RE Subject Leader Planning Statement
At Rickmansworth Park School teachers draw from a range of sources to provide an individualised curriculum for their classes. The teachers use the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus as a basis for planning. The Herts syllabus was reviewed recently in 2017 and due to a delay caused by the Pandemic it will be reviewed again in 2023. Plans are currently in hand with Herfordshire SACRE to review and rewrite the syllabus. The areas covered in RE are planned to link in with other subjects such as PSHE and are influenced by the school’s status as a UNICEF Rights Respecting Gold school. RE takes pace in weekly discrete lessons and is separate to the collective worship of assemblies.
Article 14 (freedom of thought, belief and religion) states:
Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents to guide their child as they grow up.
RE lessons in school offer a varied format and staff draw on a variety of sources to inform planning including using their on own plans, published plans from the internet, BBC schools, Twinkl and TES. We use a wide range of outside visits and visitors to enhance our knowledge. We also draw on the differing religions of staff within the school as well as community members and parents who provide another layer of expertise. Lessons consist of formal writing, drama, art and games.
The children are given a wide range of opportunities for practical activity in an effort to promote tolerance and understanding of other religions.
From Reception to Year 6 the children cover the six main religions of the world and have an understanding of what the different beliefs and traditions are. There is a general emphasis across the RE curriculum on highlighting both the similarities and common beliefs as well as the differing practises between the main religions of the world, in a bid to promote understanding and tolerance. Recently, there has been a drive towards understanding Worldviews and Humanism. It is strongly believed that people who consider themselves to not have belief in a higher being still have valued beliefs and practices which must be respected with the same degree of respect and value as those who follow an organised religion.
What makes our RE curriculum exceptional?
1. It is underpinned by aims, values & purpose.
Article 14 (freedom of thought, belief and religion)
Every child has the right to think and believe what they want and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights of parents to give their children guidance about this right.
2. It develops the whole person – knowledge, skills, understanding & attitudes.
RE is timetabled and takes place every week in line with the number of hours in the statutory requirement. Children are encouraged to share their knowledge and traditions in the classroom and assemblies if they are comfortable to do so. They also bring in artefacts and foods to celebrate religious festivals.
3. It is broad and balanced.
Weekly RE lessons include art, drama, games as well as
traditional written work. Children also have access to visits and visitors.
4. There is clear progression in subject knowledge and skills.
Teachers use progression of knowledge not only in the classroom but across the school. Pupils leaving in Year 6 will have covered the six main religions with an emphasis on Christianity.
5. It is filled with rich first-hand experiences.
The staff in the school draw on a range of resources and visitors to give the children first hand experiences particularly when looking at religious festivals and food. A visit from a Holocaust survivor is a unique privilege.
6. It is flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests.
Individuals are encouraged to share their religious beliefs in a welcoming and excited environment. Children sharing their own traditions and religious practices is welcomed in class.
7. It has an eye on the future and the needs of future citizens.
By promoting tolerance through the understanding of other people’s religious practice and traditions we are working towards a more peaceful and tolerant society. Holocaust education promotes the importance of tolerance.
8. It encourages the use of environments and expertise beyond the classroom.
Children visit a range of places of worship to experience first-hand what other religious environments are like.
9. It makes meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum.
RE closely links to other areas of the curriculum especially in promoting tolerance and respect in line with the UNICEF Rights Respecting policies which the school follows. Holocaust education in year 6 is closely linked to the topic of bullying in PSHE.
10. It has a local, national and global dimension.
Faith Visitors including the local vicar and Rabbi offer the children an understanding of religion. We also look at how some countries in the world are predominantly a particular religion. Holocaust education also looks at modern genocides in the world.
11. It is supported by high quality Subject Leader CPD.
The RE subject leader attends regular meetings of the St Albans SACRE group and the Watford group set up for local school RE subject leaders. Use is also made of social media platforms for RE support. There is also training given by Hertfordshire for the RE framework. The subject leader also completes yearly updated Holocaust education at NHMDE.
12. SMSC is embedded in the curriculum.
This is particularly true for this school. The RE curriculum is designed to fully deliver all aspects of SMSC.
Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural Links – RE
RE Knowledge of religious reflection, humanist ideas and spiritual practices, e.g. worship.
Providing opportunities for experiencing space and silence to allow skills in reflection and awareness to develop.
Meeting others who belong to other traditions.
Providing opportunities for experiencing awe, wonder and transcendence.
Stories with a moral message from other world religions.
Ideas of right and wrong behaviour in world religions.
Individual and corporate responsibility within religious and other communities.
Developing skills of listening, respecting and evaluative judging.
Knowing about and understanding the importance of family and traditions within religious faiths and social groups.
Study of ideas of community in humanism religions.
Researching charities and other religious and non-religious forms of social caring and responsibility.
The study of different religions as part of a cultural tradition.
Meeting people from a variety of faiths and cultures, and visiting places of worship.
Exploring how religious and humanist ideas are expressed in different cultures, e.g. food, dress, festivals.