St Margaret’s C of E Junior School
Our BHSM Federation RE Curriculum Intent
Our RE curriculum is designed to give children the knowledge of the six main religions and worldwide views. Through learning about these religions, the children will also learn to articulate their own personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences whilst respecting the right of others to differ. They ask and answer challenging and provoking questions using their interpretation of religious texts. Learning in RE is fun and often creative allowing the children to develop their own ideas, values and identities as individuals in the world.
Our RE lead is Miss Steele.
Religious Education at St Margaret’s CE Junior School
Religious Education (RE) at St Margaret’s is a subject highly regarded by both staff and pupils. As part of our Federation’s broad and balanced curriculum, RE teaching and learning is underpinned by our ‘Big Ideas’. RE planning detailing key concepts, vocabulary, learning intentions and endpoints, enables teachers to provide all learners with a progressive, memorable and creative RE curriculum. Children explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live. Living and learning together in unity, children and adults of Christian, other faiths or none, share their experiences, and listen to and respect those shared by others.
“What does a balanced approach to curriculum design in RE look like?… a balanced curriculum that enables pupils to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief. Implicit within this is the study of a range of religions, belief systems and worldviews.” (Church of England)
Teaching and learning involves discussion, reflection and exploration of Big Questions; including, study of important texts, artefacts and key beliefs of global religions. Children respond to their learning in RE lessons in many creative ways, including drama and role-play, dance, art and experiential learning involving handling of artefacts and visits to places of worship. We aim to make RE a stimulating subject for children and adults to enjoy. RE lessons are fully inclusive and teachers tailor learning and activities in a number of ways in order to provide equity enabling all children to learn and make good progress.
Children take great pride in their work, enjoy engaging learning experiences and achieve well in RE. Within our rich and vibrant RE curriculum, which is in line with the Locally Agreed Syllabus, concepts from the Understanding Christianity scheme enhance children’s ability and confidence in exploring and answering Big Questions. Children are introduced to a wide variety of themes, with Christianity as its main focus but also encompassing development of knowledge, understanding and respect for some other global religions. They also apply their knowledge and skills from other subjects (e.g. British Values, geography and PSHE), providing considered and informed responses when talking passionately about their learning.
Christianity is taught through the ‘Understanding Christianity’ scheme, which is recommended by the Coventry Diocese Board of Education. As they follow the Understanding Christianity units of work, children encounter biblical concepts through texts, placing them within the wider story of the Bible. The striking illustrative panels of the ‘Big Frieze’ enables the children to become familiar with the content and sequence of the ‘big story’ of the Bible. Children learn to make sense of the religious text, understand its impact on the lives and actions of Christians, and learn to make links between Christianity, other faiths and their own lives. Each half term, year groups encounter and study a key Bible story on which to study and reflect.
This approach allows children to develop skills to explore the significant theological concepts within Christianity as part of developing their wider religious, theological and cultural literacy.
Year 4 - Understanding Christianity Day – Litter picking as part of Year 4’s Courageous Advocacy project - May 2022
Understanding Christianity Day - May 2022
Children learn that Christianity is a global religion and also study other major world religions. Alongside learning about Christianity, a different world religion is introduced each year to help them make sense of the world around them. These religions are taught through the Coventry and Warwickshire Locally Agreed Syllabus. By the end of Key Stage 2, children leave St Margaret’s having learnt about Hinduism, Sikhism, Judasim and Islam, and made links between these religions, Christianity and others that may be met throughout their learning journey.
We are incredibly proud of the diversity of our school’s multi-cultural, multi-faith community. Children and their families are welcomed to contribute to RE learning and school events. Children take pride in sharing experiences of their faith and family traditions in class and collective worship.
See how families shone in presentations for Diwali and Chinese New Year in the links below.
Click HERE to see a video from Diwali Day 2020.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)
“Religious education (RE) makes a significant contribution to pupils’ academic and personal development. It also plays a key role in promoting social cohesion and the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society.”
(DfE Religious education: realising the potential)
Driven by our Federation Big Ideas, our vibrant RE curriculum progressively builds the children’s concepts of: faith, community, morality and ethics, tradition, worship, symbolism, values and spirituality. As the children develop their understanding of the world and their place within it, our children grow in character and flourish, enabling them to be a ‘light in the world’. This is seen when children welcome visitors to our school, represent the school on trips and at sporting events and lead in Courageous Advocacy projects.
We have forged strong and positive relationships with a range of key partners. Working collaboratively with these partners has spurred staff on to make courageous decisions to secure our provision of a broad, inclusive and exciting curriculum which offers all learners and staff opportunities to achieve their aspirations and shine brightly as they live out our Christian vision and values. Regular monitoring and feedback by the RE Lead and other school leaders swiftly identifies any need for resourcing or staff CPD, ensuring that the teaching of RE is consistently strong across the school.
Strong links with our Diocese and consortia Church of England schools have opened doors for us to engage in many activities and embrace lots opportunities which have enhanced the children’s experiences and learning. In the last few years, we have celebrated 100 years of the Coventry Diocese, taking part in a pilgrimage of the Cross of Nails with local schools. Pupil and staff delegates from St Margaret’s joined with schools across the Diocese at a celebratory service at Coventry Cathedral, where we have also attended other worship events, such as Christingle. We have also completed shared RE study events with local schools and children visit places of worship, including St Margaret’s Church and our local Gurdwara Sahib. Activities like this provide the children with opportunities to strengthen their RE learning, whilst pursuing themes such as, peace and reconciliation.
Our partnership with the St Margaret’s Church community is highly valued. Rev Suffern, the St Margaret’s rector and a school governor, is a welcome visitor leading collective worship and contributing to the children’s learning of Christianity. With his links with clergy in Africa, this has helped the children see Christianity as a global faith. Other members of the Church community lead worship, including the Bible Society ‘Open the Book’ group, who bring Bible stories to life for the children.
“In Church of England schools, where pupils and staff come from all faiths and none, religious education (RE) is a highly valued academic subject that enables understanding of how religion and beliefs affect our lives. At the heart of RE in church schools is the teaching of Christianity and pupils also learn about other faiths and world views.” (Church of England: RE Curriculum Guidance)
Schools’ Statutory Duty
As a voluntary controlled maintained school, we have a statutory duty to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which includes RE. Parents can follow their right withdraw their children for all or part of the lessons. Should this be the case, we ask that parents/carers contact our Head of School.