RE (Religious Education) at Felbridge
What are we aiming for?
Religious Education, through the study of Christianity and other world religions in local and worldwide contexts, is an important part of the way in which our children grow in their understanding of the world around them. Through RE, children develop knowledge of customs and practices in a range of faiths with emphasis on Christianity, growing in their understanding and awareness of beliefs, values and traditions of individuals, societies, communities and cultures. Through engaging with and responding to lessons, children’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social development is enhanced and we aim to support their ability to make reasoned and informed responses to religious issues, as well as developing respect and tolerance for a diverse world.
RE, through the Surrey Agreed Syllabus which forms the basis for lessons in Surrey community schools including Felbridge, encourages children to ask ‘Big Questions’ about the world and to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences.
How we achieve our aims
The Surrey Agreed Syllabus (2017-2023) takes into account:
- legal requirements
- local and national factors
- the age, aptitude, ability and experience of pupils, whether they come from religious or secular backgrounds
- the views of the local community, including parents
- educational rigour and challenge
From the outline provided by the agreed syllabus, teachers develop a sequence of learning which follows an enquiry model based on the National Society report ‘Making the Difference.’ This is designed to help pupils deepen understanding and make secure connections.
The process is summarised as:
engage ➡ enquire & explore ➡ evaluate ➡ express
- Engage: A stimulus is offered to engage pupils with a key religious idea. This element of the process should connect pupils with the theme of the unit, and make links between our own lives and that of the religion being studied.
- Enquire & Explore: Pupils set out to explore religions and/or worldviews in relation to the key idea / focus of the enquiry, investigating religious ideas and concepts through a mix of activities. This area can be categorised as learning ‘about’ religion.
- Evaluate: Pupils use personal reflection and discussion to learn ‘from’ religion. They may ask and answer questions about what their explorations mean in the moral, social and cultural context of society at home and further afield, what they think about these ideas and what it may mean both for believers and non-believers of the religion being studied.
- Express: Pupils may be given a range of approaches to express what they have learnt, often through creative or cross-curricular responses.
Source material provided by the agreed syllabus lays out key knowledge and ideas to be learnt and gives initial suggested opportunities for each stage of the enquiry process. Teachers then expand on the core knowledge and ideas to form lessons which will achieve the objectives of the enquiry process as well as provide opportunities to learn and embed key knowledge.
By its nature, the enquiry model above provides a variety of means of responding and reflecting for pupils of different abilities. Pupils with SEND are supported with their understanding and written responses through scaffolds, vocabulary banks and through differentiation of tasks where appropriate. The mixed ability nature of discussions also supports children working together to develop group responses. The diverse nature of belief and the natural context of mutual respect and tolerance supports an atmosphere of inclusion and diversity throughout units of work.
Within Christianity, as the largest portion of the syllabus, we aim to use a variety of different sources, for example age-appropriate/illustrated/modern text versions of the Bible, as well as images and sources from around the world to draw on.
What will our approach result in?
Through the structure of the RE syllabus, as laid out in our long term plan, teachers are able to plan and deliver structured curriculum-based lessons which allow pupils to develop in their understanding and knowledge across the school.
Children will be able to demonstrate an appreciation of the nature of religion and belief, a respect for different beliefs and their importance to a balanced worldview.
Children will develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity, the other principal religions and beliefs of the United Kingdom, and will also consider non-religious perspectives through lessons, discussion and activities.