At Pinewood Infant School we want the children to engage in a concept based RE curriculum that leads to knowledge through enquiry and through this develop an understanding of other religions and cultures through the teaching of RE, allowing the children to become more inclusive, accepting and tolerant of others. We want children to develop a cultured world view that encourages them to self-reflect and develop empathy for others regardless of race or religion. Through their understanding of the concepts and their religious links we want the children to become further skilled in thinking critically, reasoning and justifying their own ideas about spiritual, cultural and moral concepts as well as being able to challenge the ideas of others in a respectful manner. The skills and knowledge gained through the RE curriculum underpin core British values. Our goal is not to teach children to be religious but how to better understand religion in the wider world. At Pinewood we aim to introduce children to different concepts (such as special places and light as a symbol) and how these concepts relate to their own lives, individual experiences and starting points.
At Pinewood Infant School the RE curriculum follows the ‘Living Difference III’ scheme of work. Two religions are taught at the school: Christianity is the primary focus but the school also teaches the children about Judaism. In Early Years, RE links to the ‘People and Communities’ Early Learning Goal, encouraging children to think about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
The primary focus of RE lessons is the concept. Children develop knowledge through enquiry investigating around this concept. This means that the learning of RE is transferable into the children’s own lives regardless of their own religious beliefs.
The lessons themselves are taught following a 5 stage learning cycle as set out in Living Difference III (Enquire, Contextualise, Evaluate, Communicate, Apply). This provides the children with a clear learning journey as they investigate and enquire around the concept being taught. In addition to this the 5 stage cycle provides a structure where the children have both the chance to look at the concept and its links to the religion as well as investigate how the concept links to their own lives and the lives of others. Whilst the focus of the learning journey is concept based, the children are still given plenty of opportunity to learn about and see practices within religions and ask questions to deepen their understanding.
Parents have the right to withdraw children from RE but will be encouraged to discuss their reasoning to help both parties to better understand.
Where possible, Units of RE are timed to match either the school’s curriculum or along with any religious festivals that are related to the unit taught allowing children to develop context for things they may see out of their school lives.
Writing is not the focus in the RE curriculum and children are encouraged to investigate the concepts in a variety of ways even including inviting religious visitors and visiting religious places. However, some writing for a real purpose is encouraged to reinforce cross curricular links with the school’s English curriculum.
At Pinewood Infant School we: