Across the Blossom Federation, our RE curriculum provides children with an understanding and appreciation for beliefs, cultural practices and values.
The Blossom Federation follows The Hackney Education agreed syllabus and lesson plans where available. We hold six designated RE days at the beginning of a term.
RE helps children to understand the place of religion and belief in the local, national and global community. RE contributes to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all children, whether or not they are from a religious tradition. It teaches the British values of tolerance and mutual respect in a diverse society, as well as allowing time to explore and celebrate a range of cultures, and beliefs. children develop a sense of identity, uniqueness and belonging through self-awareness, discussion and reflection.
From Year 1 to 6, our children are taught a variety of the world’s largest religions. These include Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. RE lessons take place every week. The curriculum map is planned to ensure that children build an ever-increasing picture over time, constantly developing their key subject knowledge and specialist vocabulary. Each time a religion is revisited, prior knowledge is built upon to ensure progression. children are given the opportunity to compare religions and find their similarities and differences within our multi-religion lessons.
The RE curriculum covers two different aspects – learning about religion and learning from religion. Learning about religion involves knowledge, understanding and vocabulary.
Across the Blossom Federation we benefit from a very diverse faith school community. Within RE lessons, children encounter an authentic voice of faith and belief. We encourage children to share their own unique and personal religious experiences. This is particularly beneficial when children teach their classmates about a particular religious tradition or festival. Here, our children become the “experts” and we believe that this not only builds self-esteem, but also enhances engagement and quality of lessons. We also welcome members of our school community, including parents and relatives, to come and speak to our classes about a particular RE topic.
We follow the guidance of RE Pillars of Progression framework which covers:
- first, ‘substantive’ knowledge: knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions
- second, ‘ways of knowing’: children learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion
- third, ‘personal knowledge’: children build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions they study
Alongside a whole school approach to celebrating different religious and cultural celebrations, the RE curriculum provides the means to celebrate the diversity of the school community and promote positive images of people in the wider community, including their beliefs, traditions, culture, language and history. It ensures that children develop spiritually, academically, emotionally and morally to promote and realise a better understanding of themselves and others and to equip them with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world. As well as outcomes of work in children’s books, children’s understanding of religion and the ability to respond creatively to religious themes is also evidenced during the annual calendar competition. The printed outcome features a wide range of work from the children and supports in raising the profile of religious education both across the school and borough.
Religious Education in the Early Years
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Early learning goals that link to RE are:
Understanding the World
ELG People and Communities
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
In the EYFS children...
- Learn about and celebrate a range of festivals and celebrations from around the world, for example Christmas, Easter, Chinese New Year, Eid, Diwali – these may change or be added to depending on the children in FS, as we try to celebrate the festivals that the children in the class will celebrate at home.
- Look at what makes us the same and different to others.
- Learn about different feelings and talk about how they are feeling, how others are feeling and what we can do to make others feel good.
- Develop compassion for others through a caring and supportive environment.