RE Vision Statement
We believe that through carefully planned, taught and assessed Religious Education, our children will develop the ability to be spiritually literate and to be a ‘witness of the Gospel wherever they find themselves by the way they live’. (Pope Francis).
Through well-informed and creative teaching, they will acquire a deep understanding of the Christian faith; its history, teachings, impact, traditions and continuing relevance throughout our world. They will explore the shared values that underpin our human experience, and understand the importance of – and demonstrate – empathy and tolerance towards others
We recognise that parents are the first educators of their children, but that the community of school and parish also each have an important role to play, so we aim to provide opportunities that enable children, staff and parents to grow in their relationship with God through Jesus. For those members of staff or parents who are less familiar with “the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church”, we work hard to lead by example, include them in our school family and provide support, guidance and opportunities to find out more about our faith. We draw on support from our school chaplain, our Chaplaincy Team and the Diocese where we can.
We want all our children:
- To know that God loves every one of us – and he wants us to do good in his name.
- To know that through living the Gospel values and following in Jesus’ footsteps, our beliefs will inform our actions by helping us:
- To be a champion of justice for all
- To be a good steward of God’s creation
- To use, celebrate and give thanks for our unique talents and those of others.
- To be confident in expressing our views on faith.
- To be able to explore, take initiative, ask questions, investigate and evaluate ideas to work constructively with others.
- To know that we all belong to a diverse community of faith that encourages, nurtures and supports our spirituality.
We aim to provide a rich and broad RE curriculum which will nurture our children’s curiosity and will enable them to become life-long learners.
They will be encouraged to make connections between knowledge and skills learnt in other subject areas; careful cross-curricular planning will actively seek to explore links wherever possible between general topics and spiritual and ethical issues.
Through classroom, whole school and out-of-school experiences in RE, our children will develop their ability to learn, question, investigate, analyse and articulate the teachings, beliefs, values and way of life of Catholic Christianity, other Christian denominations and of a number of other faith traditions.
Our children will understand the importance of reflection and prayer, and will take part in both individual and collective worship.
RE within the school will be accessible and relevant to all ages, abilities and characteristics, and in turn our children will understand and demonstrate inclusivity towards others, in accordance with the Church’s teachings.
Planning and Delivery
RE plans are based on the Diocesan RE Curriculum; lesson content and plans are informed by ‘The Way, The Truth and The Life/Light’ scheme of work, alongside ‘Come and See’ and 10:10.
Termly themes are outlined, often in line with the liturgical year, but specific lesson content is planned by class teachers, overseen by the RE Lead.
RE lessons account for 10% of teaching hours, with daily Collective Worship being additional to this allocation. Class teachers deliver the majority of lessons, with the Parish Priest and occasional visitors contributing to lessons from time to time.
Lessons are delivered through: a wide range of worship opportunities, through collective and private prayer, through reading and writing opportunities, stories, discussion, art, drama, music; through the exploration and appreciation of the natural world; through the day-to-day ethos of the school, in which ‘Spirituality’ surrounds our school Driver words of Aspiration, Innovation and Diversity.
The RE curriculum covers cyclical themes designed to build on prior knowledge and extend understanding. See RE Planning Map.
In RE, as elsewhere in the curriculum, we follow the St Francis Teaching Backwards approach which is underpinned by ‘Our Creative Curriculum’ overview. (LINK), which in itself is based on evidence from cognitive science.
As in other subjects, wherever possible the RE curriculum aims to make strong and meaningful links with themes or concepts within RE itself, or between RE and other subjects – for example, History.
Learning is consolidated and encouraged to ‘stick’ by providing regular opportunities for retrieval practise; PoP (Proof of Progress) tasks; spacing new knowledge; making connections; applying, explaining and justifying; by using current and past Knowledge Organisers.
As children move up through the school, they revisit knowledge, skills and concepts previously taught, and build upon this prior knowledge with new learning objectives. Children continue to develop subject-specific vocabulary, enabling them to express increasingly well balanced opinions rooted in sound knowledge.
The ‘Diocesan ‘I Can’ statements are designed to support children in their progression journey.
Probing questions, following on from active listening, offer up opportunities for challenge within RE; as does asking children to justify their thinking and to find evidence (from the Bible and other sources) to evidence their opinions.
Teachers use children’s individual starting points to provide challenge activities and learning, in line with our ‘St Francis of Assisi Teaching Backwards Approach’ and our FACE model of Teaching and Learning. Diocesan ‘I Can’ statements also provide end-of-topic challenge opportunities.
RE is enriched through cross-curricular links, through faith-based art, music and drama opportunities; through visits and visitors, including the Parish Priest. Pupils also contribute to the wider community of our CMAT Catholic schools, by sharing events held by the Diocese.
We measure the impact of RE on children’s learning through the day-to-day treatment of each other. Living out our school motto of “Learning and Growing Together in God’s Love” is visible on a day-to-day basis, both in school and on the playground.
We measure it through assessment tools such as rubrics, success criteria, POP tasks, ‘Exit’ cards and low-stakes quizzes: this evidence of children’s learning enables teachers to close the gaps in pupil’s knowledge or skills, by amending planning or revisiting or interleaving knowledge, or through adaptive teaching and/or flexible groupings.
Each half term, teachers choose one indicative piece of RE work for each child for their school RE Assessment Book – each piece of work is assessed against the Diocesan ‘I Can’ Statements and moderated between classes.
Teachers complete Diocesan RE Assessment Grids termly to gain an overview of pupils’ achievement across topic strands and to identify any topic content that may need to be revisited.
There is a termly moderation of work across classes, Milestones and Key Stages, in CMAT RE Leaders’ meetings against agreed standards.
There are annual summative judgements, handed up to the next class teacher and recorded by the RE Lead for monitoring and reporting purposes.
The RE Lead takes responsibility for ensuring coverage, progression and standards through long and medium-term planning, promoting the subject and developing the teaching methodology and securing high quality resources. They regularly monitor and evaluate learning, teaching and the curriculum.
We aim that all pupils leave St Francis of Assisi with a thorough understanding of the life of Christ, a strong knowledge of a wide range of Bible stories, an awareness of how Gospel values can impact our lives, the traditions of prayer and Collective worship and some of the main personalities that have helped shaped our religious history.
We aim that all pupils are able to speak positively and knowledgably about their own faith journey and to express their own questions confidently.
We aim that all children make excellent progress in their knowledge and understanding of RE and that any misunderstandings or gaps are pro-actively identified by teachers and subsequently planned for.
We aim to create memories of great happiness that will live with all our pupils throughout their lives, inspired by experiences that are positive, rich and varied.