Welcome to our Religious Education Page
'The principal aim of RE is to enable pupils to hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief' - Diocesan Syllabus for Religious Education
Young children are naturally inquisitive and are fascinated by themselves, their families, other people and the wonders of the world. Religious Education (RE) enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. Through the teaching of RE at Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School, we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of not only Christianity but also of other world religions. We encourage children to reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions. Time is provided to enable pupils to reflect on Bible and moral stories and absorb their meaning. Prayers, stories, poetry and role play are used as a means of helping children to express and develop their personal beliefs.
As of October 2017, we will be using the new Diocesan Syllabus for RE incorporating 'Understanding Christianity' as our chosen syllabus for delivering the RE curriculum. A staff CPD event took place on the 11th October to launch the new syllabus and the Understanding Christianity resources and a curriculum mapping exercise took place.
Attendance at the Diocesan CPD event focussing on the new syllabus took place in September. The 2 day Understanding Christianity CPD had already been attended. Understanding Christianity is based around a selection of core Christian concepts, seeking to raise the levels of pupil's religious literacy. It is structured to deepen pupils' understanding of the story of Christianity alongside key beliefs and practices. The resource has been created by Church of England Education Department advisers and members of the RE Today team.The new diocesan syllabus and Understanding Christianity complement each other in the teaching and learning of RE.
At Sandal Castle Primary we view Inclusion as :
·a sense of belonging
·feeling valued for who you are
·feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment so that we can do our best.
These gifts underpin the inclusive curriculum we offer, linking directly with SMSC, RE, British Values, Christian Values and our commitment to the equality duty objectives.
Religious Education: a key contributor but not the only vehicle for SMSC
At Sandal Castle Primary, RE supports the underpinning SMSC core of our curriculum by promoting:
Self-awareness: offering opportunities for pupils to reflect on their own views and how they have been formed, as well as the views of others
Curiosity: encouraging pupils’ capacity for critical questioning, such as by keeping big questions in a ‘question box’ or as part of a wall display, and allowing time and space where these questions can be addressed to show that they are important
Collaboration: utilising lesson techniques which engender group collaboration and communication such as Community of Enquiry/ P4C, circle time, debates, Socratic Circles or group investigations
Reflection: providing a space to reflect on pupils’ own values and views, as well as those of others, and to consider the impact of these values
Resilience: promoting a spirit of open enquiry into emotive or complicated questions, in order to learn how to cope with difficult ideas when they arise in the future
Response: exploring ways in which pupils can express their responses to demanding or controversial issues
Values: promoting an ethos of fairness and mutual respect in the classroom and compassion and generosity in pupils through exploring inspiring examples of these qualities in others
Appreciation: encouraging pupils’ ability to respond with wonder and excitement by exploring
some of the marvels and mysteries of the natural world, of human ingenuity, and examples of the
capacity of humans to love, create, organise and overcome adversity
Religious Education in Church of England Schools - A Statement of Entitlement
RE and Pupil Voice
Our children love the learning and teaching opportunities offered within our RE curriculum. They have so many positive comments to share. In order to ensure our children have first hand experiences we link with the Interfaith Education Centre at Bradford.
The IEC has extensive experience in hosting educational visits to places of worship and supporting learning from and about religions and beliefs. This can be through a visit to a place of worship,a workshop or a lesson in your school or setting.
We have arranged visits to:
a Buddhist Centre
St Helen's Church
Masjid / Mosque
Event: RE Day, Thursday 12th October
On Thursday 12th October, we spent the full day working on in depth RE themes. Revd Rupert Martin visited school during the morning and presented an inspiring assembly linking spirituality and the Arts. A wonderful start to the school day. Visitors and governors observed the discussions, debates, art work and drama taking place.
In Foundation Stage children will be exploring: Where do we belong?
In Year One and Two, children will be exploring: Who am I? What does it mean to belong?
In Year Three and Four, children will be exploring: What will make our city a more respectful place?
In Year Five children will be exploring: How can people express the spiritual through the arts?
In Year Six children will be exploring; What difference does it make to be an atheist or agnostic in Britain today?
Staff are planning exciting and creative activities to allow children to really investigate and discuss these important questions.
RE Theme Day - Year 5
On our first RE Theme Day of the academic year, Year 5 explored how spirituality can be expressed through the Arts. We focussed particularly on Buddhism. We discussed in depth our own understanding of spirituality and then explored how Buddhists use the creation of sand Mandalas as a spiritual experience.
We agreed that the process was enlightening as it allowed us to empty our minds of worries. We decided that it taught us that sometimes mistakes can be beautiful and that things can change and be impermanent. Year 5 agreed that these beautiful Mandalas are a wonderful way to spread love and peace to the world.
Year 3 Theme Day
We were considering how our city could be a more respectable place. We thought about what makes a respectable citizen, then created a person using words and pictures to describe respectful behaviours, attitudes and qualities.
Year 6 Theme Day
Year 6 explored what it means to be Atheist or Agnostic in Britain today. Looking in depth at human qualities and values, we identified how anyone across the broad range of belief systems can be good with or without God. Responding to stimulating discussions, using Humanistic values as inspiration, the children designed their own universal belief system for all faiths to follow, imagining how the world would cope without religion. The children displayed incredibly mature and informed responses throughout the whole experience, whilst showing deep respect for each other's ideologies.
Year 1 Theme Day
We introduced the parable of the Lost Son and approached this story as a Philosophy session. One of the questions posed was: ‘Was the son right to spend all his dad’s money?’ A couple of fantastic responses were captured on video!
Children were given thinking time and encouraged to offer their opinions which came in abundance!
The Lost Sheep
We explored the theme of Belonging and empathised with characters from parables that Jesus told. We listened to the story of the Lost Sheep and used drama and hot seating techniques to consider what the shepherd was saying, thinking and feeling in different parts of the parable.
Year 2 Theme Day
The children engaged in talking partners and whole class discussion around the questions 'what is love?', 'How do we show love?' , Who/What do we love? The photographs show the children completing their own group ideas board to support their understanding.
In the afternoon the children talked about 'what it means to belong', what groups they belong to and then created logos and symbols to create a display about being part of a class.
EYFS Theme Day
Our theme day was based around' Belonging'. The children talked about how they are special and unique and when they feel special. They talked about love, feeling loved and who they loved. They drew pictures of their families. We then looked at the story of Jesus asking the children to come to him. The children talked about how Christians believe in God and Jesus loved everyone. We looked at religious buildings followed by the children building their own religious buildings from bricks, modelling equipment and making stained glass windows in paint, pastel and collage. To follow, we then looked at what happens when a baby is welcomed into a church and the children made christening candles and shared their experiences, pictures and artefacts from home. We then all got dressed in our party clothes and took part in a role play baptism. We had a party and food to celebrate afterwards.
We are now looking forward to planning our next theme day due to take place in the Spring term.
What our teachers in school think about teaching RE:
When we teach RE, we like the variety of discussion it can offer and inspire. Our lessons allow children to express themselves and it allows us as teachers to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions in a safe environment. We feel that there is a lot of freedom to be creative and to have deep, meaningful discussions. It is often very enlightening for children and it really helps to develop respect. RE encourages diversity and equality both within the lesson but also across the curriculum. Our children always amaze us with their in depth level of understanding and mutual respect. It is one of our favourite subjects!
Pupil Voice - RE
· It promotes real beliefs.
· We like learning about other religions.
· It helps us to build respect for others.
· We like sharing personal beliefs with each other.
· We learn other values than religion and it helps to stop racism.
· I enjoy acting out rituals from other religions such as meditation.
· I like learning values other than Christian ones.
· I like learning about our uniqueness.
· It helps me have a deeper understanding of life.
· You might think it would be boring but we learn about it in a way we understand.
· I enjoyed learning about Hinduism in Year 4, particularly meditation.
· I find it interesting.
Have a look at this Youtube channel. This series has been specially designed for teaching Religious Studies to pupils aged 3-7s. It explores the different religions of the world and their well-know stories.
Year 1 Visit to Wakefield Cathedral to Meet the Bishop - May 2017
On the 18th May 2017, our Year 1 children were lucky enough to visit Wakefield Cathedral where they had the opportunity to meet Bishop Tony. They were extremely excited to be travelling to the cathedral on the 110 bus. They prepared questions to ask Bishop Tony. All the children had a drink with the Bishop and time to ask some questions, a treasure hunt around the cathedral and experience being part of a procession. In addition they found out what a Bishop wears and what a Bishop uses. They then did a speaking & listening activity about helping people through words and listening to people and making decisions. The visit culminated in gathering together for a prayer.
Spirited Poetry links perfectly with our P4C curriculum. Both ask the big questions of life, darkness or celebrates the verve of living. It asks awkward questions, dreams impossible dreams and yells angry thoughts. It sometimes rests easy and sometimes it agitates. The themes covered within the book are : Where is God? Life's like ..., I wonder ..., Faith.
The link below features additional poems that can be used to inspire.
Spirited Art Competition - Art in Heaven
Where is God?
We have often found the theme about God is the most popular: atheists and believers of all kinds all have something to say about God and where to find him –or her. Is God nowhere, or hiding? Is God in your heart, or in the scriptures? Is God far away, or close? Can we find God in nature, or in worship? Do some people find God in suffering or pain? Whatever you think, show your ideas about where God is in creative work that goes deep. (The theme originally came from Psalm 42)