The UK has a rich heritage of culture and diversity. Religion and belief for many people forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. The purpose of our RE curriculum in Shotley Bridge Primary School is to ensure all pupils acquire an understanding of the religions and worldviews which not only shape their history and culture, but which guide their own development. It is important to us that the children we teach are sufficiently confident enough in their own beliefs and values that they can respect the religious and cultural differences of others, therefore contributing to a cohesive and compassionate society.
The RE curriculum at Shotley Bridge Primary School is both academically challenging and personally inspiring; discussion and enquiry-based learning is at the heart of our RE curriculum in both key stages. This approach enables pupils to build on previous learning and deepen as well as broaden their understanding through increasingly sophisticated, systematic enquiries. Lessons are designed to provoke challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the nature of reality, issues of right as well as wrong and what is meant to be human.
Our RE curriculum is coherent and progressive. It enables pupils to deepen their knowledge as well as understanding of religious and non-religious worldviews in order to explore different answers to questions. Our RE curriculum offers opportunities for personal reflection as well as pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as it encourages pupils to examine the significance of their learning in relation to themselves and others. At Shotley Bridge Primary School we believe it is vital for pupils to explore their own beliefs (religious or not), ideas, feelings, experiences and values in the light of what they learn. Pupils at Shotley Bridge Primary School learn to express their insights and to agree or disagree respectfully. We encourage empathy and respect for the right of others to hold different beliefs, values and ideas, always, which is a fundamental British value. We are passionate about using RE as a tool to enable pupils to develop their own sense of identity and belonging, preparing them for life in modern Britain.
The RE curriculum we provide at Shotley Bridge Primary School ensures pupils appreciate that worldviews are complex and diverse; we believe it is important for our pupils to recognise the influence these views have on individuals, communities, societies and cultures. Children learn to interpret, analyse, evaluate and critically respond to the claims that religious as well as non-religious worldviews make. At Shotley Bridge Primary School we develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society with its diverse religious and non-religious worldviews. Lessons are planned to foster civilised debate and reasoned argument. Challenging lessons help pupils deal positively with controversial issues, to manage strongly held differences of belief and to challenge stereotypes/prejudice. At Shotley Bridge Primary School we aim to ensure pupils have an informed understanding of political, social and moral issues that they will need to face as they grow up in an increasingly globalised world. Our RE curriculum also makes important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as PSHE, history and geography.
Our RE programme of study is set out year-by-year across the whole school. Curriculum maps for RE skills taught are sent home termly. Our curriculum is enriched by rich, diverse RE experiences across the whole school: out of school visits to a range of places of worship, such as Durham Cathedral, St Cuthbert’s Church, Mosques, gurdwaras etc; visitors from different religions e.g. the local Vicar regularly delivers whole-school assemblies, including Harvest Festival; religious artefacts are use to promote enquiry and questioning skills e.g. curiosity boxes; Festivals of different religions are celebrated annually e.g. Diwali with dress up, cookery, dance; the celebration of World Religion Day.
The RE subject coordinator monitors the subject closely in Shotley Bridge Primary School to ensure children are working at a high standard: work and planning scrutinies, discussions with children, learning walks, lesson observations, evaluation of school data compared to national standards, attending local authority network meetings and courses to ensure they stay abreast of best practice and leading whole-school training for staff members, form a part of this.
Agreed Syllabus for Religous Education in Durham 2020