Our vision & intent
At Sunnybrow Primary, there is limited religious diversity in our immediate locality. In order to empower our children to exceed, we believe that it is vitally important that our RE curriculum covers a range of religions and beliefs. This will enable our pupils to learn from and about religion so that children understand the world around them. It will also encourage them to understand the need to respect others no matter their religion.
We intend that our RE curriculum will enhance social, moral, spiritual and cultural education and strengthen the children’s understanding of British Values. This will support our pupils in being prepared for life in modern Britain.
We strive for our pupils to become resilient, mindful and inquisitive learners and to develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues. By deepening knowledge and understanding, by having informed discussions and by developing and using critical thinking skills we will build children’s religious literacy. Providing opportunities for reflection supports pupils in developing a sense of their own identity and self-awareness and how their individual beliefs can or cannot mirror those of others.
We believe that it is important for our pupils to gain the knowledge and skills that will enable them to answer challenging questions, explore different religious beliefs, values and traditions and appreciate the way that religious beliefs shape life and behaviour. By understanding the beliefs and practices of others, they may make connections to their own beliefs and values and how these beliefs and values influence their own behaviours.
At Sunnybrow Primary School we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Durham 2020. This is a document that was written and agreed by the Durham Agreed Syllabus Conference for use by all County Durham schools.
There are 3 key elements in the teaching of RE. They are:
- Knowledge and Understanding of Religion
- Critical Thinking
- Personal Reflection
Our planning follows a 2 year cycle due to us having mixed age classes. Units are organised so that skills and knowledge develop year on year. Some units have been moved to ensure that children learn new knowledge in an appropriate order regardless of which cycle the curriculum is on when the child enters the class.
Children are taught about different religions throughout their time in school though there is an emphasis on Christianity. There are 4 key concepts that the children learn about in relation to each religion.
Belief – What are the key beliefs within each religion?
Authority – How do people know what to believe? Who are the founders and leaders of the religion? What are the holy books and teachings of each religion?
Expression of Belief – How do the followers of each religion express their beliefs? What are the different forms of expression? How belonging and commitment is expressed through ceremonies, rituals and symbols.
Impact of Belief – The values, actions and attitudes affected by beliefs. How does belief and worship affect what people feel and think and how they act and behave? How is identity, belonging and commitment expressed?
For each unit of work, ‘key concepts’ are identified. This is ‘sticky knowledge’ that we expect children to learn, recall and retain. We use a ‘cumulative quizzing’ approach to ensure that children regularly revisit the key concepts. We also use our ‘daily 5’ sticky knowledge quiz to recap prior learning.
Where possible, we aim to incorporate as many first hand experiences as is appropriate to the intended learning. We aim to visit a range of places of worship throughout a child’s time in school and we also aim to invite visitors from local religious communities where possible.
Lessons will take many forms and will incorporate many different elements. There will be opportunities for discussion, imaginative play or drama and the opportunity to respond to images, stories, art, music and dance.
Where appropriate to the intended learning, children will handle religious artefacts and will examine sacred texts. Each child has a personal reflection log in which they can record their thoughts, opinions and feelings following a period of personal reflection which is allocated within each lesson. These logs are not to be marked and are to be considered as private.
The main source of impact will always remain the quality and breadth of work seen in pupil’s books and the learning environment. We ensure there are always opportunities for application of learning within and across subject disciplines.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. Children show increasing skill in investigation and enquiry, interpretation, application, expression, analysis, evaluation, reflection and response and empathy as they progress through the school. It will also be evident that they are deepening their knowledge of the religions studied as they progress through the school. Impact is also measured through assessment for learning opportunities and through summative assessments. Teachers use assessment grids that reflect the benchmark expectations from the agreed syllabus.
Judgements on the impact of the curriculum on pupils is based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school. Work and book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning are all used as tools to help senior leaders assess the impact of the curriculum.