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Church School RE in light of the new Primary Curriculum:

Guidance for Headteachers, RE subject leaders and Foundation governors

According to the new primary curriculum three aims should inform all aspects of teaching and learning and be the starting point for curriculum design. RE makes a significant contribution to these as identified below:

SUCCESSFUL LEARNERS
RE contributes to the following outcomes:

  • Successful learners think for themselves to process information, reason, question and evaluate
  • Successful learners know about big ideas and events that shape our world

CONFIDENT INDIVIDUALS
RE contributes to the following outcomes:

  • Have a sense of self-worth and personal identity
  • Relate well to others and form good relationships
  • Have secure values and beliefs and have principles to distinguish right from wrong
  • Are open to the excitement and inspiration offered by the natural world and human achievements

RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS
RE contributes to the following outcomes:

  • Respect others and act with integrity
  • Understand their own and others’ cultures and traditions, within the context of British heritage and have a strong sense of their own place in their world
  • Challenge injustice, are committed to human rights and strive to live peaceably with others

Key recommendations to ensure challenge, continuity and progression:

  • Examples of cross-curricular planning still need to retain clear learning objectives for RE
    • Some aspects of the RE curriculum need to be taught discretely.
    • Schools need to be clear that when RE is incorporated into a cross-curricular theme, key RE questions can be explored; tenuous links to RE should be avoided.
    • In order to have a coherent understanding of world faiths it is important that AT1 and 2 are taught in conjunction with each other
  • Whatever the approach to teaching RE, the key principles of Assessment for Learning should be maintained. (i.e. children should be aware of their ‘next steps’ in RE)
  • The school needs to ensure the time allocation for RE (a minimum of  5% time for EY and KS1 and KS2 i.e. the equivalent of 1 hour to 1.25 hours per week) and the % of time studying Christianity reflects National Guidance i.e. approximately 2/3 of the time (and at least 2 other faiths studied)
  • Threading through an integrated curriculum and especially RE should be opportunities to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (see NS Guidance for C of E Primary Schools on RE: a working document)
  • RE Curriculum mapping should ensure:
    • the concepts of essential knowledge and key processes covering AT1 and 2 in long term planning in order to ensure breath of study (see)
    • that children have a rich and varied learning experience through their schooling  including the opportunities for compelling learning experiences (see NS Guidance for C of E Primary Schools on RE: a working document section on curriculum opportunities)
    • the breath of curriculum opportunities reflect the distinctive nature of church schools
    • the development of Key Skills in Religious Education as identified in your syllabus

References
Essential Knowledge of Christianity for Church Schools at KS1 and 2
NS Guidance for C of E Primary Schools on RE: a working document section on curriculum opportunities

With thanks to Pauline Dodds (Diocese of Bath and Wells) and Cathy Davie  (National Society & Diocese of Southwark)

Discussion

One comment for “Church School RE in light of the new Primary Curriculum:”

  1. This document is just what I needed at this moment. Thank you

    Posted by Jan Digweed | March 4, 2010, 8:10 am

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