The RE Curriculum
As a Church of England Aided Primary School, Christianity takes central place in RE. We recognise, however, that other world faiths should be introduced to our pupils so that they are aware of the cultural differences they will encounter in a multi-faith and multi-racial society. We follow the 2017 diocesan guidelines from Guildford for our planning, to ensure we teach a curriculum which allows for progress in skills and enquiry in RE. The units are detailed below, under each of the key stages for your information.
Religious Education is crucial as it contributes greatly to children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, by helping them to develop their own beliefs, values and sense of self worth. It helps them to develop respect for other people’s faith and viewpoint and to appreciate their own and others’ contributions to society and the world. It is our aim that our children grow up to have a balanced, sympathetic view of the world around them.
How we teach RE at Grayswood
At Grayswood C of E Primary School, we enjoy teaching RE and believe in teaching it in interesting, creative ways. Children have access to a wide range of religious artefacts and resources. We realise it is important for children that RE is made relevant to them and we ensure that we use a range of teaching styles. Children all have access to Bibles in their classrooms and some lessons are based around Biblical or religious stories through text. Other times, powerpoints of Lego Biblical characters, for example, may be used or even modern day version video clips, depending on the age of the children. In all year groups, Drama is used regularly as a way of exploring thoughts and feelings. Activities such as role playing, or "Freeze framing" and "Conscience Alley" enable children to see things from different characters' points of views and often lead on to a further debate after the initial activity has finished. When learning about different faiths and festivals, children enjoy cooking and tasting foods from different cultures around the world. We are passionate about getting children to think more deeply in RE and we have recently started using some of the "Philosophy for Children" (or P4C) techniques in our RE teaching, to develop children's confidence in the ability to ask and answer questions about religions in more depth.
As well as our RE units that we teach to our classes, we come together as a school for festivals such as Chinese New Year, Diwali and for special events such as Remembrance Day. We sometimes mix up all our classes to enable older ones to work with younger ones to take part in different activities based on these themes and we then celebrate what the children have done in special assemblies at the end of these weeks.
Every Easter and sometimes at Pentecost, we plan a very special Pause Day for the children, where we effectively 'pause' what we are doing in other ares of the curriculum and give the time to exploring aspects of the Easter/ Pentecost stories in more detail across the school. It is a wonderful day for everyone, with usually some super Art projects and drama activities, and often a visit from one of the Barbabus in Schools team members or clergy from our church. The children have the opportunity to just stop and think and to ask their own questions about such important times in the Christian calendar.
We have recently started using our lovely Church, All Saints, several times a year for our "Prayer Space". We decorate the church with twinkly lights, bubble tubes and lava lamps and invite children in in small groups to explore life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. Our children have the opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection and to explore different ways of praying in an open, inclusive environment. We hope you enjoy our pictures below.
Our link with the local Church and Guildford Cathedral
Children make regular visits to our local Church, All Saints, to explore some of our units in more detail as well as to enjoy special services throughout the school year. Reception have a 'mock' wedding, where a Bride and Groom are selected, along with bridesmaids, the Best Man and ushers. The children experience what a real wedding would be like, as part of their Celebrations unit and alongside earning about why people go to Church. Year 1 go to look at the different features of the Church and what they are all for, and Year 2 go for a 'mock' Baptism.This is continued into Year 3 where children go to see what a holy communion in all about. Children in Year 6 go up to Guildford Cathedral where we explore the difference between a church and a Cathedral and they also enjoy being part of a very special Leavers' Service with many of the other Surrey schools at the end of the Summer term.