Religious Education

The Curriculum for Religious Education

We have developed our own Religious Education (RE) curriculum and schemes of work based on the Essex Agreed Syllabus and adapted it in light of the 2016 Statement of Entitlement published by the Church of England's Education Office so that at least half the curriculum is devoted to the study of Christianity. 

Curricular aims

The aims of our RE curriculum are  :

 

 

 

Disciplinary strands

Religious education at this school is studied through three key disciplinary strands or lenses. These are theology, philosophy and the human/social sciences. It is through these three lenses religious knowledge is gained.

In an increasingly interconnected world, religious education promotes global citizenship by fostering empathy, understanding, and solidarity with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

The subject encourages critical thinking skills by prompting individuals to analyse religious texts, doctrines, and beliefs critically. This fosters intellectual curiosity and the ability to evaluate information critically, skills that are valuable in navigating complex issues and making informed decisions.

Religious education also  focuses on moral teachings and ethical principles rooted in the tenets of a particular faith. These teachings provide a framework for understanding right from wrong and encourage individuals to cultivate virtues such as compassion, honesty, and integrity.

Theological lens

Examining religious ideas though the theological lens requires pupils to think like theologians, or to look at concepts through a theological lens. 

Theology enables pupils to grapple with questions that have been raised by religions and worldviews over the centuries. It looks at where beliefs come from, how they have changed over time, how they are applied differently in different contexts and how they relate to each other. It involves investigating key texts and traditions within different religions and worldviews. It explores the ways in which they have been used as authoritative for believers and the ways in which they have been challenged, interpreted and disregarded over time. It assesses the key beliefs of religions and worldviews as well as exploring the significance of experience on the claims made by religious people and those without faith.

Philosophical lens

Looking at RE through the philosophical lens is primarily about exploring the world logically and ethically and the nature of knowledge.

Philosophy enables pupils to grapple with questions that have been raised and answers about knowledge, existence and morality. It is about finding out how and whether things make sense. It deals with questions of morality and ethics. It takes seriously questions about reality, knowledge and existence. The process of reasoning lies at the heart of philosophy. Philosophy is less about coming up with answers to difficult questions and more about the process of how we try to answer them. Studying the works of great philosophers is part of developing an understanding of philosophy. It uses dialogue, discussion and debate to refine the way in which we think about the world and our place in it. 

Human and social science lens

Looking through the human and social science lens is about exploring the wider human questions raised by and about religion and worldviews, such as about belonging, exclusion, community, identity, power and the coexistence of multiple religions is society. 

This strand explores the diverse ways in which people practise their beliefs and considers the major world faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. It engages with the impact of beliefs on individuals, communities and societies. Pupils investigate the ways in which religions and worldviews have shaped and continue to shape societies around the world. This approach can promote better understanding of the ways in which religion and worldviews influence people’s understanding of power, gender, compassion etc.

Understanding Christianity

We use the Church of England's Education Office Understanding Christianity resource to underpin our curriculum and make comparisons with other world faiths.

The core concetps that are expored from Reception to Year 6 are:

Creation

The first book of the Bible describes the creation of the universe and God's purpose for mankind. Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It is divided into three parts. Genesis 1 describes the creation of Heaven and Earth. Genesis 2 focuses on the creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3, Christians learn how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world. Fundamental to Christian belief is the existence of one loving, forgiving and faithful God. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. This is known as the Trinity.  

The children will learn both creation stories found in Genesis and that God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, in his image as perfect beings, immortal and free of sin and pain. 

The Fall

Children learn that Adam and Eve disobeyed God's instruction and were tempted to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. This was when mankind broke the relationship with God. As a consequence, Adam and Eve grew old, felt suffering and were banished from the Garden of Eden. 

Adam and Eve's sin was passed down onto the next generation and God's perfect world had been spoiled. The world became increasingly corrupt. The ‘fall’ sets out the root cause of many problems for humanity .

The People of God

The Old Testament tells the story of God’s plan to reverse the impact of the Fall, to save humanity. It involves God choosing specific people, such as Abraham Moses to attract other people back to God.

 

God also chooses a nation to carry out this mission and so the history of the Jewish/Hebrew people begins when God promised Abram, and later named Abraham, that he would be the father of a great people if he did as God told him.

 

The Bible narrative includes the message of the prophets who tried to persuade people to stick with God. The plan appears to end in failure with the people of God exiled, and then returning, awaiting a ‘messiah’ – a rescuer.

Incarnation

The concept of incarnation refers to the moment when God became human in the form of the man known called Jesus Christ. This is when God came to live amongst humans as prophesised in the Old Testament.

         

The New Testament presents Jesus as the answer: the Messiah and Saviour, who will repair the effects of sin and the Fall and offer a way for humans to be at one with God again.

 

This year the Open Bible Drama group were invited in to help children understand  'Epiphany' and the revelation that Jesus was God's son.

Gospel

Gospel literally means 'Good news'. Christians believe Jesus' incarnation for all people is Good news'. Children learn the important stories and events from Jesus' life, his teaching and ministry and how Christianity and the message has spread across the world.

In their study of Jesus' life, the children study important events and the things Jesus said. They learn about the miracles and parables and his disciples. The events of Holy Week are studied in great depth and its connections with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter day. 

Salvation

The Old Testament plots the ups and downs of God's divine plan to restore the broken relationship with mankind after Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world. 

Ultimately God sent his own son. Children learn the importance of redemption and salvation in terms of God sending Jesus, God in human form, to pay the penalty for mankind's sin in return for salvation through his own death and resurrection.

The Kingdom of God

Children learn about the challenges in relation to references to God's Kingdom in the New Testament. They consider if this is a heavenly or earthly kingdom and whether it exists in human hearts through Jesus. The idea of the Kingdom of God reflects God's ideal for human life in the world. Christians look forward to a time when God's rule is fulfilled at some future point, in a restored, transformed heaven and earth.

 

The children study the parable of the mustard seed and other parables and examine Jesus' references to the kingdom.