The Teaching and Learning of RE at St Mark’s Primary School
As a church school, children leave our school with a rich understanding of the Christian faith’s teachings and values. Children are encouraged to take part in reasoned discussions about the teachings of Christianity and other world faiths, comparing them to their own beliefs, whilst challenging each other to reflect on how religion shapes the world. Through the teaching of RE we also endeavour to develop within children a strong foundation of the Christian faith through knowledge and understanding of the key theological concepts that underpin Christian beliefs. This includes learning about and from The Bible, Old Testament characters, the life, teachings and actions of Jesus, Christian festivals, creation, wisdom, saints, liturgy, the local Church, the Christian community, rites of passage, living out the faith and values rooted in Christianity. Our aim is that such a focus contributes to our children’s spiritual and moral growth.
At St Mark’s School, we follow the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education’s curriculum plans, adapting the plans to meet the needs of our learners. These plans teach children to learn about religion (AT1) and to learn from religion (AT2). We have a rich and balanced curriculum, which encourages children to understand, explore and compare world religions, fostering a deep respect for all and value the diversity in God’s people.
Implementation - How we teach RE
At St Mark’s school, a wide range of teaching methods and ways of recording learning are used to enable all children to reach their potential by becoming religiously literate. As a core subject, high importance is placed on teaching children to use correct terminology and allowing children to develop as collaborative learners as well as independent thinkers. RE class teaching is enriched by visits to religious places of worship and our Chair of Governors, the vicar at our parish church - St Mark’s Church Kennington, plays an active role in the day-to-day life of the school. Teaching is also enhanced through the visits of local church leaders and other volunteers. Every year during the lead up to Easter, the whole school focuses on the significance of Easter during our RE week.
In addition to this:
- Every year group will learn about one other world faiths. Examples include: Islam, Judaism and Hinduism.
- Lessons will be brought to life using stories, events and characters to teach significant Christian teachings. Teachers are encouraged to use a variety of mediums in lessons. For example; hot seating, role play, story boarding, recounts, diary entries, experiences of children in the class, media and handling artefacts. There will be a focus on extended writing, with two pieces of work per term giving the children the opportunity to build on the skills they have been learning in English lessons.
- Children will have the opportunity to share their own views, thoughts, reflections and personal beliefs. The values and beliefs of children who follow a faith other than the Christian faith or who have no faith, will be valued and respected.
- The Anglican timetable is taken in to account, with units of work touching on Christmas, Easter, Lent, Epiphany, Harvest Festival and Pentecost. This compliments our Collective Worship Timetable and services held at our link church – St Mark’s in Kennington.
- There is a focus on applying attitudes, beliefs and values that have been explored, in real life. This practice is reinforced through teaching using RE Attainment Target Two: Learning from Religion.
- In the Early Years classes, religious education is an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, staff relate the religious education aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five – People, Culture and Communities. Additional RE topics covered throughout the year are outlined in the long-term plan and taught weekly within the reception classes.
- RE is taught weekly in every class. The minimum time given to the subject will be 45 minutes in KS 1 and 1 hour in KS 2. For one week in the year, there will be a specific focus on exploring aspects of RE, faith and belief in more detail and children will be able to explore RE themes in more depth. Each Year group completes six units of work, of varying length, to fit in with the Christian year.
- During their time at St Mark’s, pupils have the opportunity to participate in a number of RE related trips, visits and experiences. These include:
- Local church visits
- Visit to a mosque
- Visit and a talk from someone who practices a particular religion
- A Synagogue visit
- Mandir visit
- Buddhist Temple visit
- In school visits from parents to share religious beliefs
- A Gurdwara visit
- In school visit from an incumbent
- Handling of sacred texts and religious artefacts
How RE is assessed
The work in children’s books for the whole unit is used to guide teachers when assessing and moderating. When assessing, teachers refer to Attainment Targets 1 and 2; learning about religion and learning from religion which are linked to the units that have been taught, to objectively decide whether a child working within, below or above age-related expectations.
Assessment data is given to the RE coordinator who collates the data and analyses it. RE data is compared to writing levels as a guide when investigating whether children are working at, below or above their other levels in RE. The outcomes of the analysis will guide and influence future planning of aspirational outcomes for children each year group.
Class teachers will be given the RE data for their new class at the start of the year to enable them to plan and teach correctly pitched lessons and RE data will be shared with parents.
- ◦ Each child in your class needs to be assessed for each unit.
- ◦ The title page is where you mark off whether the children are meeting the AT1 and AT2 target.
- ◦ This information needs to be transferred on to a tracking ladder.
Aims of RE assessment
- ◦ To inform planning.
- ◦ Track gaps in subject knowledge of the children. ( eg. Non-Christian faiths, Old Testament)
- ◦ To enable children to engage with RE on a deeper level.
- ◦ Both AT1 and AT2 targets need to be met each lesson. Targets are pitched to your Key stage.
- ◦ AT1 is knowing about the religion. EG. Knowing stories from the Bible, certain rituals religious believers take part in.
- ◦ AT2 is learning from religion. It reflects on the wider implications for believers of that religion. E.g. What does that Bible story mean? How does it affect the lives and actions of that believer. Children can also reflect on what it means to them.
- ◦ AT1 and AT2 objectives for each lesson can be found on your title pages.
How to record evidence
- AT1 and AT2 objectives for each lesson can be found on your title pages. You should copy and paste these objectives for your success criteria ech lesson.
- Opportunities for children to meet these objectives need to happen each lesson. Evidence needs to be recorded in the books through a range of outcomes. These can include written, pictoral or photograpic evidence. (When photos are used an explaination needs to be given.)
- At the end of the unit, teachers should highlight the title page to show whether children met the objectives.
- Teachers need to decide whether children are Exceeding, Expected or Working Towards in AT1 and AT2.
- Children are assessed on the objectives separately so a child could for example be exceeding in AT1 and expected in AT2
- Most children will be at expected.
- Expected children will have achieved most targets. ( Allowance for one AT objective not fully met)
- Exceeding children will have met all targets and will have at evidence in their books that shows they met this target several times.
- Working towards children may have met some of the targets but are not yet at the standard expected for their age.
- Generally children will be better at AT1 than AT2. If they don’t know about the religion, they can’t reflect on it.
- Names for the children are placed on tracking ladders that looks like this:
These tracking ladders should be updated at the end of each unit.