Statement of Intent: Religious Education at Dobwalls
The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
(Cornwall Agreed Syllabus, 2020-2025, page 7)
Religious Education at Dobwalls has the key role of in the promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development which benefits them as individuals and others within their communities. As the world appears to become ever more complex and challenging it is important that pupils can be prepared for the world they will enter when they leave school. Our RE supports children in developing empathy, allows children to make connections and explorations to develop a wider view of the world as well as developing children's thinking skills and the ability to make connections.
We follow the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus of 2020-2025 which takes the local seriously, whilst not ignoring the national and the global aspects of religious education. The content of RE agreed syllabus requires that all pupils develop understanding of Christianity in each key stage. In addition, across the age range, pupils will develop understanding of the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. These are Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Furthermore, children from families where non-religious worldviews are held are represented in almost all of our classrooms. These worldviews, including for example Humanism, will also be the focus for study in thematic units.
As stated in the syllabus: The Cornwall Agreed Syllabus 2020 asserts the importance and value of religious education (RE) for all pupils, with on-going benefits for an open, articulate and understanding society.
The following purpose statements underpin the syllabus, which is constructed to support pupils and teachers in fulfilling them:
• Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
• In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
• Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully.
• Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
• RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
• Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.
The curriculum for RE has three aims:
- make sense of a range of religious and non-religious beliefs
- understand the impact and significance of religious and non-religious beliefs
- make connections between religious and non-religious beliefs, concepts, practices and ideas studied
- We use the agreed syllabus objectives and adapt these to suit our spiral curriculum which is centred around the concepts and SECRET skills across key stage one and two.
- The SECRET skills are interwoven throughout lessons to develop our character education in conjunction with concepts, knowledge and skills.
- We tailor the learning to suit the class and individual needs and integrate the learning into our topic focus each term.
- The concepts used within RE are:
Shared symbols and rituals (RE1) The concept: Communities are strengthened by shared rituals, actions, ‘sacred’ symbols and objects. Making sense of beliefs.
Living a good life (RE2) The concept of a ‘moral code’. Communities even with a range of religions or worldviews. Can share views of what is ‘good’. Understanding the impact.
Ultimate questions (RE3) The concept that everyone has their own worldview helping them make sense of life’s experiences beyond just words. Making connections.
- The teaching, learning and sequencing of RE will follow a weekly curriculum approach to ensure coverage and progression to ensure learning builds year on year.
- Each class teacher uses their expertise and experience and knowledge of their pupils to plan the progression of lessons based on the concept focus for the term, the intended skills as well as focusing on the knowledge base.
- The progression of skills are incorporated into each unit of work dependent on the programme of study.
- Continuous professional development and teaching resources are offered to teachers on a yearly basis through the SMART day as well as on numerous occasions throughout the year where in-school workshops and staff meetings are utilised to establish up-to-date staff subject knowledge, as well as distribute teaching and pupil resources to support inclusive and challenging teaching.
As part of our quality RE teaching, we use knowledge organisers to support the development of children’s vocabulary and understanding. Please find these below:
- RE Knowledge Organisers Y1
- RE Knowledge Organisers Y2
- RE Knowledge Organisers Y3
- RE Knowledge Organisers Y4
- RE Knowledge Organisers Y5
- RE Knowledge Organisers Y6
By the end of key stage 2, every pupil at Dobwalls Primary School has an enhanced awareness and understanding of the teachings of Christianity as well as four other principle religions. They can reflect on their own beliefs and respect and tolerate the views of others’.
A Y6 "We love to talk and ask questions in RE - we have great heated conversations!"
T Y5 "I like learning about Sikhism - the ten Gurus were interesting to learn about and each different one!"
We have a good relationship with our local united Church. At Christmas, the whole school visits the Church for a Christmas Carol Service. Rev Andy visits half-termly for focussed assemblies including Harvest and Easter. We also enjoy assemblies led by Open the Book where Bible stories are acted out and told by members of the local community.
There are also links within our topics and enrichment activities planned as appropriate. For example, in Year Three there is a topic titled Our Cornwall which is when St Piran’s Day takes place. This is the Patron Saint of Cornwall. Children develop their learning through participation of Cornish culture and stories. In July, 2019, we were fortunate to have a visit from local actors with the show The Cornish Caretakers.