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RE

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Intent

At St Wilfrid’s we strive for our children to be confident in their own beliefs and values, so that they can respect the religious and cultural identity of others and grow into understanding, tolerant and respectful young adults. We aim to enable the children to acquire core knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of different religions across the world as well as contributing to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. 

Whilst our curriculum is a majority Christian approach, our children learn about a wide range of faiths and practices which help to develop children’s knowledge of the world they live in and their understanding and awareness of the beliefs, values and traditions of other individuals, communities and cultures. We aim to enable the children to recognise similarities and differences between different religions and ask and respond to questions about them, so they can identify what it means to be a part of a community.

We want our children to develop critical thinking skills and have the ability to justify an opinion. They should be able to explore questions about belonging, meaning and truth so that they can express their own opinions and ideas in response. We want RE to provide a safe space for children to discuss and explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ideas and share thoughts with others respectfully.

Implementation

Our RE curriculum, based on the Discovery RE scheme and the Church of England ‘Understanding Christianity’ programme, is planned to progressively engage children with challenging questions about human life, beliefs, communities and ideas. Through each unit, children consider a key question and have a focus concept. In the Understanding Christianity units, the focus concepts each define a key aspect of ‘The Big Story’ which is the overarching narrative of the Bible and children progress in their understanding of these year on year.

Planning ensures that children learn a range of aspects of RE. They study different beliefs and practices, including festivals, forms of worship, rituals and ways of life, in order to find out about the meanings behind them. They also retell and explore the meanings of some religious and moral stories, and recognise some of the symbols and actions that express a religious community’s way of life.

Children are encouraged to take part in discussions based on key questions to further their understanding and to reflect on what they have learned. All lessons encourage pupils to learn about and demonstrate empathy and respect, and are a key vehicle for conversations and learning about attitudes towards different religions.

The curriculum is delivered through high quality teaching, meeting people of faith, visiting places of worship and the children having opportunities to explore religious artefacts. In Early Years and KS1 reflections and work are recorded in class diaries and individual books. In KS2, children record in their own RE books.

An act of Collective Worship takes place every day and is an important part of school life, making space for children and staff to come together to share our school's values through stories, reflection, music and prayer.

Impact

Religious Education has a vital role in developing pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness. It promotes respect and open-mindedness towards others with different beliefs and encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging through self- awareness and reflection. By the time they leave St Wilfrid’s children will have a good knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews and will be confident in expressing their own thoughts, values and beliefs. They will appreciate difference and diversity and respect the right of others to have different views, values and ways of life as they move forward to their next stage of learning in the wider world.

Spirituality

At St.Wilfrid’s school, all aspects of school life reflect a Christian ethos and this policy is based on Christian principles. We aim for all children to work together to let their light shine, this includes their spiritual development.

At St. Wilfrid’s School we believe that it is very important to provide all children with a range of opportunities to help them develop spiritually. We believe that spiritual development may not be synonymous with Religious Education and Collective Worship and can be explored through many different curriculum areas.

Our school aims to support children in making sense of themselves and the world around them. We aim to help them observe their own responses to different experiences.  Our school believes that experiences, both in and out of school, are important to the development of all pupils.  

Opportunities for spirituality development come when:

  • children are given space to stop, look, listen, think and reflect
  • children feel safe to share opinions and think differently from others
  • children use their imagination
  • children need time to be listened to;
  • adults that are respectful;
  • space to explore, think and discuss;
  • opportunities that encourage wonder and surprise;
  • to know that there is not always a product or end result;
  • to know there is another way.

Activities and opportunities will include:

  •  exposure and appreciation of nature;
  •  following rituals and traditions;
  •  use of prayer or reflection time;
  •  time for silence and stillness;
  • acts of service that benefit others;
  • stories that promote thought and imagination (without the need to find a moral) Evidence of spirituality may come through art, play, attitudes, movement and using the senses.

Moral development is linked to spiritual development through strategies such as ‘windows, mirrors and doors’

A) WINDOWS: Encounter - The Learning about life. We give children to opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways, to wonder about life's 'Wows' (things that are amazing) and 'Ows' (things that bring us up short).

B) MIRRORS: Reflection - The learning from life. We provide children with time for REFLECTION. We give children opportunities to reflect on their experiences, to look inward & consider the big questions of life. In this they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others. Give emotional, physical and auditory space.

 C) DOORS: Transformation - The learning to live by putting into action what they believe. We give children opportunities to respond to all of this; to do something creative as a means of expressing, applying and further developing their thoughts and convictions. In this they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value.

At St.Wilfrid’s Primary School, we believe that the purpose of education is to support young people to flourish not only academically but also personally and spiritually so that they can become the best versions of themselves and truly live a life in all its fullness.

Our RE Documents

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