends to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, religious traditions, and worldviews. Statutory RE units are organised across Reception, KS1 and KS2 to ensure skills progression from one year group to the next with the aim of building religious literacy. Learning outcomes, teaching ideas and activities for each unit are sequenced half-termly.
All children from each year group from Reception onwards visit a religious place of worship and have the opportunity to meet and learn from visitors linked to their learning.
- RE makes important contributions to areas of the school curriculum such as PSHE, English and the Humanities and cross-curricular links are made where possible on the Curriculum Map for each year group.
- RE aims to provide opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development, deepening the understanding of the significance of religion in the lives of our pupils.
- RE helps pupils become confident in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others and contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society. RE gives children the knowledge, skills and understanding to discern and value truth and goodness, strengthening their capacity for making moral judgements and for evaluating different types of commitment to make positive and healthy choices that feel right for them.
- RE develops young people’s understanding and appreciation of diversity and challenges racism and discrimination in the multi-faith communities in which we live.
Our RE curriculum adheres to the Redbridge Agreed Syllabus 2021–2026 and fits within our wider curriculum intent by providing pupils with a wider range of learning experiences, for example visits to local places of worship, workshops, and dialogue with visitors from different faiths in order to explore and respond to challenging questions raised by religions and worldviews.
Teaching of RE begins in Nursery and Reception at Barley Lane. RE sits firmly within the areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding of the World. This framework enables pupils to develop a positive sense of themselves and others and learn how to form positive relationships. Pupils begin to understand and value the differences of individuals and groups within our community at Barley Lane and have the opportunity to develop their emerging and cultural awareness. Pupils are taught through a balance of guided and planned teaching sessions as well as through pursuing their own learning within an enabling environment. They encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and visiting a place of worship when they are in Reception.
Pupils in Reception receive 36 hours of RE teaching, 50 minutes weekly or shorter sessions implemented through continuous provision throughout the academic year. Pupils in KS1 receive 36 hours of RE teaching, 1 hour per week or in blocks of time for example pupils spend a period of time visiting a place of worship or participating in workshop and then reflecting and sharing their learning thereafter. In KS2, pupils receive a minimum of 45 hours of RE teaching, 1 hour per week or in blocks of time as with KS1.
Pupils express their own beliefs, listen to and question those of others. In this way they are empowered to share their understanding of the world and their place within it. Additionally, the RE curriculum goes hand in hand with our school rules and values and allows children to be well-rounded, adaptable, open-minded individuals with a strong sense of self and respect for people from all backgrounds, faiths, and none. The curriculum enables pupils to strengthen their knowledge of the major world faiths outside of their own experiences as well as the beliefs of historic civilisations and make links between them e.g., Celts, Mayans, Ancient Egyptians and Tudors.
Each year group from Nursery to Year 6 is responsible for contributing to the RE Celebrations display each academic year. This allows pupils to dig deeper into the origins of different religious celebrations celebrated by the local community and allow all at the school to come together and celebrate religious similarities and differences. Pupils can research in lessons and interpedently as part of their homework, debate, discuss and be creative. Pupils become aware of religions and worldviews outside their own which fosters a culture of curiosity leading to dialogue and respect for all.
The teaching and learning of RE is differentiated to ensure all pupils are engaged in their RE learning and make progress towards the learning outcomes of each unit. Pupils working at greater depth are encouraged to think independently, make links with other RE units and areas of the curriculum and tackle more challenging questions and tasks through intellectual risk taking.
At Barley Lane, RE is formatively assessed by teachers using high-quality teacher questioning, teacher observations of pupil’s verbal contributions in class and when working collaboratively in a group, through teaching assistants and teachers scribing verbal responses, quality verbal and written feedback in foundation books, 2-3 pieces of work in books for each unit taught(half-termly), effective use of self and peer assessment against the success criteria for each lesson and prior knowledge and understanding mind maps (revisited at the end of the learning). In order to assess attainment and progress in RE within and across units, a range of evidence is collected throughout the teaching of a unit including reflection diaries, photographs, records of group or class discussions and classroom displays of pupils’ contributions. Attainment and effort in RE is reported to parents and carers via the Annual report to pupils in the Spring term. Pupils will be assessed against learning outcomes for each unit taught and assessments recorded on to ScholarPack.
Teaching of the RE curriculum in this way will ensure pupils will be able to demonstrate and apply the British value of mutual respect and tolerance and this will be seen in their interactions with their peers and adults around them. They will have the knowledge, skills and understanding to discern and value truth and goodness which will strengthen their capacity for making moral judgments and help them to make positive and healthy life choices. Pupils will be able to express themselves and explain their choices confidently. Pupils will appreciate diversity on a local and national level and be able to identify and challenge racism and discrimination.