- Year One are learning about Special Books as part of their Religious Education curriculum this week. Children have been bringing books into school that are special to them.
Religious Education at London Fields Primary
All primary schools need to “raise the status of Religious Education” (Ofsted) and provide an RE curriculum which promotes respect and empathy. RE is considered an important part of a child’s education, especially their early education, because it allows young people to develop their beliefs and values. It helps children understand the place of religion and belief in the world. It contributes educationally to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils, whether or not they are from a religious background.
Our Religious Education curriculum develops essential characteristics of religiously literate pupils:
- An outstanding level of religious understanding and knowledge.
- A thorough engagement with a range of ultimate questions about the meaning and significance of existence.
- The ability to ask significant and highly reflective questions about religion and demonstrate an excellent understanding of issues related to the nature, truth and value of religion.
- A strong understanding of how the beliefs, values, practices and ways of life within any religion cohere together.
- Exceptional independence; the ability to think for themselves and take the initiative in, for example, asking questions, carrying out investigations, evaluating ideas and working constructively with others.
- Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity, which are shown in their responses to their learning in RE.
- The ability to link the study of religion and belief to personal reflections on meaning and purpose.
- A wide knowledge and deep understanding across a wide range of religions and beliefs.
How Religious Education is taught at London Fields
The Religious Education curriculum is designed to help pupils form a Religious Education schema within their long-term memories.
Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units. A schema is, therefore, a conceptual system for understanding knowledge.
Our Religious Education schema is a way of organising Religious Education semantic and procedural knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected. It is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.
Big Ideas help form the basis of the schema. Big Ideas are key concepts that underpin the subject. There are three Big Ideas in Religious Education:
- Exploring Beliefs (To know some of the teachings of the key religions. Understand some of the beliefs held in the community. Explain how some beliefs are shared between religions.)
- Understanding Practices (To know the meaning and celebrations for notable festivals. To identify religious buildings and key practices followed by worshippers.)
- Reflecting (To recognise and express feelings about their own identities and relate these to religious beliefs/ teachings.)
Each Big Idea has facets of knowledge (knowledge categories) which help to strength the schema. Learning knowledge in each of the categories allows pupils to express and demonstrate their understanding of the Big Idea.
Click here for more general information about the curriculum.
Religious Education Trips, Visitors and Workshops
We strongly believe that trips, visitors and workshops are highly valuable for developing a deep understanding of the Big Ideas in Religious Education and bringing the subject to life. Examples of how we have provided children with hands on authentic experiences of the diversity of religion within the wider community are as follows:
- Tour of the London Buddhist centre
- Tour of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden
- Tour of the Suleymaniye Mosque
- Visits from religious leaders such as a Rabbi and an Iman
At London Fields we benefit from a very diverse faith school community. During our RE lessons, teachers offer opportunities for pupils to encounter an authentic voice of faith and belief. This means that we encourage dialogue between pupils and praise those who want to share their own unique and personal religious experiences. This is particularly beneficial when pupils teach their classmates about particular religious traditions or festivals. Here, our pupils become the “experts” and we believe that this can not only raise self-esteem but also give a positive image of each faith and enhance the quality of learning in RE. We can also welcome members of our school community, including parents and relatives, to come and speak to our classes about a particular RE topic.
Religious Education at Home
If you would like to support children at home you could visit:
- Religious buildings, many welcome visitors.
- Victoria and Albert museum – Buddhist sculptures and paintings, Christian artefacts
- British museum – exhibitions, religious relics.
- Ask your child about their Religious education learning-they will have lots to tell you!