At The Rissington School, our Religious Education (RE) curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
Whilst we embrace the differences that being a split site school might bring, we are clear that children at both sites belong to one school and receive the same RE provision and resources.
Our RE provision supports our school’s key aims to ‘Aspire’ – by promoting mutual respect; ‘Belong’ – by celebrating different views, nurturing co-operation and understanding between all members of our community, and actively promoting British Values, ensuring our pupils are responsible members of the global community; and ‘Challenge’ – by promoting respect for the views of people of all cultures, allowing opportunities to challenge and question concepts, ideas and stereotypes, and to value the spiritual development of each person.
In addition to the school values of Aspire, Belong, Challenge the English curriculum is planned carefully to represent our school and outlying community. Throughout the RE Curriculum our key drivers (golden threads) are woven throughout the planning, teaching and learning:
Vocabulary and language- ensuring that our pupils develop the use of a wide and ambitious vocabulary across the whole curriculum.
Resilience and independence- instilling a growth mindset, so that pupils persevere and are independent in both their learning and social skills
Equality and diversity- ensuring that learning encourages connections with both our local community and wider world
Through the RE Curriculum, we ensure that all children are active in the learning process and have implemented common language around good independent learning and characteristics of effective learning, starting from Early Years. Growth mindset is embedded, using the ‘Power of Yet!’, and understanding the importance of the 5 R's (Resilience, Responsibility, Reciprocal, Resourceful, Reflective), Growth mindset is rewarded and recognised when children support each other to overcome challenges and to be proactive in their learning.
As part of our curriculum we promote and encourage the children to recognise The Characteristic of Effective Learning; these are:
- Go For it Gorilla - I will have a go.
- Exploring Elephant - I am an Explorer
- I know Rhino - I play with what I know
- Proud Peacock - I am proud of what I do
- Concentrating Crocodile - I join in and concentrate
- Persevering Parrot - I keep trying
- Choosing Chimp - I choose ways to do things
- Creative Chameleon - I have my own ideas
- Slinky Linky Snake - I can make links
Our RE curriculum enables the children to display one or some of the characteristics for example making connections from previous knowledge like a Slinky Linky Snake.
We follow the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for RE 2017-2022, which has three core elements to its teaching and learning approach: to ‘make sense’ of the religions and beliefs studied; to ‘understand the impact’ of these beliefs in people’s lives; and to ‘make connections’ in their learning and their wider experience of the world. These core elements provide a structure through which pupils can encounter diverse religious traditions alongside non-religious world views, and present a broad and flexible strategy that allows for different traditions to be treated with integrity. We adopt a ‘key question’ approach to learning, where the questions open up content to be studied.
As children move through the school, the teaching and learning units covered in the Gloucestershire Syllabus enable coherence and ensure progression in relation to the end of phase outcomes. Each phase builds on prior learning and skills, and teachers know what has been covered in previous years so that they can move the children’s learning on.
Within the units of study, all pupils develop an understanding of Christianity in each key stage. Pupils will also develop understanding of the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. Furthermore, non-religious worldviews are the focus for study in thematic units. Festivals of different faiths are celebrated e.g: Diwali in Reception, and enrichment opportunities linked with Art, Dance and Music are provisioned. Where possible, trips are organised to support learning outside of the classroom.
We have no religious affiliation, but we encourage an ecumenical approach and enjoy regular visits from the local Ministry team/clergy who lead assemblies once a week based around bible stories. On other days, we have a morning assemblies, including a special weekly Celebration Assembly, which celebrates the week’s achievements. We have a service in the Church at Harvest, Christmas, Easter and in July for our end of year service.
We are unique at The Rissington School because we are a split site school. While we embrace the differences this might bring we also are clear that children at both sites belong to one school and receive the same RE provision.
The implementation of this RE curriculum ensures pupils have explored what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, and have gained the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.