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.
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.
Spring Term 2019
In Nursey and 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.
Nursery children also had fun designing pancakes and even having a pancake race on Shrove Tuesday. This is part of the initial stages of learning about Lent, leading up to the Christian festival of Easter.
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 children to 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.
All year groups joined in with the celebration of Easter. They learnt about Lent in assemblies, and joined in with a whole school initiative run by the School Council to take part in a week of giving compliments and kind acts in place of giving something up in the Christian Lent tradition. Both children and staff gave and received compliments during this time.
Children across the school read the Easter story and discussed the significance of Easter and Spring symbols of new life. They made Easter cards to take home containing their own messages.
Autumn Term 2018
Year 1 learnt about the celebration of Harvest and why this is special for people around the world. They 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 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 Creation story from The Bible. 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 children have been learning about Celebrations, including Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Children designed their own Mehndis, lanterns, shadow puppets, rangoli patterns and Diva lamps. They had a dance workshop learnt some dance moves while telling the story of Diwali. They 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 and using finger lights as part of their dance. In class children looked at Diwali information books, read stories and watched videos that helped them learn about a different culture.
In the second half of the Autumn 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. Reception and Year 1 all took part in a fantastic Christmas production called “The Inn-Spectors” which celebrated the Christmas Story and was attended by the school community, Parents and visitors.
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 them. They were given the opportunity to retell the Nativity story in different ways and took part in various Christmas crafts. Some children took part in further activities while attending Christmas Club.
Year 2 learnt about Advent, and about the symbolism of the Orange celebrated in the Christingle service, and 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 read different versions of the Nativity story and also learnt about the Christian concept that Jesus’ birth shows the Incarnation of God in our world. They looked at how the nativity story has been told through stained glass window design, and then made their own window showing something that is important to them at Christmas. These made a colourful art display in the classroom.
Reception children read the Nativity story and took part in the Christmas nativity production. They were given opportunities to tell the Christmas story through play, and to learn about how Christmas is celebrated at their homes.
The children were encouraged to design and make their own Christmas cards and decorate their classrooms, including using IT to open an interactive advent calendar and to decorate pictures.
One little girl said she was going to make a card for her mummy and then lots more for her family to give them at Christmas to help them celebrate. She choose her own materials to use and was very proud of her cards!
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 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.