At Bridekirk Dovenby C of E Primary School RE begins in the EYFS through the "investigate" and "care" strands of our EYFS curriculum. Throughout school (EYFS, KS1 and KS2) we use the Discovery RE and Understanding Christianity schemes of work to deliver a rich, ambitious curriculum that is well sequenced for progression and development. By the end of KS2, children are well prepared for the next stage of their learning and have the necessary skills to question, research and think more deeply about the world in which they live.
We aim to teach 3 types of knowledge within our RE curriculum:
Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At Bridekirk Dovenby Church of England Primary School we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, and we address the fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of Christianity alongside the wider Christian community and other world religions. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions.
How our RE curriculum reflects our local context:
As a VC C of E school, we follow our locally agreed syllabus as well as following the advice provided by Carlisle Diocese. Having sought advice from our Local Diocesan Board of Education recently, we are using a bespoke combination of the Discovery RE Scheme and Understanding Christianity in order to better meet the needs of our children, whilst adhering to our locally agreed syllabus and at the same time maintaining our school’s religious character.
At Bridekirk Dovenby, we feel it’s especially important to take into account the lack of diversity in terms of different cultures and faiths in our local area. We seek to address this by providing a broad RE curriculum where children experience a wide range of world views and beliefs. Through visits and various enrichment opportunities, we help children understand we are part of a much bigger, diverse world and don’t exist alone in our small corner of rural Cumbria! We strive to provide as many opportunities as possible for children to meet people of different faiths and ethnicities. This has been an important part of our Covid recovery plan; to welcome visitors back into school.
Our school context is reflected in our Curriculum Drivers which are also integrated into our RE curriculum as these focus areas need to thread through all subject areas.
We base our teaching style in RE on the key principles that good teaching in RE:
RE is timetabled weekly and is prioritised as a core subject. Lessons are planned using the aforementioned schemes of work and then adapted to meet the needs of the specific group. Planning is annotated by teachers to show the teaching and learning opportunities that have been met. The subject leader works with the class teachers to ensure that the curriculum is being covered and that end points are reached.
Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development. We encourage children to think about their own views and values in relation to the themes and topics studied in the RE curriculum.
Teachers are able to get support and CPD from the subject leader as well as enrol on their own training using the National College. The RE subject leaders attend RE hub meetings where they are kept up-to- date with the teaching of RE within the local area and further afield. There are also links being developed with the local secondary school so that support and knowledge can be disseminated.
We have an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE) in school who is informed about current research and how this can improve teaching generally or specific to a subject. For example, teaching is designed to help pupils remember long term the content they have been taught, without overloading them. It also encourages them to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and teaches them how to plan, monitor and review their own learning.
We teach religious education to all children in the school, including those in the reception class. Discovery RE and Understanding Christianity units are adapted and delivered through the “investigate” and “care” strands of our EYFS curriculum. Our youngest children engage with RE through interactive activities and discussions. Play based learning opportunities alongside adult led activities create a balanced and exciting approach that is bespoke to children at Bridekirk.
We have sufficient resources in our school to be able to teach all our religious education teaching units. We keep resources for religious education in a central store where there is a separate box of equipment and a collection of religious artefacts for each religion. Each class also has their own bible in the classroom and a class set of Bibles is stored in the library.
We assess children’s work in religious education by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. We mark a piece of work once it has been completed and we comment as necessary.
On completion of a unit of work, we make a summary judgement about whether children are working at, above or below the expected level and keep a record of these judgements. We use the assessments provided by the Discovery RE and Understanding Christianity units as these link explicitly to the content being taught and reduce unnecessary teacher workload. We assess pupils’ substantive knowledge, whether they have learned modes of discourse (ways of knowing) and if they have considered their own positionality.
The RE subject leader looks at samples of children’s work and asks children about their learning.
The RE subject leaders (Currently R. Stanley and B. Fletcher) are responsible for monitoring the standards of the children’s work and the quality of the teaching in religious education. They are also responsible for supporting colleagues in the teaching of religious education, for being informed about current developments in the subject, and for providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The R.E. subject leader presents the headteacher with an annual action plan that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the subject.
Subject leads have specially-allocated time for carrying out the vital task of reviewing samples of the children’s work and visiting classes to observe teaching in the subject.
This academic year (2023 - 2024) The Reception children will be linking the F 1/2 units of work to their care and investigate strands of learning, taught by Mrs Smith.
Y1 and Y2 will be covering the Y2 units of work, taught by Mrs Fletcher.
The Y1 & Y2 children enjoyed a visit from Sheila Gewolb, who helped them to learn even more about Judaism. They asked her lots of questions and they all tried to blow the shofar (ram's horn) correctly to make a sound. We thought that nobody was going to do it, but then a Y2 girl managed to make a sound! After that, some more girls managed too!
Then we tried the challah bread, which Sheila had kindly brought for us to taste. Thank you so much to Sheila for helping to enhance our learning in RE. Shalom until next time.
The Reception children are learning about special places. After finding out more about churches, they used various resources to design and make their own.
The children made crosses with different materials to add to the garden. March 2023
Visit From Imran
The children in primary 5 have been learning about Islam religion last half-term and they were very lucky today to have a visit from Imran. Imran is a Muslim living in Bolton and he delivered an engaging lesson about ‘What is it like to live in Britain when you are a Muslim.’
He told the children about some of the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam and also about some famous people who are Muslim and live in Britain.
He then showed a video of the temple that he visits in Bolton and told them all about some religious objects