Gilded Hollins Primary School
Subject Leadership of
Religious Education 2022-2023
We aim for our children to become knowledgeable in and have empathy for world faiths and cultures. RE is a tool for children to celebrate difference and to prepare them for a happy and successful life in modern Britain.
We have high aspirations for all our children and equip them with values, knowledge and understanding to live and work happily and successfully alongside others.
Religious Education makes a significant contribution to a child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The RE curriculum in Gilded Hollins follows the SACRE Wigan Agreed Syllabus, published in July 2017. Our aim at Gilded Hollins is to work with children so that they understand what others believe in order to live in peace alongside each other.
Our teaching of RE is based on an enquiry-based approach to learning. It focuses on improving standards of religious literacy and has an academic rigour that will equip children with the knowledge and skills to engage with religious issues worldwide. Our teaching of RE aims to ensure that our children have a sound knowledge and understanding of a variety of religious traditions and cultures. We give children the opportunities to discuss in detail religious beliefs, moral issues and ultimate questions. They are encouraged to contemplate their own and others’ viewpoints both religious and secular, and to practise the skills of listening with empathy and understanding. We aim to prepare children for life in modern Britain, giving them an understanding of events both national and global.
The focus of our teaching is Christianity in line with government guidelines, but we explore the beliefs and practices of other religious traditions represented locally, nationally and globally as we prepare the children to live in a diverse society. Our teaching of RE makes a significant contribution to the development of our literacy skills. It promotes the development of questioning, discussion, critical thinking, reading, writing, reasoning and evaluative skills. Expectations in respect of pupil progress in the National Curriculum with regards to English are reflected in the expectations of pupil progress in the RE curriculum.
Continuity and progression are built into the RE curriculum and the progression grid. The subject knowledge for each unit of work is provided for the children in Knowledge Organisers and these also include key vocabulary. Staff use these as a starting point for their planning and they also inform quizlets which are used to show progress within a topic. Staff plan for activities which will promote curiosity in the children and deep thinking and also encourage them to make connections and reflect on their own thoughts and beliefs.
All classes have the equivalent of 1 hour of RE each week, which may be blocked as appropriate. The RE curriculum is supported by visits and collective worship which is Christian in its focus.
The needs of SEND children are met through various means including the use of differentiated work, the use of support material e.g. word banks, the support of teaching assistants or Kagan structures as appropriate.
Areas taught across the school
Our Religious Education curriculum is taught in accordance with the locally-agreed syllabus for Wigan Local Education Authority. Each term, every year group will cover specific topics through an enquiry based approach in line with the school’s Long Term Plan. Questions such as: What does it mean to belong? What matters to Christians about Easter? What is important in Jewish life and worship? are explored through a range of activities. The curriculum provides opportunities for discussion and debate which engages and interests the children, making the world of religion come alive. Opportunities are taken to positively promote equality and diversity and to prepare the children for life in modern Britain.
Experiences and enrichment opportunities include:
The skills developed through the teaching of Religious Education include :
Teachers monitor progress continually and adjust their teaching accordingly. Much of the learning covered in RE is through enquiry and discussion. Assessment through questioning and verbal discussion is an area that the school is working hard to promote and enhance.
To augment this on-going diagnostic assessment, the RE syllabus combines the two attainment targets for RE, ‘Learning about religion’ and ‘Learning from religion’ which enables a more focused assessment. Each unit in the syllabus has suggested assessment foci that are used by class teachers to assess the children’s skills and knowledge of each unit covered. In line with a whole school foundation subject assessment each unit begins with a ‘quizlet’ which shows what the children already know about the subject, checks prior knowledge and allows teachers to plan where to embed knowledge and where to extend. By analysing the results, teachers are then able to personalise learning for both very able, knowledgeable children, as well as supporting those children who have a poorer subject knowledge.
The final results of assessments are stored on INSIGHT, our tracking system and shared with SLT. In this way, I have a clear picture of children’s progress and achievement in RE right across the school. Annual results are held in the subject leader file and are used to help inform next steps in the children’s learning in RE.
In Foundation stage, learning is initiated from the child’s own knowledge and assessment of children’s knowledge is measured through the steps made in the EYFS profile and is evidenced in the children’s learning journals on Seesaw.
The children at Gilded Hollins enjoying learning about other faiths and why people choose, or choose not to follow a particular religion. Through their weekly lessons, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. Religious Education therefore acts as a hub between social aspects of learning, science and geography, facilitating opportunities for our children to develop an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life, which they are then able to communicate to the wider community.
Religious Education offers our children the means by which to understand how other people choose to live and to understand why they choose to live in that way and as such; this education is invaluable in an ever changing and shrinking world.
What the children have said
‘I know the story about how God created the world in a week’ (Year 1)
‘I know how Jews celebrate Chanukah with all the candles’ (Year 2)
‘I learned all about Muslims going to Mecca and what they wear and what they have to do when they’re there. I also know now why they go on a pilgrimage.’ (Year 4)
‘I know all about the synagogue and what it is like because we went there. I loved looking down at the torah scroll from the gallery.’ (Year 5)
Why study RE?
‘It helps me to think about why things are special.’ (Year 1)
‘It made me question whether things are morally or ethically right.’ (Year 6)
'It helps you to understand why people may dress differently.' (Year 4)
'It makes me more empathetic to others and their beliefs.’ (Year 5)
Current standards and progress
The Sacre RE curriculum introduced 18/19 year has clear assessment foci that teachers use to inform their assessments. Quizlets can be used to support the teacher's assessment. Data from INSIGHT shows that attainment in RE is broadly in line with core subjects.
Next Steps for 2022-23
- Review the units of work in RE planning for a more creative approach
- CPD for all staff to improve teaching and learning in RE
- Continue to build a bank of religious visitors to come in to school to support units of work
- Encourage educational visits to a range of religious settings
- Embed a culture of reflection and curiosity in RE lessons