RE Curriculum Intent Statement
Our overarching goal at Temple Grove Academy (TGA) is to help all children develop lively enquiring minds, good personal relationships and the knowledge and skills for the ever-changing technological and multi-cultural world in which we live.
The links between this whole-school goal and Religious Education (RE) are obvious, so RE has a vital role to play in creating the types of pupil we wish to cultivate at our school – those who are tolerant and informed citizens of the world.
Just as core subjects may be timetabled, but intrinsically linked to every subject (pupils read, write and calculate elsewhere in their studies), RE is timetabled weekly but in fact, permeates pupils’ studies when they read high quality texts in literacy, explore their thoughts and feelings in PSHCE or acquire knowledge using a World map. To silo RE and disregard these links undermines its value to our pupils as they mature through school and life. Therefore, we aim to explicitly teach RE but also exploit cross-curricular links wherever possible.
We believe that it is important for all our pupils to learn from and about religion, so that they can understand the world around them.
Our major intent is to ensure RE is taught consistently throughout the school as a subject of high-value and importance. It is our intention that the teaching of RE is weekly, explicit (when pupils need to learn about religion) but always highly engaging. Additional planning support for teachers and a focus on key calendar dates is in place to support this wherever possible. Such planning and teaching ensures:
- Pupils’ knowledge and skills develop in line with TGA’s progression of skills framework, building their mental models of religion and broader spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues as they learn;
- Pupils identify RE as an important and enjoyable aspect of their learning at TGA and begin to make links with other subjects such as (PSHCE, British Values, Literacy and Humanities).
TGA does not have a religious designation (see below for further details) so it is our intention that RE is delivered in and empathetic and impartial way, capitalising on themes pupils are already familiar with from their wider studies such as ‘Justice and Freedom and Heroes/Heroines’. It is important that the teaching of RE at TGA does not seek to teach facts by rote, but strengthen pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural compass.
We’ve identified that pupils enjoy committing their thoughts and feelings to paper by writing within a broad range of genres. At TGA, our pupils take great pride in their written work and writing is a powerful vehicle for them to communicate honesty with us regarding thoughts, feelings and the very valid inferences they make when introduced to powerful curriculum content. As such, we intend to promote writing as the way in which pupils will demonstrate what they have learnt about religion and how they have learned from it.
When we are demonstrably successful in delivering an RE curriculum which pupils enjoy and thrive within, with support from organisations such as ‘High Hopes’ and local places of worship, we would like to secure recognition for our teaching by way of an accreditation (Widening Inclusivity in Religious Education (WIRE) Award or similar).
At TGA, we use The Kent Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (2017-2022) to inform our curriculum planning. We refer to the Kent Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) with regards to RE planning and curriculum matters.
The selection of religions and beliefs we focus on at TGA are:
As TGA is not designated with a religious character, we reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are mainly Christian, while taking account of other principal religions represented in this country. The list of focus religions also reflects religions and systems of belief locally, within our community.
In accordance with the National Curriculum, we ensure ‘reasonable time’ is allocated for RE. As part of our longstanding timetable commitment, we allocate at least 45 minutes to an hour of study per week in KS1 (including Reception) and an hour of study per week in KS2. We also mark certain religious festivals in addition to those of the Christian religious calendar. The school also comes together daily to consider themes such as ‘friendship’ and to celebrate achievement.
Lessons are planned to include interactive, practical activities which encourage the children to discuss their ideas and extend their understanding of difficult concepts and challenging questions. The knowledge, skills and themes of each term are ‘unlocked’ via an overarching question tailored to each year group (example: ‘Why is Jesus inspiring to some people?’ Yr4, Spring 2). Overarching questions are deliberately broad to facilitate initial discussions aimed at identifying prior knowledge and misconceptions. Within each unit of work, teachers utilise some of the following to make teaching and learning targeted, meaningful and enjoyable:
- Reading of religious stories, fables and parables which explore themes such as hope, courage, commitment, motivation, giving and love;
- Exploration of religious artefacts, art and architecture;
- Reflection and quiet times to consider own beliefs, values and experiences;
- Visits to places of worship and hearing from speakers / visitors from other faith communities;
- Listening to music;
- Consideration of popular culture, news and current affairs;
At regular intervals during the school year, we talk to pupils (‘Pupil Voice’), and take a sample of work being produced across all year groups in order to inform next action steps and assess whether we are meeting our Intent.
If our RE action plan at TGA is executed as intended, pupils will embrace RE as part of their studies and know that it has significance outside of the classroom, in their wider lives. They will enjoy learning about other religions and why people choose, or choose not to follow a religion. Pupils studying RE at TGA should also:
- Enjoy the subject and feel positive about participating RE activities;
- Be articulate, confident, and courteous speakers;
- Be expressive writers who show sensitivity for the subject matter of their writing;
- Make good progress from their starting point, acquiring important knowledge and skills identified in TGA’s Progression of Skills framework;
- Be able to transfer these skills to a range of different situations as they progress into adulthood.