At Westvale Park, our vision is to provide children with a range of opportunities and experiences in Religious Education (RE) so they develop a broad understanding of the subject. We follow the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for RE. Our main aim is to develop tolerance, respect and understanding of others and their beliefs. At Westvale Park we feel the best way to do this is to enrich learning by children having first hand experiences through trips, visits and workshops. These practical, hands on experiences encourage curiosity, develop understanding and instil the tolerance needed to thrive in our diverse community. These approaches help to promote British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development, supporting children with the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the present day and the future.
The Surrey agreed syllabus for Religious Education aims that all children:
Demonstrate an appreciation of the nature of religion and belief and the important contribution of religious
and spiritual insights and values to the individual’s search for meaning in life, whilst acknowledging that
this may also come from a non-religious perspective.
Develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity, and of the other principal religions and beliefs
represented in Great Britain, both through their history and their contemporary diverse expressions.
Develop interest in and enthusiasm for the study of religion & beliefs and enhance their own spiritual, moral,
social and cultural development.
Develop the ability to make reasoned, informed and creative responses to religious and moral issues.
Recognise the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on the individual, on culture and on communities
throughout the world.
Lessons for each year group are planned collaboratively using our Progression Overviews to ensure that children develop the necessary skills needed to deepen their understanding and knowledge in RE. In Reception and Nursery, teachers also use the area in development matters titled, ‘Understanding The World’ to teach a broad and rich RE curriculum. Learning objectives and success criteria are taken from the Surrey Syllabus to ensure teachers can assess children’s learning and understanding.
We teach RE at least three times a half term. However, this may change throughout the year as, where appropriate, as RE is also taught when religious festivals and celebrations occur in the annual calendar, to ensure children have meaningful experiences. As a result, children may experience several RE lessons in one week. Working in this way allows the school to invite local communities in to deliver workshops and assemblies, putting the learning into context. Daily assemblies also encouraging reflection.
Progression across year groups:
In EYFS, RE is explored through ‘Understanding the World’. Children explore what makes them special and unique and begin to talk about where they belong e.g. family, clubs, etc. Children talk about different communities that others may belong to, learning about key events that may take place.
In Year 1, children explore different religious festivals including why they are celebrated and important. Children begin to explore Christianity and Judaism. They are able to explain how each festival is celebrated, identifying the key components to each festival. In addition, the children talk about their own lives e.g. any family traditions they may have and say why they are important to them.
In Year 2, children continue to deepen their knowledge around key religious festivals in today’s society. Children build on their knowledge of Christianity and Islam and begin to explore these religious festivals in greater detail. Children can recall the key aspects of each festival and look at comparing the similarities and differences between them. Children are able to give their own opinions, whilst being respectful of others’ beliefs.