An Oxton St Saviour's Theologian
At Oxton St Saviour's, we believe our Christian values should weave its way through our curriculum, particularly the main theme of love, including our subject of Religious Education.
Religious Education is an integral part of our Oxton St Saviour’s curriculum and one of our core subjects. As a voluntary aided school, we follow the RE Curriculum recommended by Chester Diocese. Each week we spend time discussing, responding and reflecting individually and as classes. Our lessons are taught in a variety of ways which allow for a creative approach but also offers opportunities for quieter, reflective work to take place. We focus on and revisit concepts across the years (e.g. God, Church, Resurrection etc) that allow us to deepen understanding at an age appropriate level. Each year group also spends time considering another world faith and making and links between that faith and their own.
At Oxton St Saviour’s we encourage challenging questions about beliefs about God. We enhance pupils’ awareness of religion and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
Pupils learn from religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring and reflecting on their own beliefs and questions of meaning. We encourage pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging with the aim of developing children who flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a global community.
At Oxton St Saviour's, RE expresses and strengthens our vision, ethos and values which are at the heart of what we aim to do in every aspect of school life. The importance placed on the development of the whole child spiritually, physically, socially, academically, emotionally is reflected in the RE curriculum. In Oxton St Saviour's, where pupils and staff come from backgrounds of faith and none, religious education (RE) is a highly valued academic subject that enables understanding of how religion and beliefs affect our lives. We provide an RE curriculum that is rich and varied and study a range of world religions and worldviews. At the heart of RE in Oxton St Saviour's is the teaching of Christianity, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ which enable learners to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith.
Our aim is to provide a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the range of faiths studied. Links with the Christian values of the school are intrinsic to our RE curriculum. In accordance with our vision, in every class we aim to provide suitable learning opportunities that are matched to the needs of all children. This may be done through providing support, differentiating activities and using a range of teaching and learning styles within lessons. Where possible, teaching will be supplemented with trips to places of worship. Pupils are encouraged to know about, understand and respond to the important and ultimate questions of life. In addition to our RE curriculum, we provide opportunities for pupils to explore, develop and affirm their own faith and values whilst having respect for the faith, beliefs and values of others. Encountering religion and belief includes enquiry into, and investigation of, the nature of religion, its key beliefs and teachings, practices, their impacts on the lives of believers and communities, and the varying ways in which these are expressed. It also includes the skills of interpretation, analysis and explanation.
Pupils learn to communicate their knowledge and understanding using specialist vocabulary. It develops pupils' ability to consider and relate their learning to questions of: identity and belonging; meaning, purpose and truth; values and commitments. As pupils communicate their responses to learning their religious literacy is developed and enhanced.
In RE, children will be provided with opportunities and experiences to reach the desired national curriculum expectations by the end of Key Stage 2. They will achieve this through the developmental progression in their knowledge, skills and understanding on a termly and yearly basis. The syllabus is based on 11 Christian concepts and a few concepts from 3 other world religions. Each concept builds progressively from Rec. to Yr.6 using key questions.
The concepts that are linked to the cycle of the Church’s Year are Incarnation, Salvation, Resurrection and Holy Spirit. The eleven Christian concepts taught are Good News, God, Christian Community, Incarnation, Kingdom of God, Forgiveness, Salvation, Resurrection, Discipleship, Holy Spirit, Creation.
All planning is based upon the concepts of beliefs, practices and values of the religions studied. Children are given the opportunity to explore themes which develop their awareness and understanding of spiritual, moral and religious issues. Children encounter religion through a variety of strategies, such as reading, discussion, stillness and reflection, looking at pictures, handling artefacts, drama, hearing stories, personal research (e.g. the internet).
Children respond by finding out more, personal reflection, evaluation, sharing ideas, role play and art. The children have first-hand experiences from visitors and visits to places of Worship.
We implement our curriculum using planning that prioritises the Religious Education in Church of England Schools – Statement of Entitlement:
To know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs using an approach that critically engages with biblical text.
To gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied.
To engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience.
To recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places.
To explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways living, believing and thinking.
Our RE Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to ensure progression. Our teachers measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
A knowledge check at the beginning of each unit to see what the children already know
Link each of our core strands to previous learning, to compare and contrast and to review understanding
Start lessons with a recap of key knowledge and understanding from the previous session
Provide opportunities each lesson to use the key vocabulary
Provide opportunities for open-ended tasks, to allow the more able to demonstrate their greater knowledge
Assess children at the end of the unit against key knowledge and learning
The leadership team check that this impact is being secured through monitoring the subject on a regular and frequent basis. The method of monitoring supports the ongoing development of the curriculum. This includes:
Staff subject knowledge, which is audited to ensure knowledge is secure, and additional support provided if necessary
Frequent staff meetings and updates to discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of topics with the subject leaders. From this, medium term planning is amended and adapted to ensure the curriculum remains relevant for the children
A ‘pupil voice’, to allow pupils to contribute to their curriculum content
Monitoring of work against the medium-term plans, so that inconsistencies can be addressed
Tracking of content against the long-term plan of the school, to ensure the full breadth of the curriculum is met
The impact of this is to ensure that children at Oxton St Saviour's are equipped morally and spiritually, in addition to good knowledge and understanding of a wide range of faiths, which will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.