Religious Education (RE)
Mrs P Sharma
At Marlborough Primary School, we aim to develop our pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural identity through Religious Education. Our RE curriculum provides pupils with a platform to reflect on important questions surrounding the meaning and purpose of life through religious and non-religious viewpoints. This includes the concepts of identity, belonging and the difference between right and wrong. Pupils will learn about, and more significantly, learn from various religious beliefs and practices. They explore questions raised by different religions whilst reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. Through their understanding of religious and non-religious beliefs and traditions, pupils will develop respect for those who have differing values to their own. They will learn how an understanding of each religion allows for harmony within society, empowering them to promote unity and stand up against prejudice within society. We enthusiastically celebrate the religious diversity of the children and adults who make up the school community in Harrow, one of the most religiously diverse borough in London. We aim for our pupils to grow up with the values taught in RE, such that they can positively contribute to the wider community long after they have completed their journey of RE in Marlborough.
The RE curriculum is carefully planned in line with the Harrow Agreed Syllabus, developed by SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). This Agreed Syllabus provides a statutory framework which is designed to ensure that the aims of Religious Education in Harrow are taught comprehensively. It ensures a sufficiently thorough study of Christianity and other major religions and belief systems including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Humanim, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism. At Marlborough, RE is taught for weekly for an hour both in KS1 and KS2. Medium Term plans guide teachers to plan units surrounding a ‘big question’ in order to promote enquiry and critical thinking. EYFS include the essence of RE throughout the year in their unit entitled ‘learning about the world’. Marlborough Primary is an inclusive school, and all lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of the pupil's. SEN pupils are able to access the RE curriculum through quality first teaching, including the use of visual aids, additional scaffolding and other resources.
Knowledge organisers are provided to pupils at the beginning of all new topics in RE. They are a summary of the key facts and essential knowledge that pupils will need for that unit of work. Knowledge organisers will include a list of key vocabulary and their definitions, summary of previous learning, key ideas/concepts, symbols/images related to the topic and assessment objectives for that particular unit. This is an invaluable resource for pupils as they can easily access it for revision, support or pre-learning whenever required. This promotes independence and resourcefulness within our classrooms.
Subject-specific terminology is explicitly taught to pupils as they learn new topics in RE. This vocabulary is built upon as the curriculum becomes more challenging in higher year groups. This ensures that pupils become fluent in using the correct terminology across different religious contexts and can fully immerse themselves in discussions with each other in lessons. Key vocabulary is also listed in all knowledge organisers for each topic.
In order to ensure progression, children build on their knowledge and skills from previous years through our spiral RE curriculum. Many religions are taught across several year groups to allow pupils to draw from previous learning and deepen their understanding. Pupils are assessed using the End of Year Expectations in RE, which outlines key skills and knowledge, for each year group. Formative and summative assessment are key tools which our teachers utilise to tailor learning in order to meet the needs of all children, particularly those with special educational needs or disabilities.
Use of Religious Artefacts and Resources
RE lessons promote creativity and curiosity through the use of religious artefacts, sacred texts, videos and other visual stimuli. Using these concrete resources allows pupils to create links in their learning and broadens their experiences.
Trips and Visitors
Children develop their knowledge, understanding and awareness of a range of world faiths through engaging and thought-provoking lessons, trips, workshops and guest speakers. The curriculum is enriched and brought to life through these first-hand experiences, which bring back awe and wonder into the classroom. We also welcome parents and carers into RE lessons to share their experiences and knowledge of world religions.
Whole School Events
We heighten pupil’s experience of RE through celebratory events which bring together the whole school community, including children, parents/carers and teachers. The RE curriculum complements many celebrations such as the festivities of Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid, Hannukah, Vesak Day and many more. Diversity is always celebrated at Marlborough, ensuring that pupils have a chance to express themselves and connect with each other regardless of the religion they may or may not follow. This not only promotes a sense of community, but also belonging within our children as they feel connected to their learning.
Home learning is carefully planned by teachers for pupils to consolidate knowledge and skills covered throughout the term. RE is included within the home learning activities to ensure pupils have an opportunity to explore all subjects outside of the school setting. Within RE based activities, pupils will often recap previous knowledge or develop an initial understanding of a new topic before it is fully taught in lessons. Activities will also encourage pupils to use a range of resources for their research, including books, artefacts or even personal experiences. We acknowledge that RE can be a very personal subject and encourage pupils to draw upon their own experiences to engage and inspire them. Therefore, many of our Home Learning tasks for RE are often open ended, allowing pupils to be creative and access learning through discussions at home. Pupils with SEN will always have differentiated tasks to support their learning, and this also applies to Home Learning tasks.
Teachers are provided with support to reach a stage of secure subject knowledge to teach engaging lessons. As reflective practitioners, we are continuously improving our curriculum and lessons based on the needs of our pupils and current affairs around the world. Teachers are encouraged to develop their own knowledge and skills by attending courses and workshops in the borough, as well as in-house training. This knowledge is then cascaded throughout the school to ensure consistency in approach and quality.
Quality Leadership in RE is key in ensuring that the teaching and learning of RE across the school is of a high quality. The RE Lead has a clear strategic role and overall responsibility of RE at Marlborough.
The RE Leader is expected to:
- Support teachers in developing their knowledge and skills required to deliver high quality RE lessons, including relevant CPD.
- Support colleagues in developing their practice through monitoring and evaluation.
- Consistently monitor the quality of RE provision through book looks, pupil voice, staff voice and learning walks.
- Ensure long and medium-term plans are adapted to reflect changes made by SACRE when required.
- Develop Actions Plans that bring about sustainable change within RE.
- Celebrate the teaching and learning of RE at Marlborough and share good practice.
As a result of our creative, broad and balanced RE curriculum, children leave Marlborough Primary School having acquired the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
- Pupils develop their understanding of the major religions around the world and those predominant in our local borough of Harrow, through learning about (AO1) the key beliefs in each of the religions. However, most importantly they are able to learn from (AO2) religion through carefully reflecting, analysing and evaluating key ideas from faiths and belief systems.
- Pupils are left feeling confident in debating issues of religious significance with reference to evidence and argument whilst weighing the respective claims of self-interest, consideration for others, religious teaching and individual conscience.
- Pupils are taught how to work with others through sharing ideas, discussing beliefs, values and practices, collaborating with each other and developing respect and sensitivity as well as reviewing their achievements and identifying ways to improve their own work.
- RE lessons enable pupils to have a desire to seek after knowledge, gain new understanding and search for the meaning of life through their own personal lenses, unique to themselves and their upbringing. Religious Education in Marlborough helps pupils to reflect on their own experiences and appreciate their cultural backgrounds.
- The culture created in RE lessons leave pupil feeling confident about their own beliefs and identity and sharing them without fear of embarrassment or ridicule within a ‘safe space’. As a result, they continue to develop a realistic and positive sense of their own religious, moral and spiritual ideas whilst recognising their own uniqueness as human beings and affirming their self-worth.
- Pupils become increasingly aware of the impact their ideas and behaviours have on other people. Ultimately, they develop the skills needed to become respectful and intellectual citizens in our society and have a passion for learning about other religions and cultures.
- RE at Marlborough empowers pupils with the valuable skill of living peacefully in a multi-religious community despite the complexities of this era.