In line with the ‘Church of England Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education 2019’, we aim for all our children to:
- know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text
- gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world views appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and world views being studied
- engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience
- recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places
- explore their own religious, spiritual, and philosophical ways living, believing and thinking
Jesus teaches all of us to ‘Love One Another as I have loved you’ (John 15:12), and this Bible verse is woven through our school values of love, kindness, respect, teamwork, perseverance, and forgiveness, which are at the heart of all we do at Grayswood.
The children in our school receive a high-quality Religious Education curriculum that is rich and varied, enabling learners to grow in their knowledge and understanding of a range of faiths and world views, in an environment that is focused on nurturing kindness and respect for others.
It is our vision that pupils will leave Grayswood as responsible citizens of the community, ready to embrace the future with confidence. Our curriculum allows time for children to explore their own personal worldviews and to reflect on how they arrived at this particular viewpoint. We encourage pupils to think about how all people have beliefs and values – a lens through which they see things through, whether they are religious or non-religious. During our RE lessons, we encourage children to be able to identify the common values that may be shared between people belonging to different religions or even amongst people from non-religious backgrounds. As we reflect on the words of Jesus ‘to love one another,’ we also spend time celebrating difference and diversity in the ways in which people live, how and where they worship, and the wide variety of festivals people celebrate all around the world. Therefore, our hope is that we will send our pupils off with confidence that they will flourish as citizens in a pluralistic, global community; and consequently, be better able to enjoy living life in all its fullness (John 10:10).
RE is a core subject at Grayswood, therefore it is a priority for our school leaders to ensure the teaching, learning and resourcing of the subject is in line with the other academic subjects.
At Grayswood, we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, developed by the Guildford Diocese and SACRE, as the basis for our curriculum. As a Church school, the teaching of Christianity is at the centre of our RE curriculum, but it has been agreed that having taken into account the requirements and guidelines presented in the Agreed Syllabus, the following religions have been selected for study:
We implement the units using an enquiry approach to ensure the children have time to discuss their own thoughts and questions as well as building on their prior knowledge and vocabulary. We are careful not to over generalise religions and aim to ensure we show pupils accurate representations of the lived experience of people belonging to these faiths.
Care is taken by teachers to ensure pupils are able to embed their learning into their long-term memory, through revisiting topics at the beginning of lessons, regularly recalling what has been learnt previously, using resources or texts from previous units and through using a range of creative and memorable teaching styles to engage children, such as creating drama, holding class debates and studying artefacts. At the end of each RE unit of work, pupils have time to reflect on how they might apply their learning or think about how they might live their lives differently in response to their learning, alongside our vision and values.
To ensure the children in our school get a wide and varied religious education we provide them with other experiences and opportunities. These include:
- having excellent links with our local Reverend who leads a whole school assembly each week
- regularly visiting our local community Church (All Saints Grayswood)
- taking part in pause days throughout the academic year
- visiting religious places of worship
- watching ‘The Life of Christ’ at Wintershall
- taking part in school events and celebrations (Nativity, Black History, Remembrance Services)
- participating in weekly class reflections and using prayer spaces
- taking part in workshops and services at Guildford Cathedral
- hearing the children’s voices in regular worship team meetings
Teachers have access to regular training in staff meetings or INSET day sessions, where they are kept up to date with relevant information in the subject. The RE Subject leader attends regular training courses online but also at least once termly at the Diocese of Guildford.
Each term our Religious Education Lead monitors the teaching, learning and assessment of RE.
Pupils are carefully assessed three times a year formally in RE and assessment is used to identify gaps and inform future teaching. However, time is given in lessons for formative assessment, in the style of regular revising and recapping of prior learning, asking key questions, addressing misconceptions as they come up, quick quizzes, activities such as ‘Hexagon connections’, extended writing and regular discussion times, which are often recorded in scrap books in KS1 and EYFS.
Pupils at Grayswood enjoy creatively learning about other religions and why people choose or choose not to follow a religion. Through their RE learning, pupils develop a stronger awareness of the world around them, which in turn enables them to be more mindful of the beliefs of others. They are able to make links between their own lives and the lives of others in their community and in the wider world, developing an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life. Pupils are encouraged to be inquisitive in an environment where they feel safe to ask questions, and where they feel they are valued as individuals and that their beliefs are valued and celebrated. The RE curriculum is consequently invaluable to the living out of the school’s vision of pupils leaving Grayswood with the ability to embrace the future with confidence, and become responsible citizens of the community, who share God’s love with all.
Enrichment in RE
In addition to the curriculum, we offer the following enrichment opportunities in RE for children at Grayswood CE Primary School:
- Years 1-6 lead a church service for the Christian festivals thought the year
- With the help of the Worship Team, we organise 3 ‘Prayer Space’ days, one each term
- Take part in yearly ‘Pause Day’ in the spring term
- Trips to Wintershall
- Trips to other places of worship e.g. Mosque and Synagogue
- Key Stage 1 Nativity
- Key Stage 2 Carol Service
- Celebration of different faith/cultural festivals throughout the year