Overview of our approach to RE at Fox Hill
At Fox Hill Primary School, our Religious Education curriculum is designed to give children the opportunity to reflect on and learn from the faiths and beliefs (including non-religious world views, such as Humanism) of those around them. In this way, they develop an understanding of different beliefs so that they can be tolerant and respectful members of society. Children have the opportunity to consider provoking and challenging questions about meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
Children learn how to voice their own opinions, beliefs, ideas, values and experiences, in a safe environment, whilst respecting that others might have different opinions. In this way, children will develop their own sense of identify and belonging to participate in communities as citizens. Our curriculum aims to develop self-awareness, respect for all, open-mindedness and appreciation and wonder about the world we live in.
In following the Berkshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, we ensure that children develop the knowledge and understanding of the main world faiths and non-religious viewpoints. This is enriched by links with local faith groups, visits to a range of places of worship and the celebration of festivals. Additionally, we respond to local and world events to encourage children to be curious and question the world around them.
We expect all pupils to experience the full breadth of our curriculum, but should parents or carers wish to exercise the right of withdrawal for all or part of RE, they should consult with Miss Lane (Head Teacher).
Assemblies are part of each pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. They are an important part of our school life and community at Fox Hill, so pupils of all ages attend and participate in these regularly. Our assemblies cover a range of religious and world topics including educating children on current affairs, religious celebrations and events, British values, Black History and environmental issues.
Click here to look at the Agreed Berkshire Syllabus for Religious Education in Berkshire Schools 2018-2023.
Please click the link below to see the Religious Education curriculum for all year groups.
At Fox Hill Primary School, the aim of Religious Education is to help children to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews and to use that knowledge to engage in informed and balanced conversations about religions and beliefs. We aim to understand the way that religious beliefs shape our lives and our behaviour; develop the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues and enhance our spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through reflecting on our own beliefs, being able to be discerning about the many attitudes and opinions they will encounter. Our children will become resilient, accepting, mindful and inquisitive learners through asking questions about the world around them and through having access to high quality experiences.
We will deliver a curriculum that:
Religious Education is taught in accordance with the approved Pan- Berkshire Agreed Syllabus. The syllabus is based on ‘Big Questions’ with clear links between the three strands of ‘Belonging, Believing and Behaving.’ The teaching of Religious Education makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum as it allows all pupils to explore, understand and express their own response to spiritual and religious approaches to life. Our Religious Education curriculum provides high quality teaching and learning, which in turn enriches the children’s learning experiences. Our curriculum is deliberately planned and sequenced to enable pupils to build upon prior learning, revisit key concepts and deepen their understanding, meaning children can connect new knowledge with existing knowledge, working towards clearly defined end points.
Although Religious Education is taught within distinct RE lessons, as a school we feel that it contributes strongly to other areas of the curriculum. Through planning, we ensure that opportunities to study religions and non-religious worldviews through art, music and drama are regularly given. We feel that this enables pupils to look at Religious Education through a different lens and share their knowledge through these mediums. Additionally, Religious Education contributes to writing in English by enabling the children to use their skills of debate, enquiry and forming their own opinions to enhance their writing skills.
As part of each unit of study, teachers incorporate a range of experiences and enrichment opportunities to bring the religion being studied to life. This can include: handling artefacts; exploring scared texts; using imaginative play or drama to express feelings and ideas; responding to images, games, stories, art, music and dance; meeting visitors from local religious communities; making visits to religious places of worship where possible, and where not, making use of videos and the internet; taking part in whole school events- (multi-faith days, Harvest Festival, school performances); participating in moments of quiet reflection; participating in assemblies; using ICT to further explore religion and belief globally; comparing religions and worldviews through discussion; debating and communicating religious belief, worldviews and philosophical ideas and answering and asking ultimate questions posed by these.
Teachers use a range of strategies to allow children to think, reflect and consider the big questions that the RE curriculum brings. This is facilitated through small group and whole class discussions which support children in forming their own opinions on a topic whilst also considering the views of the believer. We aim to ensure all thinking and reflection time is purposeful and leads to deeper learning. To ensure that this happens, teachers are mindful of thinking and reflection when planning units of work that consider big questions. Subject specific vocabulary is explicitly taught and modelled by teachers and children are encouraged to use correct terminology in their oral and written responses.
Teachers use highly effective AFL at different points in each lesson to determine a child’s level of understanding and ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed immediately. Effective modelling by teachers ensures children are able to achieve the learning objective for the lesson, with misconceptions addressed within it. Teachers may plan short ‘pre-teaching’ sessions for those who need help understanding key concepts, views or vocabulary and will also consider the most appropriate strategies to support disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND to access the RE curriculum. Children who have demonstrated that they have a secure understanding are challenged further through pre-planned deeper questions or by being challenged through higher- order questions that require them to use skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Parents are kept informed of their child’s progress and suggestions to support at home are given if needed.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will have a stronger awareness of the world around them, including an in depth understanding of a number of world religions, and will be mindful of the beliefs and viewpoints of others. They will feel they are valued as individuals and that their beliefs are valued and celebrated. Enjoyment of the R.E. curriculum will promote creativity, achievement, confidence and inquisitive minds. Children will feel safe to learn new things and share their beliefs with others in an accepting environment. Children will leave Fox Hill with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
The Religious Education curriculum at Fox Hill will be demonstrated through records of discussions, photographic evidence, written work and artwork and possible recordings of any drama or music-based performances. Impact of the RE curriculum is also evidenced through looking at pupil progress in books, observing lessons and pupil voice.
Religious Education trips, visitors and workshops
We strongly believe that trips, visitors and workshops are highly valuable for developing a deeper understanding of the range of faiths and religions in our local community.
Year 3 enjoyed a trip to the Hindu Temple in Slough to enhance their learning of Hinduism. They explored what happens during the festival of Diwali and whether the celebrations bring a sense of belonging to Hindus.
Year 5 visited the Gurdwara in Reading and impressed staff there with their knowledge of Sikhism. The children were rewarded with a treat in the Langar. Whilst visiting the Gurdwara, they were able to see a number of ways that Sikhs put their religion into practice.
We have strong links with our local church, St Michael and St Mary Magdalene Church, and visit the church at various points throughout the academic year.
Year 6 were invited to St Michael's and St Mary Magdalene's Church for an Experience Easter workshop. The children learned all about the Christian Holy Week and reflected thoughtfully on key themes such as loneliness, remembrance, hopes and dreams.
We celebrated the run up to Christmas with a wonderful whole school Nativity. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 played the leading roles with Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 as our fantastic choir.
During our RE lessons, teachers offer opportunities for pupils to encounter an authentic voice of faith and belief. This means that we encourage dialogue between pupils and praise those who want to share their own unique and personal religious experiences. This is particularly beneficial when pupils teach their classmates about particular religious traditions or festivals. Here, our pupils become the “experts” and we believe that this can not only raise self-esteem but also give a positive image of each faith and enhance the quality of learning in RE. We also welcome members of our school community, including parents and relatives, to come and speak to our classes about a particular RE topic.