The Church of England Education Office has produced a Statement of Entitlement which has supported us in our discussions about the ways in which RE within our Church school is distinctive and how RE contributes to the mission of the Church. This statement can be found here.
Religious Education at Abbots Ripton aims to develop religious literacy in pupils so they can develop attitudes of respect towards those who hold views different to their own. We strongly believe that pupils should not only acquire knowledge but learn to use their knowledge to understand their world, build community, and develop their personal position, developing tolerance and compassion for others in our society. In a recent questionnaire about RE, a Year 6 pupil wrote, 'The thing I like best about RE is learning about 'loads' of religions, and the debate.' Another pupil wrote, 'All religions are different but the same in some ways, so if you are not sure of one religion, you can use others to help you.'
We endeavour to deliver a curriculum that helps pupils to acquire and develop a deep knowledge and understanding of Christianity as a global religion and which focuses on the core beliefs rooted in the Bible. The curriculum also aims to teach other world religions and sets of beliefs in a way that means pupils can make links and comparisons between faiths and ideas, supporting diversity and developing respect for others.
As an Aided School with a firm Christian foundation, RE is taught with a strong Christian focus in EYFS and KS1. This endeavours to support the school’s Christian vision for each child to grow in their faith, and builds a foundation on which to develop religious literacy. We use the resource, ‘Understanding Christianity’ which supports understanding in core theological areas; Creation, The Fall, People of God, Prophecy and Wisdom, Kingdom of God, Incarnation, Gospel and Salvation. It uses the Bible to introduce key ideas and how these then impact everyday Christian life. This academic year, we have adopted the Emmanuel Project resources to support our teaching of other faiths. Both of these resources support the expectations of the Cambridgeshire Syllabus.
Children also have the opportunity to explore and evaluate their own views on other world religions and beliefs, such as humanism, by exploring the key beliefs of each and how these impact on a believer’s life. Each topic is enquiry based and sets out a question which is then answered over a sequence of lessons. We review the question again at the end of the unit, to evaluate learning and reflect on what has been taught.
We use a flexible approach to assessment and assess knowledge and the skills needed to engage with and apply the concepts taught. Where possible we make connections between the religions, and support the children to identify these links too. Assessment can be recorded individually, in the collective class learning journey, and may have a creative focus.