RE is delivered in accordance with The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Norfolk – 2012, the 1988 Education Reform Act and the subsequent DES Professional Paper ‘Religious Education and Collective Worship’ Circular 1/94.
EYFS and Key Stage 1 RE
RE forms part of the curriculum for all school age children. RE teaching is concerned with learning about religion by helping pupils to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold beliefs different from their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions and beliefs. It is also about learning from religion by enhancing the children’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social development.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1 pupils are taught about Christianity and Judaism, with cultural introductions to other world faiths. Each year group has key concepts and key questions to explore. Christianity is now taught using the Understanding Christianity planning and resources. Pupils learn about these concepts, develop their knowledge and skills, through asking questions, enquiring into and investigating the nature of religion, beliefs, teachings, ways of life, sources, practices and forms of expression. They gain knowledge and understanding of individual religions and how they relate to each other as well as studying the nature and characteristics of religion and spirituality.
At EYFS and Key Stage 1 we focus heavily on speaking and listening, but also include role play and drama, literacy, art, music and movement, and computing. Age appropriate visual aids and hands on experiences are regularly used, including a visit to the church in Dereham to take part in a role-play wedding, a visitor in school to demonstrate the celebration of Shabbat, and dance leaders to introduce children to Chinese New Year and Indian dancing. These activities and experiences stimulate the children’s involvement in their learning and allow children of all abilities to access the RE curriculum. Children are encouraged to communicate their own ideas in their own ways in relation to identity and belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, and values and commitments.
RE teaching and learning enhances the children’s spiritual, moral cultural and social development by developing their ability to reflect on and respond to their own and others’ experiences in the light of their learning about religion. RE links well to our Golden Rules, PATHS and British Values teaching, and impacts on all areas of school life where children are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and tolerance and respect for the views and practices of other people.
In Reception the children were learning about Chinese New Year. This involved reading the story of the animals’ race and learning about Chinese customs, clothes and food. The children took part in role play and creative table activities, and enjoyed Chinese New Year Lion dancing with a dance visitor.
In Year 1 the children were introduced to Judaism. They learnt about the Jewish story of Queen Esther who saved her people long ago. People of the Jewish faith celebrate this during the party festival of Purim. Children were introduced to Jewish artifacts, and took part in creative and role play activities, including making Hamantashen biscuits and enjoying a big circle dance wearing their party hats in the hall!
Year 2 were also learning about Judaism through Shabbat. The children were joined by visitors from Norwich Synagogue for a day of learning and role play. The visitors brought many interesting artifacts for the childrento explore so they could understand more about the Jewish faith. Each Year 2 classroom was set out for the celebratory meal of Shabbat. The children were able to bring their RE learning to life by recreating what a Jewish family would do on Friday night and how they finish celebrating on Saturday.
Year 1 learnt about the celebration of Harvest and why this is special for people around the world. They read the story of the Creation as told in The Bible, and learnt that Christians celebrate all the things that God made when he created the world, and are thankful for what they have received. They also explored some fruit and vegetables to see what they felt like and smelt like, and learned about where our food comes from.
Year 2 also learnt about Harvest festival, and about the biblical The Creation story. They found out that this is a story that is special to both Jews and Christians and their Harvest celebrations are about thanking God for the good things he has given. They retold the story, and made their own version of it.
Reception had a great Harvest activity morning with lots of different activities related to our food and the season of Autumn.
As part of their work about Celebrations Reception have been learning about the celebration of Diwali; the Hindu Festival of Light. They have experienced some cultural aspects of Hinduism, for example they designed their own Mehndis, lanterns, rangoli patterns and Diva lamps. They also had a dance workshop with Miss Helen who taught them some dance moves and told them the story of Diwali. The children learnt all about Rama and Sita, Ravana the ten headed demon and Hanuman the Monkey King! Everyone enjoyed trying on and dancing in some traditional clothes. In class the children have looked at Diwali information books, read stories and watched videos.
During the second half of the term the whole school celebrated Christmas and learnt about the Christian concept of Incarnation – God coming to earth through the birth of Jesus, as told in the Nativity story in The Bible.
The Reception classes talked about Christmas and how and why it is celebrated by so many people around the world. The children watched a short clip about a family preparing for Christmas and compared it to some of the things they do in their own family homes. They read the Nativity story and were also given opportunities to retell the Christmas story through play.
Reception classes then watched a video of an artist creating the Nativity story through sand art. The artist used his hands to shape the sand on a light box into the characters from the story. Children then tried this for themselves and created angels and stars using sand.
Year 1 discussed how people around the world celebrate Christmas. They talked about why this celebration matters to Christians and why Jesus is so important to Christians. They were given the opportunity to retell the Nativity story in different ways and took part in various Christmas crafts linked to the Christmas celebration and accompanying tradition of decorating homes. Children also had a go at making traditional mince pies!
Year 2 learnt about Advent and about the symbolism of the Orange celebrated in the Christingle service. Children were able to explain that for Christians the orange represents the world, the candle is the light of Jesus, the red ribbon is the blood of Jesus, and the sweets are God’s gifts to the world. Year 2 also read different versions of the Nativity story and used their knowledge to compare each version. They also learnt about the Christian concept that Jesus’ birth shows the Incarnation of God in our world. Classes made their own Stop-Motion animated versions of the Nativity story using puppets.
In Christmas Club children made a Christmas Wreath which was displayed at the Baptist Church in Dereham as part of the Christmas Wreath Festival. Our wreath represented the federation well and demonstrated the team effort of all involved.
This term Year 2 have been reading stories about the Hindu religion, and asking questions about what people in other religions believe, while Year 1 have been learning about aspects of Christianity.
Year 1 have been learning about Christian marriage and exploring what happens at weddings in church, and at weddings in other cultures. They talked about the people who play a special role, and the importance of the symbols and artefacts involved. The children got involved with the preparations leading up to a Christian wedding and then engaged in role play for a ceremony of friendship on the big day. They visited St Nicholas’ church in Dereham and three “couples” promised to be friends with Rev Sally Theakston officiating.
The congregation of children and adults took part in the ceremony, including prayers and a hymn before having photographs taken, and then attending a wedding reception back at School. The “Brides and Grooms” all signed a Certificate of Friendship in the church.
The children also had the opportunity to explore the church and look at the building and some of the Christian and historical artefacts kept there. One child said “I have never been in a church before! It was fun! I liked looking at the big organ and the bell from the ship.”
Year 1 have also been learning about The Bible as a sacred text for Christians. Staff from the learning team at Norwich Cathedral visited school for an outreach day and the children took part in different activities, including exploring various artefacts and discussing parables. This helps them develop their understanding of the Christian teachings of Jesus in The New Testament.
Key Stage 2 RE
In Key Stage 2 pupils explore Christianity, Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Humanism. Each year group has key concepts and key questions to explore. Christianity is taught using the new Understanding Christianity planning and resources. Pupils learn about these concepts, develop their knowledge and skills, through asking questions, enquiring into and investigating the nature of religion, beliefs, teachings, ways of life, sources, practices and forms of expression. They gain knowledge and understanding of individual religions, and how they relate to each other, as well as studying the nature and characteristics of religion and spirituality.
Our RE teaching is focused on learning about and from religion, by helping pupils to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold beliefs and values different from their own, and towards living in a society of diverse religions and beliefs. The pupils learn using lots of visual aids and hands on experiences, including special visitors, assemblies, special days, trips, art, music, drama and use of ICT. These activities and experiences stimulate the children’s involvement in their learning and allow children of all abilities to access the RE curriculum. In Key Stage 2 we encourage our pupils to explore and discuss challenging questions, e.g. about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, what is right and wrong, and the nature of God.
RE teaching and learning enhances the children’s spiritual, moral cultural and social development by developing their ability to reflect on and respond to their own and others’ experiences in the light of their learning about and from religion. RE links well to our Golden Rules, PATHS and British Values teaching, and impacts on all areas of school life where children are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and tolerance and respect for the views and practices of other people.
This term year 3 have been learning about Creation and the Fall and asking the question: What do Christians learn from the Creation story? This enabled them to use their RE skills of describing the key aspects of the Christian faith, especially the people, stories, traditions and customs that influence their beliefs and values. They talked about how God would want us to care for the world and created posters to communicate their ideas.
During the second half of the term, the children used their skills of reflecting on and analysing what it means to belong to a faith community. They learnt about the Sikh faith and learnt about why sharing food is an important part of Sikhism.
“We acted out attending a Gurdwara for a Langar meal. The children wanted to cover their hair as well as take off their shoes before acting out washing their hands, taking turns to cook and share food, before sitting together on the floor to show equality!” (Miss Briggs)
During the first half of the autumn term year 4 learnt about Hinduism. They described different religious and Humanist approaches to ultimate and ethical questions, such as “is life a journey and does it ever end?” focussing on the skills of using and interpreting information about religions and beliefs from a range of sources.
During the second half of the term they were looking at the birth of Jesus in their RE Lessons. As part of their learning they read the nativity story from the Bible and had a discussion around what they knew. They then used their prior learning in English of writing a newspaper report to structure a report about the birth of Christ. This linked to the skill of describing the variety of practices and ways of life in religions and worldviews and understanding how these stem from, and are closely connected with, beliefs and teachings.
Year 5 started by thinking about the qualities that a good person would have as well as discussing the qualities of a Saviour or Messiah, linking to the question: Was Jesus the Messiah?
They looked at extracts from the old testament that show how people prophesised about a new messiah coming to save them. They have also looked at extracts from the New Testament to see if they thought that Jesus was this new messiah. The children also considered how Jewish people still think the messiah is going to come. Through role-play and hot-seating, they explored what it would be like for Mary and Joseph. How did they feel? What might this mean? Does anything scare them? Do they feel privileged? Do they think their son was the Messiah? This helped in learning and demonstrating the skills of describing the key aspects of religions and worldviews, focussing on the people and stories that influence their beliefs. They were also able to use specialist vocabulary – such as “Messiah” – in communicating their knowledge and understanding.
Important links were made with British Values when discussing what life might have been like for those living at the time of the Old Testament. It made the children appreciate why we uphold these values.
This term year 6 have learnt about aspects of Judaism and Christianity, and then Buddhism.
First we asked the question of how following God could bring fairness and justice? We learnt about Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments, and linked it to the New Testament teachings of Jesus about loving others as ourselves. We thought about how following these commands would lead to a fairer and more just world and learnt about the work of Christian Aid as an example of a group of people who try to follow God and bring justice to poorer parts of the world. This helped us to use the skills of investigating the significance of religion and worldviews in local, national and global communities.
In the second half of the term, we learnt about Buddhism, focussing on the skill of describe the variety of practices and ways of life in a worldview and understanding how these stem from, and are closely connected with, beliefs and teachings. We thought about the Buddhist response to suffering, the Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. We then did some drama, acting out how we might respond to different situations referring to the Eightfold Path.
Both these topics have enabled us to use the skills of discussing our own and others’ views of religious truth and belief, express our own ideas and beginning to evaluate the views of others.
This term we have been learning about Islam and what Muslims believe and how they practise their faith, including prayers, mosques and looking at the importance of the Qur’an.
Year 4 have been learning about Islam and the importance of the Hajj. They made power points to explain what they have learnt. We have attached one for you to read.
This term, year 5 have been thinking about the “Kingdom of God”. We have been asking questions such as:
- What kind of king was Jesus?
- If Jesus was king, what would his kingdom be like?
- What could we do to make our community a better place?
- Should we always forgive people?
- If Jesus looked at the work of the church and the state of the world, what would please him and what would disappoint him today?
We have discussed these issues thoroughly to get give ourselves a greater insight into a bigger debate, learning a lot from each other’s varied points of views.
This term we have been learning about the Jewish faith. We learnt about Abraham, the founding father, basic beliefs and practises. In connection to our history topic of World War 2, we also learnt about the Holocaust and persecution of the Jews and how faith can help people in times of trouble.
Spring Term 2019
This term we have had several visitors to lead our collective worship, including two members of the Salvation Army, who spoke about the work that the Salvation Army do to prevent human trafficking, linking to our theme of serving others. Rev Betty Trinder from Toftwood Methodist Church also came and led 2 very lively assemblies.
Year 3 found out how members of the Jewish, Christian and Sikh religions demonstrate their faith and the practices they do to express it. In the 2nd half of the term they re-enacted the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples as part of their learning about the meaning of salvation.
Year 4 learnt about Islam, especially focussing on how Muslims talk about God.
Year 5 have learnt about the meaning of the gospels in Christianity and salvation in the Christian scriptures, and used drama as a means of exploring these themes.
In year 6 the children learnt about the Jewish/Christian story of creation and how it may conflict or compliment scientific theories of the beginning of the world; this also went alongside their science topic of evolution. The children wrote some lovely poems about different aspects of creation. Here is one of them:
The Paradise of Nature!
I see the wildlife, entangling itself around the trunks of the unsuspecting trees.
I notice the winding yellow path, swaying side to side in the breeze of the wind.
I hear the flowing water oozing down, looking like it comes straight out of the air, and the birds tweeting, enjoying their day, both being as peaceful as can be.
I want to say, I want to shout out, how calm I feel in this magical paradise.
I smell the salty tang of the air, as the water draws nearer, as it lashes out, splashing my face in its somehow, almost holy water.
I imagine how peaceful this palace of nature must feel when humans aren’t around, such as what the animals do, when it is so peaceful and quiet here.
I feel peaceful and relaxed, as though protective spirits hang in the air, and though not visible, bringing happiness to all living creatures.
It reminds me of the warm, quite summer’s days, because I feel as though nothing can harm me here.
I taste the sweet embrace of undiscovered, exotic Aloe Vera, as the leaves sway in the wind.
This place is like the door to heaven, with its animals, and the amazing calm you feel when you stroll through the gates.
I wonder how this wonderland was created, because I feel as though it was made thousands of years ago, by an amazing wizard, such as Merlin.
This palace makes me think of the afterlife, and what you see when you move onto a better life.
And so now I stand here, wondering if I shall ever visit that Paradise of Nature again…
Autumn Term 2018
We had several visitors this term in our assemblies, including a charity which collected sugar for the homeless in Norwich. They explained how just a spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea can help boost the energy levels of people who have to live on the streets. The children collected a huge amount of sugar during their appeal which they were very grateful for. Thank you.
This term the children have learnt about a variety of faiths and beliefs across the school.
Year 3 have been learning about the Christian account of creation and asking what Christians can learn from this. They also have also been investigating the importance that Sikhs place on sharing food together and the sense of belonging that this practise helps to build within the Sikh community.
In year 4 the children learnt about the religion of Hinduism and thinking about the question: Is life a journey and does it ever end? This was also linked to PSHE and thinking about how people live in other countries, and their values and customs. In Christianity, the children discussed the concept of the Holy Trinity leading up to the Christmas story.
Year 5 were considering the question “Can one person change the world?” They learnt about people such as Ghandi and Nelson Mandela and the changes that they made because of their beliefs.
During a role play activity this half term, here are some comments from the children in Year 5:
“We thought of some questions to ask Mary and Joseph to question them about the birth of their son, Jesus.
“We questioned them on whether they thought their son was the Messiah.”
“Some of us took turns to answer questions in role as Mary and Joseph.”
“Finally, we reflected on the believed that Jesus was the Saviour in relation to Christianity.”
Later in the term the children started to think about the concept of Incarnation and Jesus being the Messiah.
Year 6 spent much of the term learning about Moses as part of the theme People of God. They learnt about his role in freeing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and used the story to consider if following God can help to bring about freedom and justice. They learnt about the work of various Christian aid organisations and linked this to their Geography theme of fair trade.