The Religious Education Curriculum at St Matthias Primary School uses a combination of two schemes of work from the Worcester Diocese.
Understanding Christianity and The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Worcestershire
The key purpose of these materials is to support pupils in developing their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it. It does this by integrating pupils’ developing understanding of significant theological concepts within Christianity with their own self-understanding and understanding of the world, as part of their wider religious literacy.
• To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring core theological concepts.
• To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and understanding their impact in the lives of Christians.
• To develop pupils’ abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to
their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the world and human experience.
Understanding Christianity’s approach to teaching about Christianity builds up pupils’ encounters with biblical concepts through 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.
Making sense of the text
Exploring the context:
Where does this fit in the ‘big story’?
Pupils’ views and a variety of Christian readings
How do Christians use this text?
Why does this matter?
Unveiling the concepts:
How does this contribute to understanding key Christian ideas?
Considering issues …
behind, within and in front of the texts
Understanding the impact
How, then, do Christians live...? … in the Christian community?
Examining ways in which Church living grows out of biblical teaching
… in their everyday living?
Examining ways in which Christians apply the Bible day-to-day
What impact do Christianity and Christians have in the world?
Examining ways in which Christian belief and practice make a difference in the world
How has this had an impact on how people see the world?
Examining the influence of Christian thought on 21st-century thinking and living
Connecting texts, concepts and Christian living:
Developing understanding of the bigger picture
Connecting ideas studied and pupils’ own ideas:
Using ideas studied to reflect on matters of personal concern
Personal and impersonal evaluation:
Allowing pupils to challenge ideas studied, and the ideas studied to challenge pupils’ thinking
Examining implications for pupils’ understanding of self, world and others:
Discerning where there might or might not be value to be gained from ideas studied
The Principle Aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.
(2015 Chapter A1 Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Worcestershire)
Children in EYFS encounter religions and worldviews through special people, books, times, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. They listen to and talk about stories. Children are introduced to subject specific words and use all their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. They ask questions and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder at the world in which they live.
Foundation Stage: Discovering the world
Which stories are special and why?
Which people are special and why?
Which places are special and why?
Which times are special and why?
Where do we belong?
What is special about our world and why?
Key Stage 1
During the key stage, children are taught knowledge, skills and understanding through learning about Christians and Jewish people. The children will also encounter other religions and worldviews in thematic units.
1.1 Who is a Christian and what do they believe?
1.3 Who is Jewish and what do they believe?
1.4 What can we learn from sacred books? Christians, and Jewish people
1.5 What makes some places sacred? Christians, and Jewish people
1.6 How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times?
1.7 What does it mean to belong to a faith community? Christians and Jewish people
1.8 How should we care for others and the world, and why does it matter? Christians and Jewish people
RE should enable pupils to:
A1. Recall and name different beliefs and practices, including festivals, worship, rituals and ways of life, in order to find out about the meanings behind them.
B1. Ask and respond to questions about what individuals and communities do, and why, sothat pupils can identify what difference belonging to a community might make.
C1. Explore questions about belonging, meaning and truth so that they can express their own ideas and opinions in response using words, music, art or poetry.
A2. Retell and suggest meanings to some religious and moral stories, exploring and discussing sacred writings and sources of wisdom and recognising the traditions from which they come.
B2. Observe and recount different ways of expressing identity and belonging, responding sensitively for themselves.
C2. Find out about and respond with ideas to examples of cooperation between people who are different.
A3. Recognise some different symbols and actions which express a community’s way of life, appreciating some similarities between communities.
B3. Notice and respond sensitively to some similarities between different religions and worldviews.
C3. Find out about questions of right and wrong and begin to express their ideas and opinions in response.
Key Stage 2
Pupils will extend their knowledge and understanding of religions and worldviews, recognising their local, national and global contexts. They will be introduced to an extended range of sources and subject specific vocabulary. They will be encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions about religion, belief, values and human life. The children will learn to express their own ideas in response to the material they engage with, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views.
L2.1 What do different people believe about God? Christians, Hindus and/or Muslims
U2.1 Why do some people think God exists? Christians and non-religious (e.g. Humanists)
L2.2 Why is the Bible so important for Christians today?
L2.3 Why is Jesus inspiring to some people?
U2.2 What would Jesus do? (Can we live by the values of Jesus in the twenty-first century?)
U2.3 What do religions say to us when life gets hard? Christians, Hindus and non-religious (e.g. Humanists)
L2.4 Why do people pray? Christians, Hindus and/or Muslims
U2.4 If God is everywhere, why go to a place of worship? Christians, Hindus and/or Jewish people
L2.5 Why are festivals important to religious communities? Christians, Hindus and/or Muslims and/or Jewish people
U2.5 Is it better to express your beliefs in arts and architecture or in charity and generosity?
Christians, Muslims and non-religious (e.g. Humanists)
L2.6 Why do some people think that life is like a journey and what significant experiences mark this? Christians, Hindus and/or Jewish people and nonreligious responses (e.g. Humanist)
L2.7 What does it mean to be a Christian in Britain today?
U2.6 What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today?
L2.8 What does it mean to be a Hindu in Britain today?
L2.9 What can we learn from religions about deciding what is right and wrong? Christians, Jewish people and non-religious responses (e.g. Humanist)
U2.7 What matters most to Christians and Humanists?
U2.8 What difference does it make to believe in ahimsa (harmlessness), grace and/or Ummah (community)? Christians, Hindus and/or Muslims
RE should enable pupils to:
A. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews.
B. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews.
C. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews.
A1. Describe and make connections between different features of the religions and worldviews they study, discovering more about celebrations, worship, pilgrimages and the rituals which mark important points in life, in order to reflect on their significance.
B1. Observe and understand varied examples of religions and worldviews so that they can explain, with reasons, their meanings and significance to individuals and communities.
C1. Discuss and present thoughtfully their own and others’ views on challenging questions about belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, applying ideas of their own in different forms including (e.g.) reasoning, music, art and poetry.
A2. Describe and understand links between stories and other aspects of the communities they are investigating, responding thoughtfully to a range of
sources of wisdom and to beliefs and teachings that arise from them in different communities.
B2. Understand the challenges of commitment to a community of faith or belief, suggesting why belonging to a community may be valuable, both in the diverse communities being studied and in their own lives.
C2. Consider and apply ideas about ways in which diverse communities can live together for the wellbeing of all, responding thoughtfully to ideas about community, values and respect.
A3. Explore and describe a range of beliefs, symbols and actions so that they can understand different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
B3. Observe and consider different dimensions of religion, so that they can explore and show understanding of similarities and differences within and between different religions and worldviews.
C3. Discuss and apply their own and others’ ideas about ethical questions, including ideas about what is right and wrong and what is just and fair, and express their own ideas clearly in response
RE Quality Mark
We have long been excited about our RE Curriculum and the unique contribution teaching and learning in RE was having on our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.
For us, RE has always provided an opportunity to develop higher order thinking around big questions. Our curriculum offers opportunities for our pupils to form and express their opinions, to appreciate others and to be creative in their learning.
Following our successful SIAMs in 2012, we wanted to celebrate our high-quality learning in RE and decided to apply for the RE Quality Mark. The RE Quality Mark has two purposes: it recognises good practice in RE and also provides a powerful tool for development. We felt that working through the criteria for the award would enable us to reflect on and evaluate our provision, to see where the gaps were and to plan how we would move forward on key areas, collectively, as a whole staff. The process has definitely helped us raise the profile of RE and given us the chance consider our next steps for RE.
To achieve the RE Quality Mark we needed to listen to our learners and collect evidence of every aspect of our RE provision. We then had a visit from the assessor. A large part of the assessment was focussed on what our learners were saying about RE across the whole school.
St. Matthias CE Primary School is extremely proud to have achieved the GOLD award for the national RE Quality Mark. To receive this, the assessor has to be sure that;
· the quality of RE at our school is recognised as outstanding beyond the school
· learners at our school are unanimous in their appreciation of the value of the subject
· excellent practice and innovative strategies developed in RE are shared throughout our school and in the wider community
This is an amazing outcome and we are very pleased that all the hard work that takes place at St Matthias on a daily basis has been recognised.
A huge thank you and congratulations to all of the children, parents, staff, governors and the wider community for this wonderful achievement.
SIAMS Report November 2017
The distinctiveness and effectiveness of St Matthias VA Primary Academy as a Church of England school are outstanding
• The clear and distinctive Christian values which guide all aspects of school life ensure every child feels secure and loved.
• The strong links between the school and the church community promote a shared Christian vision for development and learning.
• The religious education lessons challenge children to think for themselves leading to outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
• The vision and passion of all staff ensure that the school is on course to fulfil its mission to ‘Aspire, Believe, Achieve.’ enabling children to accomplish the very best they can academically and socially.
At St Matthias we are extremely proud of this achievement and we are excited to implement the development points to our curriculum.
• Provide a more structured approach to the planning of collective worship to ensure that a broad and balanced programme of themes is covered leading to a greater impact on the spiritual development of the children.
We have already made changes to the Collective Worship programme and through our new and exciting curriculum we are providing even more opportunities for the children to explore, reflect and develop their own beliefs and values.