St. John’s CE Primary School is a Voluntary Aided (VA) School. As such, the management of Religious Education is a distinctive role of the governors and headteacher. Our RE curriculum is provided in accordance with the school’s Trust Deed and in accordance with the rites, practices and doctrines of the Church of England. The Governing Body as a whole is responsible for determining the nature of Religious Education provided at St. John’s CE Primary School.
RE lies at the very heart of the curriculum. It is driven by our deeply Christian vision and is intrinsic to the Christian ethos and the Christian values of St. John’s CE Primary School, based upon the teaching, love, and example of Jesus Christ.
At St. John's CE Primary School, the RE curriculum develops knowledge, vocabulary, and skills in ordered sequential learning. We use an enquiry approach that engages with biblical text and aims to develop religious and theological literacy. The school provides a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and make links between the beliefs, practices, and value systems of the range of faiths and world views studied.
Pupils are encouraged to ask important questions and consequently become confident in expressing their views and discussing challenging issues in RE within the context of our Christian values of respect, courage, compassion, friendship, trust, and perseverance.
Our strong RE curriculum is highly influential in pupils' spiritual, moral, cultural, and emotional development, making a significant contribution in preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of later life. It strengthens our understanding of Christian values, empowering pupils to make positive choices.
RE is central to preparing our pupils to become resilient, respectful, compassionate, and responsible citizens who are encouraged to make valuable and sustained contributions to local, national, and international communities.
Each class teacher is responsible for the teaching of RE for his or her class unless otherwise stated by the Headteacher.
Close to 10%, but not less than 5%, of curriculum time is devoted to RE. Christianity plays a central role in RE, taking up two thirds of the RE curriculum. Appropriate teaching about other faiths and worldviews are included in each year group’s yearly overview.
St. John’s CE Primary School follows ‘Questful RE’, the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education Syllabus for RE (fully revised in 2017, based on practical research and development in schools in Blackburn and Liverpool dioceses). ‘Questful RE’ fulfils all legal requirements and the RE Statement of Entitlement from the Church of England Education Office 2016 and the requirements of SIAMS.
The school curriculum is further enhanced and strengthened by the ‘Understanding Christianity’ resource, developed by the Church of England Education Office. Units of the ‘Questful RE’ are supplemented and paired with units from ‘Understanding Christianity’ to provide a deep, rich RE education for the pupils at St. Johns CE Primary School.
The eight core concepts in the ‘Questful RE’ syllabus match those identified by the authors of ‘Understanding Christianity’ so that the two resources are highly compatible. These eight core concepts or big ideas are expressed in the Bible and lived out by Christian people each day. These big ideas reveal God’s salvation plan, the big story, and are the starting point of each unit throughout the RE curriculum.
Each unit of RE will focus on one or more of the eight key concepts: God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), Creation, Fall, People of God, Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation and Kingdom of God.
Teachers will regularly and frequently refer to ‘the big frieze’, (Understanding Christianity resource) when teaching RE lessons, to introduce and reinforce the eight core concepts throughout each unit of RE. The big frieze is important in helping pupils to understand the big story (God’s salvation plan) and the big ideas in Christianity (the concepts).
Teachers will use first-hand experience, visits, visitors and artefacts and the local and wider environment to engage children’s interest, imagination and to deepen knowledge and understanding in RE.
A variety of resources will be used to support effective implementation of the RE curriculum such as high-quality books, posters, photographic packs, video clips, persona dolls, toys and games and artefacts. All resources should be stimulating, authentic and have educational validity. When using resources, teachers and pupils should handle with great respect and sensitivity.
In Reception, we follow the Liverpool Diocesan Board of Education Chatterbox units. These begin with the children opening a 'chatterbox' filled with objects and artefacts that prompt discussion, or 'chatter'.
At the start of the unit, the children will open the chatterbox together and discover what is inside. They take turns looking at and handling the objects. The conversation and questions will generate ideas for the learning activities. The children’s ideas, comments, questions, work, pictures, writing and photos are recorded by the teacher
Assessment is in accordance with guidance given in the Blackburn syllabus. Teachers assess and confirm professional judgements based on the ‘Ladder of Expectation and Achievement’. The ladder is intended primarily to contribute to planning excellent tasks at the right level appropriate for the pupils’ experience, knowledge and ability. However, the ladder is also used to make judgements about the level of individual pupils’ achievement. Assessments should be based on overall understanding of each unit of work.
By the end of Key Stage 1 children are expected to:
Talk about God as creator of the world who loves us.
Know that God is three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Be able to retell both the nativity and Easter stories.
Use religious words to talk about the celebrations of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.
Know that Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose again.
Know that Jesus had 12 special friends called disciples.
Know that the Bible is our holy book and it contains God’s big story, the salvation plan.
Be able to retell stories of Jesus’ miracles.
Have visited a church and confidently talk about their experience and what they have learnt.
Have had opportunity to ask reflective questions that wonder about Christian practice, values and beliefs.
Be able to give examples of how Christians, put their beliefs into action.
Know the names and significance of holy books from other faiths.
Know the places where people of other faiths worship.
Be developing a sense of their own values and the values of others.
Have experienced taking part in the celebration of Harvest Festival.
By the end of Key Stage 2 children are expected to:
Know that God is three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Trinity.
Know that in the beginning God created everything and it was good. People spoilt the environment and their relationship with God. This is known as the Fall.
Know that Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Saviour who came to rescue all people and restore their relationship with God.
Know that Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross, rose again and is alive with us today.
Know that Christians believe that Jesus will come again and Earth and Heaven will be transformed to be as God intended (the Kingdom of God).
Understand that Christians try to put the teaching of Jesus, the good news, into practice in their everyday lives and build God’s Kingdom on earth as best they can.
Know that Pentecost was the start of the church.
Know that Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives today.
Know that Christianity is a worldwide multi-cultural faith.
Know that prayer is an important part of the life of a believer and explain why.
Know the names and stories of at least 3 people in the past and present times who have been called by God to do his work and speak his word.
Describe the impact responding to God’s call has on a believer’s life.
Use developing religious vocabulary to talk about the impact religion has on believers’ lives.
Be able to make comparisons and identify the similarities and differences between the rules for living in Christianity and two other world faiths.
Ask important questions about religion and belief that improves their learning.
Experience a visit to a place of worship other than a church.
Talk knowledgeably about places of worship, the names and features of buildings and the worship that takes place there.
Retell in detail the stories of Christmas and Easter describing core Christian beliefs and concepts.
Connect Christian practices, values and beliefs to events and teaching in the Bible.
Be able to describe and show understanding of the links between the teachings in other Holy Books and the behaviour of the believers.
Be able to express and explain their own opinions on issues they have discussed.
Use an increasingly wide religious vocabulary to talk about the meaning of rites of passage and pilgrimage experienced by believers as they journey through life.
Describe what they think motivates people of faith and explain what inspires and influences them personally.
Ask and suggest answers to questions that show their understanding of distinctive beliefs about God across three world religions.
Know and be able to talk about the links between Christianity and Judaism.
Describe the similarities and differences within and between Christian denominations with particular reference to the Eucharist.
As part of Year 3's RE curriculum, they lead our school Harvest assembly and Year 1 lead our harvest prayers.