RE at Alverstoke Infant School.
At Alverstoke Infant School our aim is to provide an RE curriculum that is ambitious, coherently planned and sequenced, adapted according to the needs of the children and is broad and balanced for all pupils so that every child is included and valued. Our school values of Belonging, Respect and Responsibility are also embedded in our RE curriculum and we teach and encourage our children to live and learn by these. We promote tolerance and respect for other religions and beliefs as well as individual liberty.
Within each unit taught we plan and provide opportunities for promoting our children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. We give them time to:
- rejoice and celebrate things that are important to them.
- develop an ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others.
- share our own experiences and respond to the experiences of others.
- participate and respond positively to cultural opportunities and to explore different faiths and beliefs.
We believe in the importance of a P4C approach to teaching and learning and our RE curriculum reflects this – enhancing our children’s thinking and communicating skills as well as boosting their self- esteem which in turn improves their academic attainment.
We want our children to acquire and develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity and Hinduism (as our other principal religion as represented in the UK) so that they can develop a deep and purposeful understanding of the world around them and what it means to live a religious life. We also value all religions that our children may belong to and celebrate their beliefs by providing them with opportunities to share their own personal experiences. It is with this in mind that we aim to develop and harbour a greater tolerance and respect for all children and adults whatever their faith or background, whilst teaching our school community about British values.
Through our RE curriculum we want to encourage our children to develop the ability to discuss ideas and begin to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues so that we can enhance their spiritual, moral social and cultural development. We motivate our children to reflect on their personal experiences by communicating, applying, enquiring, contextualising and evaluating what they have learned so that they can link our “Big Idea” to their own lives. This is done through vibrant, engaging and relevant topics which will enable the children to build a strong working memory with an ability to constantly refer and cross reference what they have learned, and make meaningful links in other curriculum areas.
Our education curriculum is further enhanced with visits to our local Church (St. Mary’s) at least once a term, with a particular focus on the Christian festivals Harvest, Christmas, Easter and in Year 2 with Special Places; the Open the Book assembly group from the Church and visitors that will engage our children and further embed what we are learning. We aim to provide a Cultural Capital for children who may not always enjoy the experiences that the majority of our pupils do.
We value the Christian ethos and values of our Junior School which most of our children will transition to, (Alverstoke Church of England Junior School). “Sharing in God’s Grace with Love and Hope” is a message that we begin to embed within our own school community and we believe that these are values for everyone.
At Alverstoke Infant School, we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight which is “Living Difference llll”. It is the legal document to be followed for the teaching of religious education in our school. It is the statutory framework which defines the matters, skills and processes to guide our school in developing our curriculum for religious education.
In line with the matters, skills and process as outlined in the Syllabus we deliver a precise RE curriculum which is suitable for the needs of our children, from the Early Years Foundation stage through to the end of KS1.
Our children study Christianity and Hinduism, making purposeful and meaningful links and comparisons between these two religions. We follow the process of enquiry and as a starting point the exploration with children of what it means to exist in and with the world.
We study the concepts common to all people, such as, thanking, celebration, remembering, waiting, change, specialness, authority, looking forward, journey’s end and sad/happy (Concept Group A). We also study concepts shared by many religions, such as, symbolism, God, worship, belief, Creation and ritual (Concept B).
We promote teaching that actively encourages open enquiry and first – hand experiences wherever possible and we celebrate and value all contributions.
Living Difference IV seeks to introduce children and young people to what a religious way of looking at and existing in the world may offer in leading one’s life, individually and collectively. The skills of religious education in Living Difference IV are the enquiry skills of Communicate, Apply, Enquire, Contextualise and Evaluate, and is an approach to enquiry in religious education, where the teacher brings the child:
- at the Communicate and Apply steps to attend to their own and others’ experience
- at the Enquire and Contextualise steps to engage intellectually
- at the Evaluate step to discern value for others and themselves in a way dependent on the context of the enquiry.
This cycle of enquiry underpins our approach to the RE curriculum. Each unit follows this cycle of enquiry.
Foundation Stage (Year R) children will engage with aspects of Christianity and the other religion being explored in Key Stage 1 and will spend approximately 36 hours a year devoted to this.
At Key Stage 1 children are required to study Christianity and one other religion and will spend 36 hours a year devoted to this.
At Alverstoke Community Infant School we study Christianity and Hinduism as our other religion. Here, we will study the idea of what it means to live a religious life and that some or most people within that religion adhere to certain practices and exist with a particular kind of awareness. Where appropriate and relevant, we will also study other religions as a way of illustrating diversity and inclusion.
(See RE Curriculum Map and coverage of concepts and religions).
We have a separate book for all our RE work which moves up with the children as they enter each year group. This includes Years 3 -6 at our feeder Junior school Alverstoke Church of England Junior School.
The children at Alverstoke Infant School enjoy learning about other religions and why festivals are an important aspect of Christianity, Hinduism and other religions. We learn to make links between their own lives, and those of others in their community and in the wider world. The curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and involve all children whatever their ability. We ensure cross curricular links when appropriate that allow children time to explore and research aspects of other religions and how this creates excitement and a desire to learn and find out. The children are keen to discuss their findings and in particular are articulate and excited to retell stories from Hinduism and Christianity. RE is a vibrant, essential and invaluable part of the curriculum at Alverstoke Infant School.
By the end of Year 1 and Year 2 we are required to assess each step in the enquiry cycle with two of the steps being assessed twice. Each step to be assessed is planned in advance, so that teaching staff know which learning objective is to be evaluated. This ensures rigorous coverage, progression and assessment of the skill of the child in understanding what it means to live a religious life.
(See separate sheet Assessment Opportunities in Key Stage 1 for RE)
Foundation Stage assess their RE units against the EYFS Early Learning Goals:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Self regulation
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Building Relationships
- Understanding the World – Past and Present
- Understanding the World – People, Culture and Communities
- Expressive Arts and Design – Being Imaginative and Expressive
- Expressive Arts and Design – Creating with Material
Please refer to the following for information regarding the RE Curriculum: