Religious Education at Barncroft
At Barncroft we aim to develop successful learners through Religious Education. We present interesting and important conceptual challenges to all pupils.
We enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage. As well as this, our pupils learn about other major religions, their impact on culture, Politics, Art and History.
R.E helps to prepare pupils to become responsible citizens by raising issues of local, national and global concern and then placing them in spiritual and moral contexts and understanding that each child has the right to hold different beliefs. This enables pupils to see diverse religions and beliefs as a significant part of the local, national and global community and of human experience.
At Barncroft we believe that this will help contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual /philosophical convictions exploring and enriching their own faiths and beliefs.
At Barncroft we follow Living Difference III - The Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight focus on an enquiry based curriculum for RE around CONCEPTS:
CONCEPTS A: Common to all people e.g. celebration, power, belonging
CONCEPTS B: Shared by many religions e.g. God, worship, symbolism
CONCEPTS C: Unique to a particular religion e.g. Dukkha (Buddhism)
The key skills are: Communicate, Apply, Enquire, Contextualise, Evaluate (within the religion and without the religion i.e. outside of it)
The learning journey at Early Years and Foundation Stage
The Foundation Stage precedes Key Stage 1; it provides the basis on which children start to develop their dispositions and skills for learning they will use throughout their lives. RE curriculum planning for Reception year children in the Foundation Stage should ensure continuity and progression in children’s learning towards and throughout Key Stage 1.
Each unit of work for RE in a Reception class will be an enquiry into the children’s experience of a concept and link strongly to the EYFS characteristics of learning. Concepts that are particularly appropriate for Reception children might be belonging, celebration and specialness. These concepts provide a basis to the development of understanding in the remaining key stages and are readily accessible in the context of children’s experiences. For some Reception classes, it may be useful for children to explore their experiences of the same concept more than once, but with a different context, eg special clothes and special people. There will be additional opportunities to explore concepts further during child-initiated learning. Planning must ensure inclusion of at least two units relating to a Christian context and two units which focus on the religion explored within Key Stage 1 at the school.
The cycle of enquiry offers opportunities for both adult-led and enhanced, child-initiated learning activities
Religious education in Key Stage 1
Children in Key Stage 1 will continue to explore and reflect on their own way of life and feelings about this and also continue developing an understanding of religious and non-religious ways of living. They should continue to be encouraged to ask questions and recognise that different people may respond in different ways to their questions.
Children should be encouraged to explore and share their own experiences of the concepts studied. In this way they will begin to attend to other people’s experiences of concepts found in religious and non-religious ways of life.
At this key stage the enquiry into what it means to live a religious and non-religious life will be concerned with enquiring into concepts common to all people (A concepts), where children will engage within their own experience. These concepts are also evident in religious ways of life, for example happy, sad, remembering and thanking. Towards the end of the key stage children should begin to explore concepts that are shared across many faith narratives (B concepts).
At Key Stage 1 the main focus is on A concepts.
Older children within the key stage (Year 2) can also explore B concepts, for example God and symbol.
Children will be introduced to terms specific to religions (eg Shabbat) but the focus for enquiry into concepts will be rooted in in their own experience (for example, celebrating is the focus concept but Shabbat is a Jewish example of this).
Religious education in Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2 children will develop their dispositions and skills for enquiry further, which enables them to have a more mature understanding of different religious traditions. They should now be able to identify and make their own responses to some of the issues that arise in their own and others’ experience with regard to living a religious or non-religious life. They should be encouraged to develop their ability to ask and pursue more perceptive and complex questions.
The focus on B concepts will increase as pupils progress through Key Stage 2.
There will continue to be some cycles of enquiry beginning with children’s experiences of A concepts, although these enquiries will usually become more complex and sophisticated in terms of engagement with the concept from the perspective of a religious or non-religious person outside their experience, as the children get older.
In Year 5 and 6 some children will have the opportunity to enquire into C concepts.
As Key Stage 2 progresses, children usually have a broader range of experiences to draw on for their enquiries. They will continue to engage with concepts that are common to all people (A concepts), for example freedom, authority, sacrifice, as well as investigate concepts that are shared by many faith narratives (B concepts), for example holiness, pilgrimage and rites of passage. Through their enquiries children will also encounter concepts distinctive of particular religions (C concepts), for example Trinity, moksha, mitzvot.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education. Any parent considering this action is encouraged to meet with the Head Teacher to discuss the matter and the alternative arrangements.