Intent, Implementation and Impact
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Our curriculum design in Religious Education reflects our commitment to learning through faith. Using the Understanding Christianity scheme allows us to revisit concepts and themes in a cyclical pattern, enabling pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding in Religious Education. It is a coherent curriculum that enables progress through ordered and sequential learning, developing both knowledge and skills.
An integral part of our learning is drawn from learning about world faiths, using the Kent Agreed Syllabus. Opportunities to learn about a range of world faiths are presented from Foundation Stage all the way through to the end of Key Stage Two to ensure all pupils develop their knowledge and appreciation of world faiths that they may encounter in their lives. Through Religious Education, our pupils are helped to understand the meaning of personal faith and the ways in which this is reflected in the lives of believers. We believe that we enable pupils to understand the way in which religious faith shapes the lives of believers and their approach to personal morality and social responsibility, linking with our school values. We recognise that everyone’s personal experiences are valuable and aim to take pupils from their individual starting points.
Our RE curriculum:
Provokes challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs, the self, and issues of right and wrong, commitment and belonging.
Develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, and religious traditions that examine these questions, fostering personal reflection and spiritual development.
Encourages pupils to explore their own beliefs (religious or non-religious), in the light of what they learn, as they examine issues of religious belief and faith and how these impact on personal, institutional and social ethics; and to express their responses.
Enables pupils to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society.
Teaches pupils to develop respect for others, including people with different faiths and beliefs, and helps to challenge prejudice.
Prompts pupils to consider their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and to explore how they might contribute to their communities and to wider society.
Encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.
Develops a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
Nurtures each child’s own spiritual development.
Understanding Christianity’s approach to teaching about Christianity builds up pupils’ encounters core concepts through biblical texts, placing the texts and concepts within the wider Bible story. Each unit addresses a concept, through some key questions, exploring core Bible texts, their impact for Christians, and possible implications for pupils. Each unit incorporates the three elements below:
Through RE, pupils are introduced to a range of relevant disciplines including theology, philosophy and the human and social sciences, linking children’s learning across religions through the golden threads of Community, God and Identity.
Religious Education is timetabled each week and encompasses learning activities which are designed to engage learners, including opportunities such as: drama, role play, practical activities, art, written and discussion-based activities. Our curriculum is written to reflect the diverse needs of pupils and teaching staff tailor sequences of lessons, taking account of starting points, outcomes from previous learning, the individual needs of learners, the current climate and points of interest in the world. In addition, opportunities are created in other subjects to develop a spiritual dimension, and a sense of awe and wonder. Where possible, opportunities for pupils to develop independent learning skills are encouraged, particularly through research and enquiry.
Understanding Christianity units take pupils on a journey from making sense of the text, understanding the impact and making connections. Pupils are also encouraged to share their experiences with their peers, helping them to learn from each other. Links between the parish and school are enhanced through our curriculum provision for Religious Education as the clergy team often join to support the delivery of the curriculum content. Pupils have the opportunity to experience places of worship through educational experiences within a range of world faith contexts. We aim to foster positive attitudes, showing respect and understanding for the cultural traditions and beliefs of all children, handling artefacts from different faiths and traditions with care and respect.
Throughout their experience at St Michael’s, pupils will have learned the fundamental beliefs and values within a range of world faiths which will enable them to appreciate and respect the beliefs held by others in the world around them. They will feel empowered to make informed choices about their own beliefs or their own paths in their journeys of faith. Their moral and personal values will continue to develop, forming part of their character and influencing how they treat themselves and others around them.