Schooling deprived of religious insights is wretched education
At Heartwood, we believe that the purpose of RE is about religious literacy and aim to help pupils hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief. Consequently, RE intends to promote religious understanding and respect and to challenge prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. We follow the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus (2019) and children in Years 1 to 6 (Years 1 to 4 at present) use the enquiry approach to answer five ‘Big Questions’ each academic year. Each unit of work has a main focus of theology, philosophy or human/social sciences:
|Year group||Enquiry One||Enquiry Two||Enquiry Three||Enquiry Four||Enquiry Five|
Why is the word God so important to Christians?
Why do Christians perform nativity plays at Christmas?
Why do Christians put a cross in an Easter garden?
|Year One||What do my senses tell me about the world of religion and belief? Christian, Hindu, Jewish||How does a celebration bring a community together? Muslim, Christian||What do Jewish people remember on Shabbat? Jewish||What does the cross mean to Christians? Christian||How did the universe come to be? Hindu, Christian|
|Year Two||Why is light an important symbol for Christians Jews and Hindus? Christian, Jewish, Hindu||What does the nativity story teach Christians about Jesus? Christian||How do Christians belong to their faith family? Christian||How do Jewish people celebrate Passover (Pesach)? Jewish||Why do people have different views about the idea of God? Multi/Humanist|
|Year Three||How do people express commitment to a religion/ worldview in different ways? Hindu or Jewish/Sikh/ Christian||What is the Trinity? Christian||What is philosophy? How do people make moral decisions? Christian/Humanist||What do _____ believe about God? Muslim||What difference does being a _____ make to daily life? Muslim|
|Year Four||Where do religious beliefs come from? Christian||What do we mean by truth? Is seeing believing? Multi, including Sikh views on God as truth||How do/have religious groups contribute to society and culture? Hindu/Christian||Why is there so much diversity of belief within _____? Christian Includes some theological aspects||What does sacrifice mean? Multi/Humanist|
|Year Five||Is believing in God reasonable? Multi/Humanist||How has belief in _____ impacted on music and art through history? Christian/Muslim||What can we learn about the world/knowledge/ meaning of life from the great philosophers? Buddhist/Christian||What difference does the resurrection make to Christians? Christian||How do ____ make sense of the world? Hindu|
|Year Six||How and why does religion bring peace and conflict? Multi||How do _______ explain the suffering in the world? Buddhist||What does it mean to be human? Is being happy the greatest purpose in life? Humanist/Christian||Creation or science: conflicting or complementary? Christian/Humanist||How do beliefs shape identity for ______? Muslim (prepare for KS3)|
As a Church School, we ensure that at least 51% of the RE curriculum taught is Christianity, but often more than this. The demographic of our school shows that many of our community have no religious beliefs and therefore we teach Humanism as a reference to living a good life with human values at the centre.
We have days throughout the year for children to explore concepts in more detail: creation, salvation and incarnation. We believe that our children at Heartwood learn best through first hand experiences and we encourage visitors and visit throughout the year and also include Godly play.
We have a strong partnership with St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church and have created an annual enrichment timetable:
In response to the potential impact of the pandemic on Religious Education, we have planned days throughout the year that are focused on theology – teaching the children knowledge of particular religions/worldviews, so that they have secure knowledge and are then able to compare, contrast and delve deeper into the philosophy and human/social sciences aspects.
Making a Difference
As part of our Religious Education curriculum we discuss the importance of people's beliefs, respecting each other and our differences, and being able to learn from others. As well as this, pupils learn the values that Christians hold, and how these can be used in their everyday lives. By having an understanding of our own and others' beliefs, our pupils learn to respect and appreciate other people, their beliefs and life choices.
How we teach Religious Education
At Heartwood our Nursery and Reception classrooms thrive on excitement, curiosity and discovery, where language and communication are the foundations of play and adventure. Through the overt modelling and teaching of early philosophical skills, including thinking and talking, playing and storytelling, we provide children with the tools for genuine enquiry, equipping them for both now and the future learning.
The key skills we model, teach and the children learn and nurture from the beginning of EYFS are
To support our children we use question stems, such as ‘can you tell me why?’, ‘What do you think about…?’, ‘I really like…idea. What do you think?’
We teach RE through the Enquiry Process; Engage, Enquire, Explore, Evaluate, Express.
The Nicholas Hamond Academy
Our curriculum is designed to prepare the children for the next stages in their education in each subject. Our curriculum map plans to support the declarative and procedural knowledge needed for the children to access and thrive in RE in KS3.