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.
Summer 1 2018
Year 1 learnt about the Christian sacrament of Marriage in their RE work this half term. They have been enquiring and exploring into 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 forever with Rev Dominique Turnham 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.”
Spring 2 2018
This half term the whole school took part in the Lent Event organised by the East Coast RE schools network again. The event involved the children learning about Lent being the time leading up to and preparing for Easter for Christians. The children were encouraged to “Give, rather than Give Up” and the School Council organised tasks for everyone to take part in linked to this theme. We had a Smiles and Compliments day when children were encouraged to write a compliment and share it with a friend or member of school staff and each class organised their own “Clean Up” activity designed to help them care for their school environment.
Reception children also decided that they would like to learn about composting, and put all of our break time fruit waste to good use and Year 2 children made posters to encourage others in school to recycle.
We had assembly visitors from St Nicholas’ Church in Dereham, Toftwood Methodist Church, Norwich Cathedral and the Salvation Army. Visitors talked to the children about Christian bible stories and beliefs during the time of Lent and during the week before the Easter celebration.
In Nursery and Reception classes the children learnt about Springtime, eggs and chickens. Reception children also heard the Easter story and enjoyed making nests. One child looked at a map of the World and investigated where the Easter Bunny might come from. Could it be Easter Island?
Reception and Nursery classes also learnt about the celebration of Chinese New Year this half term. They took part in a number of activities to help them find out about Chinese culture and traditions, including Dragon dancing, using chopsticks, writing using Chinese letters and making lanterns and dragon puppets.
Year 1 learnt about new life in Spring and the Easter story. The children also took part in an Easter Trail, which included artefacts and objects linked to the Bible story and Christian beliefs about Easter, including learning about the significance of the symbol of the cross. The children then made their own Easter cards.
Year 2 learnt about the Christian concept of Salvation this half term. Salvation is how Christians believe that Jesus’ actions at Easter show that he wished to save or rescue people. The children discussed why Easter is important to Christians and retold the Bible story. They then explored the Christian symbolism of the Cross and made cards and Easter cross artwork.
Spring 1 2018
This term the children in Key Stage 1 have been learning about the beliefs and customs of Jewish people.
Year 2 welcomed Marsha Parker from Norwich Synagogue who visited them for a day and taught them about the weekly routine of Shabbat when Jewish people prepare for their day of rest. The children enjoyed helping to set the table, they listened to prayers, and joined in with songs. They wore their kippurs and tried the bread and juice, which the children knew represented wine. They made spice boxes decorated with Jewish symbols and were able to join together at the end of the day for a special assembly led by Marsha. The children had lots of questions about Shabbat and enjoyed taking part in a truly “hands–on” experience that has led them to begin to think about the concepts behind Judaism.
Year 1 have been learning about the Jewish celebration of Purim – the Old Testament Bible story of how good Queen Esther saved her people from the wicked schemes of Haman. They read the story, asked many questions, looked at Jewish religious artefacts, and made Hamantaschen biscuits and crowns for their own party time Purim celebration.
Autumn Term 2
The whole school celebrated Christmas and learnt about 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 “Baubles” which celebrated the Christmas Story and was attended by Parents and visitors.
Year 1 discussed how people celebrate Christmas, and talked about why this celebration matters to Christians. They were given the opportunity to retell the Nativity story in different ways.
Children have been involved in making lots of Christmas crafts, and some children attended Christmas Club and made some great Nativity themed hand print pictures for display at the Salvation Army Nativity Festival in Dereham. Edra Cooper from the Salvation Army wrote to thank us for sending the artwork. She says “So many of our visitors commented on the excellent work created by the students and it was lovely to see proud children and their parents visiting the exhibition.”
Year 2 learnt 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.
When asked about their RE learning, the Year 2 children agreed enthusiastically that they enjoy their RE lessons.
“I like finding out about Jesus and God” said Maddison.
“I love Christingle because Jesus has birthdays” said Kieran.
Year 2 read different versions of the Nativity story and learnt about the Christian concept that Jesus’ birth shows the Incarnation of God in our world. They retold the story using their literacy skills, and had the opportunity to see and smell some real Frankincense.
After they had finished their stories they shared them with Year 1 children.
Autumn Term 1 2017
This term the 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 with Miss Helen and she taught the children some dance moves and told 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. In class children looked at Diwali information books, read stories and watched videos that helped them learn about a different culture.
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. Mr Garrod brought his tractor from his farm in Garvestone and he showed the children some of the wheat grown in his fields.
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.
Summer 2 – Juggling, songs and The Bible!
What’s so special about the Bible? This was the theme of an RE day about Christianity looking at what The Bible is and why it is special to Christians.
First the children enjoyed an exciting assembly given by John Hardwick which included a puppet, songs and juggling! John explained that sometimes we need an instruction manual to help us learn how to do something as tricky as juggling before we practice it. Christians believe that the Bible is able to help them live a good life if they follow its teachings. He then led lively interactive workshops for each of the Year 1 and Year 2 classes introducing the idea of the Bible as a collection of many books and stories read by Christians.
The day was provided by Barnabus in Schools. This is an organisation that aims to enable schools to explore Christianity creatively. It is part of the Bible Reading Fellowship, a Christian charity, and it provides a professional service to primary schools throughout England and Wales, offering quality creative arts-based Barnabas RE Days.
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.
Spring Term 2018
Year 3 explored Sikhism and as part of their learning they created their own Langar (a Sikh community kitchen) and shared traditional Sikh dishes. Every Gurdwara (a place of worship for Sikhs) has a Langar where all people are welcome to a free meal.
Year 4 read and explored the Bible story ‘Noah’s Ark’. In groups they created their own scenes from the story and performed them.
Autumn Term 2018
Nativity Art Club and Nativity display in the local community
A selection of children from across the federation created Nativity art work which was displayed at The Salvation Army during the Christmas Season.